Incorrect holidays in Microsoft Outlook calendar

Recently, a customer pointed out that Outlook had identified Nov 1, 2015 as U.S. Election Day when it is actually Nov 8, 2016. My Outlook calendar also showed Nov 1st.

Outlook uses a ".hol" file to import holidays into the calendar. Microsoft periodically updates this file to add more years, fix errors, etc.

It seems that the holidays do not always change on the calendar when Microsoft issues an updated .hol file. The holidays in my caledar were originally created in 2013 and had the error with Election Day.

In order to change the holidays, I performed the following steps:

  • In Outlook, click on "File", "Options", "Calendar"
  • Click the "Add Holidays..." button
  • Uncheck "United States", recheck "United States", click "OK"
  • Click "Yes" to the warning that US holidays are already installed and asking if you want to install them again.
  • Click "OK" on the "Outlook Options" window. 

This adds a new set of holidays to your calendar, but leaves the old set, resulting in duplicate holiday entries. To remove the old holidays:

  • Open your Outlook calendar
  • Click on the "View" menu in the ribbon
  • Click on the "Change View" button and select "List"
  • Click on the "View Settings" button
  • Click on the "Columns" button
  • In the left side of the window, choose "Created" and "Categories" and then click "Add ->" to move them to the right side of the screen.
  • Left click on the heading for the "Created" column to sort by the created date
  • Right click on the heading for the "Categories" column, select "Arrange By", and choose "Categories"
  • Scroll down to the "Holiday" category
  • Select all of the holiday entries that have a created date older than today
  • Delete the old holiday entries

Networking Calendar Outlook