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I have set up an additional (non-primary) Google calendar and sent out a bunch of invites to events on it. After awhile I noticed I was only seeing responses from other Google users. Hoping it was just a coincidence, I did some tests with an Office365 address and - it does appear to be the case, that:

  • I can see responses from Office365 users on my primary Google calendar
  • I can see responses from Google users on my primary and secondary Google calendars
  • I cannot see responses from Office365 on my secondary Google calendar

From an Office365 account, I can see that invite responses are sent to:

  • myemail@mydomain.com for the primary calendar (these are the responses that work)
  • c_ciar0mgcxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxc49ni4@group.calendar.google.com for the secondary calendar (these are the responses that I can't see on the event)

(I have redacted these e-mail addresses)

My question is - is it possible to access the responses from non-Google (specifically, Office365) users that are sent to the @group.calendar.google.com alternate calendar e-mail address?

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I eventually contacted Google Workspace support about this. Unfortunately, this is 'expected behaviour' - secondary calendars' e-mail addresses do not support receiving or otherwise dealing with mail sent to them, so they're not usable with non-Google addresses. The only reason invite acceptance from other Google users can be seen is because Google Calendar deals with the acceptance internally without using e-mail.

(Google Calendar should really warn you when you invite a non-Google address to a secondary calendar - but unfortunately it does not!)

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In my case I was using a secondary calendar because I was creating events which I wasn't necessarily an attendee for. The workaround I settled on was to:

  • create events on my primary calendar
  • set myself as Optional
  • respond No to the invite for myself

Because I was set as Optional, this meant that I could avoid having my calendar blocked out while at the same time not causing cancellation of the event.

This workaround, though, only suits for the specific reason I was using secondary calendars in this instance.

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