Outlook Delegate gets "Can't open this item." when clicking on invites that she was the originator o

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We have an Administrative Assistant (AA) who is a delegate on the director's mailbox, and all the other upper management in that same office. The AA sent out a meeting invite on behalf of the director to a distribution group that all of the people in that office are members of. The AA then got back meeting invites for the various people she is a delegate for.

When she tried to click on those invites in her Inbox, she got " Can't open this item." with nothing else in the error message. I say nothing else in the error message because searches online I have done usually have something else after the " Can't open this item." message. Luckily she stopped and called us for support, so I saw this first hand.

I clicked around in her mailbox and when I went back to her Inbox the messages were gone. I found them in the Deleted Items folder where I was able to open them. So it appears as if the messages got moved, but Outlook wasn't reflecting this. She needed to process them for the people she was a delegate for, so I moved them back into her Inbox so she could.

I wanted to share what was in the header of the meeting invite in case something was configured incorrectly with how we were using delegates that was the cause of this situation. Once the meeting invites were opened, the first line after the tool bar said " Please respond on behalf of User1." . The second line said " Conflicts with another appointment on User1's Calendar." . The third line says " From AA on behalf of Director" . So the AA is sending out the meeting requests on behalf of the Director, and getting those meeting invites back as the delegate of the persons she is sending it to.

My question is what would move these meeting requests unread to the Deleted Items folder, and leave the client in a state where it was under the impression that they were still in the Inbox? When I looked at them they didn't indicate they had been accepted, most likely because she couldn't open them, but I didn't look at all of them.

We are an Exchange 2007 SP3 native shop and she is running Outlook 2003 in online mode (I am told her machine is running the latest service pack and hot fixes).

My searches online have proved fruitless, so any help anyone could shed on this situation would be greatly appreciated.



Make sure the Manages\Delegate are all running the same build\version of Outlook. --That's likely not causing this situation, but it'll help prevent future issues. Each build\version of Outlook adds additional properties to the items. Especially Calendar items.

Anyways, with the Meeting Invites you see the issue on, has the Manager\Organizer been CC'd on the Meeting or are they part of the DL that has been added as an Attendee?

You want to always avoid adding the Organizer as an Attendee to the meeting. ---That's a Best Practice for all versions of Outlook. :)

Would it be possible to update your client's to Outlook 2007 SP2 (or Outlook 2010)?

There were numerous Calendaring issues resolved with SP2 and the subsequent Cumulative Updates for Outlook 2007.

The reason for asking you to update the client is due to the fact that no more patches\updates will be developed or released for Outlook 2003.

Should your issue be due to a defect with Outlook 2003, the only option would be to update to a later version and see if the issue persists. If it does, open a support incident on it.

Hope that helps!

Jahawk MSFT


Thank you for the reply!

We have already scheduled the AA for an immediate Office upgrade because honestly we didn't know what else to try. :) So absolutely we will upgrade the AA's machine and I will report back if the issue has been resolved. It will probably be some time before I do though because the problem happened sporadically in the past which made her complaints hard to troubleshoot.

Thanks again!
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