Office 365, Email, Exchange, Understanding Room and Equipment (Resource) Mailboxes in Exchange

For IT Pros Exchange room mailboxes and equipment mailboxes offer campus IT pros a convenient way to help faculty and staff manage the schedules of their facilities and equipment.

Rooms and equipment in Exchange can be scheduled for meetings and other events.  Exchange allows you to manage the scheduling and availability of rooms and equipment provided by your department or unit. Rooms and equipment are sometimes referred to as resources.

  • Rooms - Rooms in Exchange can be reserved for meetings and other events. This includes conference rooms and other meeting spaces.
  • Equipment - Equipment can also be reserved through Exchange. This typically includes things like laptops and projectors, but could include any type of equipment.

Rooms and equipment can be set up to handle reservation requests in one of two ways:

  • Moderated - Requests to reserve the resource must be approved or denied by a person (delegate).
  • Auto-Accept - Requests to reserve the resource are automatically accepted, based on availability.

A room or equipment resource has its own calendar, which can be viewed and modified just like a person's calendar. When a request for a room or piece of equipment is accepted in Exchange, an event is added to the resource's calendar.


If a room or piece of equipment is set up as a moderated resource, requests to reserve the room or equipment must be accepted or declined manually. This provides you with oversight to the resource and allows you more control over who has access to the resource and at what times.

A moderated resource must have at least one delegate who is responsible for accepting or declining reservation requests, and it can have many delegates associated with it if you desire. When a request to reserve a room or piece of equipment is made, an email is sent to the delegate(s) for the resource. A delegate can accept or decline requests to reserve the resource, just like a person accepts or declines meeting requests for his or her own calendar.  Delegates will also need to approve or deny updates to the meeting that change date and/or time.


A room or piece of equipment which is configured to auto-accept reservation requests handles its own calendar automatically. No one is responsible for accepting or declining reservation requests on behalf of the resource. This provides you with an easy way to manage resources that are up for grabs in a first-come, first-serve way.

Exchange will always accept reservation requests so long as the following criteria are true. If one or both of the criteria cannot be met, Exchange will automatically decline the request.

  • The room or piece of equipment is available (i.e. someone else has not already booked the resource for the requested date and time).
  • The request falls within the resource's booking window.

Resource Scheduling

As an owner of a resource, one of your first responsibilities is to set the required options/settings/permissions for the resource. Outlook clients will only allow you to set read/write permissions for a resource calendar. Many of the other options/settings (eg. available hours, length of events, who can schedule, etc.) must be set via Outlook on the web. 

Scheduling Options

 Process event invitations and cancellations Enables or disables all options below as well as the options under Scheduling Permissions. If checked, all options below are enabled.
If not checked
owner of resource - must manage every request manually by accessing the resource directly.
delegate of resource - manage the request on behalf of the resource.

Important: If automatic processing is enabled and a delegate has been set, the setting for the delegate must be set to “Both my delegate and me” for invitations to be processed by the resource.

Turn off reminders Enables or disables reminders for events in this calendar. This applies only for the resource; the organizer and attendees will still receive reminders if they have elected to do so.
Maximum number of days in advance resources can be booked Limits how far in advance an event can be scheduled. The default is 180 days. 1080 is the maximum.

Note: If you schedule an event beyond the maximum number of days specified, the event will be automatically declined.

Always decline if the end date is beyond this limit Requests beyond the maximum number of days specified will be automatically declined. Valid values are between 0 (today) and 1080 (about 3 years).
Limit event duration and maximum allowed minutes Limits the amount of time for which a room can be scheduled within a single day. Unchecking the box will mean a meeting has no limit. Checking the box allows for a limit between 0 to 1440.
Allow scheduling only during working hours If checked, an event can only be scheduled during the hours specified under Calendar Work Week in the Calendar tab. Events outside of working hours will be automatically declined.
Allow repeating meetings Allows booking of the resource room at a regular interval; the event can be set to repeat over a specified duration of time (also called recurring).
Allow conflicts Allow or prevent conflicting meeting requests (Double Booking). If 'Repeating meetings' and 'Allow conflicts' are both enabled, this will only allow conflicts on repeating meetings. Additionally, in order for the resource to allow conflicts, when the resource is invited it will need to be entered into the Attendees field as opposed to being chosen with the Add Rooms button.
Allow up to this number of individual conflicts This setting specifies the maximum number of conflicts that are allowed for new repeating meeting requests. When set to 0, a recurring event will fail to schedule if one or more conflicting appointments already appear. If the number is greater than 0, a recurring event is allowed that many conflicts before being denied.
Allow up to this percentage of individual conflicts This setting specifies the maximum percentage of meeting conflicts that are allowed for new repeating meeting requests. The same idea as with the individual conflicts field applies, but in this instance a percentage of conflicts allowed is specified.

Scheduling Permissions

Table contains the scheduling permissions for resource accounts
These people can schedule automatically if the resource is available By default, Everyone can schedule this resource without manual approval by the resource. If Select users and groups is selected, only the users and groups specified can schedule automatically. All other users or groups will receive a decline message. If Select users and groups is selected but no users or groups identified, this option will be ignored.
These users can submit a request for owner approval if the resource is available If Everyone is selected, then all requests must receive manual approval by the resource. If Select users and groups is selected, only the specified users and groups require manual approval by the resource. Select users and groups is selected and left blank by default so that all requests are approved automatically.
These people or groups can schedule automatically if the resource is available and can submit a request for owner approval if the resource is unavailable When Everyone is selected (default) any request during an open time frame will be automatically approved. If the room is booked at the requested time, a form is submitted to the resource for manual approval. If Select users and groups is selected, only those specified will have the option to have the request manually approved; all others will have a conflicting request denied without the option of manual approval by the resource.

Booking Window

As indicated above, if a room or piece of equipment is configured to auto-accept and a request is made to reserve the resource outside of the booking window, Exchange will decline the request.

For example, if you try to reserve a room one year from now (i.e. 365 days from now) and that room is set up to auto-accept, your request will be denied because it falls outside the booking window (which is 180 days by default). However, if you try to reserve that same room three months from now (i.e. 90 days from now), Exchange will automatically accept your request because it falls within the booking window.

Configuring Resource Scheduling options

The settings in the Outlook web app allow you to set the booking options for room and equipment mailboxes:

  1. Login to (Note: you must login using account credentials; full access rights will not be sufficient.)
  2. Click the gear icon to open the quick setting menu.
  3. Scroll down and click on Calendar
  4. In the left column, click on  Resource scheduling

This will give you most of the options needed to configure booking for room and equipment mailboxes. 

The default action is for resource mailboxes to use Auto-Accept. If the resource is being moderated and you want to switch to Auto-Accept, then you will need to check the box next to Automatically process event invitations and cancellations.

KeywordsExchange, room mailboxes, equipment mailboxes, booking, booking window, calendar, scheduling   Doc ID47594
OwnerOffice 3.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2015-02-25 14:52:46Updated2024-05-22 13:15:44
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Feedback  0   0