M365 Changelog: Microsoft Exchange Online – Configuration Change for online meetings by default

MC267584 – Updated January 25, 2022: Microsoft has updated this post to ensure visibility. No changes have been made to the content below. Thank you for your patience.

Whether you’re working from home or meeting with people in other locations, Microsoft will be making a change so that all meetings created in Outlook will automatically be online to allow everyone to attend. This will rollout on desktop, web, mobile and Mac.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 81995.

When this will happen

This will rollout starting in mid-September (previously August) and will complete by late January (previously end of November).

How this will affect your organization:

Once this feature rolls out, all meetings created in Outlook will be set to be online meetings by default. If you take no action, users enabled for Teams or Skype for Business Online in your tenant will be set to have all of their meetings created as online meetings.

  • This only applies if a user is enabled for Teams or Skype for Business Online. In a future update, Microsoft will add support for 3rd party online meeting add-ins, but they do not yet have a timeline for that update.
  • This will apply to meetings with at least one attendee other than the organizer, and meetings with a duration less than 24 hours.

What you need to do to prepare:

If you want all the meetings in your organization to be online by default, there is nothing you need to do. You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

If you don’t want all the meetings in your organization to be online by default, you will need to disable this feature using PowerShell. If you check your current organization settings, you’ll notice that PowerShell returns the organization’s effective setting value. The current default – if the organization has never explicitly configured this setting – is $false. Thus, if you run the cmdlet today, you will see $false unless you had explicitly changed the value to $true.

This update will change the default value to $true. So, if you have explicitly configured this to $false in the past, that value is locked in and will continue to be $false even after this update. If you have never explicitly configured this setting, you will see $false currently and that will change to $true with this update. However, if you explicitly set the value to $false before this update, it will remain as $false even after the update. To summarize, this change only changes the default value for organizations that have never explicitly changed this setting. If you have already configured this setting in the past, its value will not change with this update.

You can also disable this feature per mailbox using the Set-MailboxCalendarConfiguration cmdlet, which has similar default value logic. Please click Additional Information for a link to the Set-OrganizationConfig cmdlet.

Additional information