How to Make Guest Optional for Google Calendar Events

Not everyone you invite to a meeting may be a required guest. There might be someone that you want to give the choice to attend. Google Calendar provides the ability to make attendees optional, but it’s not obvious.

Google Calendar

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
December 9, 2021

Not everyone you invite to a meeting may be a required guest. There might be someone that you want to give the choice to attend. Google Calendar provides the ability to make attendees optional, but it’s not obvious.

It could be your supervisor, a coworker who may not be available, or someone else with an interest in the meeting. By marking them optional, they can decide for themselves if they should or want to attend. And you can make guests optional at the time you create the Google Calendar event or afterward.

This is for devices using Google Calendar

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When Creating the Event

First, launch Google Calendar and sign in if necessary. When you click to create a new event in Google Calendar, you see a small pop-up window to add all the details including your attendees. But you will not spot the optional feature for your guests immediately.

Next, hover your cursor over the attendee’s name or email address after you add it. To the right, you will see a gray contact (person) icon. Click that icon to mark your guest as optional. Refer to the below image:

Optional 1
Marking a guest as Optional

Now, the icon will appear white indicating the Optional status. You can click it again to make the guest required. See the below image:

Optional 2
Guest is Optional

After Creating the Event

If you have already created the event, you can still make an attendee optional. Select the event on your Google Calendar to open the small detail window and then click the pencil icon to edit it. See the following image:

Optional 3
Selecting to Edit the event

Next, on the event detail screen, hover your cursor over the attendee you want to make optional in the Guests section. To the right, click the gray contact icon. Refer to the below image:

Optional 4
Marking a guest as Optional

Now, click Save at the top to apply your change. See the below image:

Optional 5
Save your changes

Next, the icon turns white and shows you the person is optional. If you want to make the attendee required again, just click that icon and hit Save. See the following image:

Optional 6
Guest is Optional

What Guest See

When you make an attendee optional for your event, the word Optional appears below their name. Anyone in the list of guests without the word Optional is required. Refer to the below image:

Optional 7
Viewing guests who are Optional

If you are setting up a meeting, conference call, or video call in Google Calendar and have certain guests that may want to attend but are not required to, you can easily use the Optional feature.

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That’s it. Now you know a seldom-used feature for making guests Optional in a Google Calendar event. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter.

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Author: Raymond

I am Raymond Oglesby, an Information Technology (IT) specialist with 30 years in the field. I have taught Microsoft Applications and troubleshot computers in 15 countries and many States. My career was focused on mainframes and desktops from application development to implementation. I have written hundreds of programs for various architectures. I decided to start a blog to share my knowledge and experiences with you. I plan on updating this blog at least twice a week about smart phone apps to Windows. Please feel free to leave a Comment or Tweet. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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