4 ways to set up automatic out of office message in Microsoft Outlook

4 ways to set up automatic out of office message in Microsoft Outlook
4 ways to set up automatic out of office message in Microsoft Outlook
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The Out of Office Manager in Microsoft Outlook allows you to set up an automatic reply for people who send you emails when you are not reachable or when you are out of the office. This feature is only available for users with a Microsoft Exchange account. However, those who don't have an Exchange account can compose a template response and create a rule to ask Outlook to send it automatically. If you're not sure what type of account you're using, know that Exchange accounts are mostly work or school accounts. Either way, you'll have the option to set up an automatic out-of-office reply in Outlook.

Steps

Method 1 of 4: Use Outlook 2019-2010 and Outlook for Office 365

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 1

Step 1. Launch Microsoft Outlook on your computer

You will find this application in the menu To start up.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 2

Step 2. Select Information from the File tab

This option is in the ribbon above your inbox, next to Home, Send / Receive, Case, Display and Groups.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 3

Step 3. Click Automatic Replies (Out of Office)

This will open the dialog box Automatic responses.

If this option is not available, it is probably because you are using a non-Exchange account. It is still possible to activate automatic replies by following the method in this article

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 4

Step 4. Check the box next to Send automatic replies

Click the box to check it and indicate that this option has been enabled.

  • If you want to specify a time, click on the box next to Send only during this time, and then select a start time and an end time. For example, if you have planned to go on vacation for 2 weeks, select the start and end date of your vacation to activate the automatic response during this time interval.
Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 5

Step 5. Go to the Within My Organization tab

This tab is located above the large white text field.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 6

Step 6. Type your automatic reply

In the text field, type the automatic reply you want to send to people who send you emails who are in your workplace or in your company. Only addresses in the same domain will receive this message.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 7

Step 7. Go to the Outside my organization tab

This tab is also located above the large white text field.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 8

Step 8. Type your automatic reply

In the text field, type the automatic reply you want to send to people outside of your company who send you emails. For example, you can type a message explaining that you are not available and recommend a colleague of yours if you have questions or problems. Only emails sent from a domain other than yours will receive this message.

The drop-down menus above the text field allow you to change the type and size of the font while the buttons allow you to change the formatting of the message

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 9

Step 9. Click OK

People who send you emails when you are away from the office will receive the automatic reply you created. If you have not set a time interval, the automatic reply will be sent until you deactivate this feature.

Method 2 of 4: Use Outlook 2007

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 10

Step 1. Open Microsoft Outlook on your computer

Microsoft Outlook is in the menu To start up.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 11

Step 2. Click on Out of Office Assistant

This option can be found in the Tools tab, itself in the menu at the top left of the program window. The dialog box Out of office manager will open.

If you can't find this option, it means you are using a non-Exchange account. Follow the method in this article to enable automatic replies for accounts of this type

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 12

Step 3. Check Send out of office automatic replies

  • If you want to specify a time interval, click the box next to Send only during this time, and then select a start time and an end time. For example, if you are away from the office for 2 weeks, select the period during which you will be away so that the automatic response is only activated during that time interval.
Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 13

Step 4. Go to the Within my organization tab

The tab Within my organization is located above the large white text field.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 14

Step 5. Type the automatic reply to send

Only addresses from the same domain as yours (within your company) will receive the message that you type in the text field. For example, you can explain that you will not be in the office during the day and that your boss will take care of your tasks until you return.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 15

Step 6. Click on the Outside my organization tab

You will find this tab above the large white text field.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 16

Step 7. Type the automatic reply to send

Only people who send you emails, outside of your company, will receive your response. For example, you can type a message explaining that you are not available and recommend a colleague of yours for business matters and business.

There is a drop-down menu to change the font type as well as size and buttons to format the text in your message

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 17

Step 8. Click OK

People who email you within the specified time frame will receive the auto-response you created. If you did not specify a time interval, the automatic reply will be sent until you deactivate this feature.

Method 3 of 4: Use Outlook 2003

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 18

Step 1. Start Microsoft Outlook on your computer

You will find Microsoft Outlook in the menu To start up.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 19

Step 2. Go to the Tools tab

Select Out of Office Assistant in the tab Tools which is in the menu at the top left of the window. This will open the dialog box Out of office manager.

If this option is not available, your account is probably not Exchange. In this case, follow the method in this article to enable automatic replies

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 20

Step 3. Click the circle next to I am currently out of the office

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 21

Step 4. Type a message in the text field

People who email you will only receive your response once until you return to the office.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 22

Step 5. Click OK

The people who send you an email will receive your response indefinitely or until you select I am currently in the office.

Method 4 of 4: Use non-Exchange accounts

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 23

Step 1. Launch Microsoft Outlook on your computer

Microsoft Outlook is in the menu To start up.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 24

Step 2. Click New Email on the Home tab

The tab Home is in the ribbon above the inbox, next to File, Send / Receive, Case, Display and Groups. Click on New email to open a blank email.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 25

Step 3. Edit the out of office message template

Leave the To and CC lines blank.

  • Type a subject for your email (for example "out of the office") so people know they are receiving an automatic reply.
  • In the body of the message, type the response you want to automatically send to people who email you. This message will be used as a template for your "out of office" email.
Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 26

Step 4. Go to the File tab

Select Save As to open the dialog box Save as.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 27

Step 5. Select Outlook Template

This option can be found in the drop-down menu Type.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 28

Step 6. Type a name for your message template

Then click on Save. From now on, you will be able to use this template whenever you are not reachable by email on your personal Outlook account.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 29

Step 7. Click Manage Rules and Alerts

This option can be found in the File tab. To have your away message automatically sent to users when you are unavailable, you need to create a rule that instructs Outlook to automatically respond to emails using the template you created.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 30

Step 8. Choose New Rule

The option New rule can be found under the tab Electronic content rules. A dialog box will open for you to create a rule.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 31

Step 9. Select Apply rule to messages I receive

This option is under the heading Start from a blank ruler.

  • Click twice on Following to create the rule. You will click on Following in a page with options, but you must leave the boxes blank for step one and step two for your rule to apply.
Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 32

Step 10. Select Reply using a specific template

This option is under the heading What do you want to do with the message?

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 33

Step 11. Click on the specific model link in the second step

A pop-up window will appear on the screen.

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 34

Step 12. Choose Templates from the file system

This is one of the options in the drop-down menu Look in.

Double-click on the template you created to use it as an automatic reply when you are out of the office

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 35

Step 13. Click Next

You will be taken to the last step of the rule creation wizard where you can name your rule, define exceptions and check your settings.

Name the auto-response rule you created

Set Up Out of Office in Outlook Step 36

Step 14. Select Finish

Everyone who sends you an email will receive the auto-reply you created using the template.

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