How to Set Up Outlook Out of Office?
Made a sudden plan with your friends and family for a vacation but couldn’t inform clients and colleagues at your office? Need not to worry as Outlook comes with an amazing feature, specially designed for such a situation. This feature in Outlook allows you to send automatic out-of-office replies.
To enable this feature, all you need to do is make some changes in the settings of your account. Once you would have activated the out-of-office feature in your Outlook account, a message from your account will be sent to the person who will send you an email during the defined period. To know how to set up your Outlook account for automatic out-of-office replies, follow the step-by-step instructions provided below.
Guide to Configure Outlook for Automatic Out-of-Office Replies
- Open the Outlook program on your computer and click on the File option located on the top-left corner of the screen.
- Depending on the screen you see on your computer, you can proceed with the instructions provided below:
If you see the following screen on your computer, you will need to follow the steps provided below the image:
- Click on the File option and select Automatic Replies (Out of Office) You will be directed to the next screen.
NOTE: If you are using Outlook 2007, you will need to select Tools > Out of Office Assistant option.
- Next, go to the Automatic Replies box and click on the Send Automatic replies
Optionally, you can set a date range for your automatic replies. This way the automatic replies will get disabled at the date and time you configured earlier. If you don’t wish to configure the date and time, you will need to disable the automatic replies manually.
- Then, on the “Inside My Organization” tab, you will need to enter the response which you wish to send to colleagues or clients while you are on vacation.
NOTE: If you will be sending automatic replies to “anyone outside my organization” will send the automatic reply to every email, including advertisements, newsletters, and even junk email. If you wish to send automatic replies to people outside your organization, make sure to select “My contacts only”.
- After entering the desired message, you will need to click on the OK
Disabling Automatic Out-of-Office Replies
When you have your Outlook configured to send automatic replies, you will see a message under the ribbon with this information. Here, you will need to select the “Turn off” option to deactivate the automatic out-of-office replies. In case you wish to modify the dates for your automatic reply or the message sent, perform the step provided above to make the changes.
NOTE: If you are using Outlook 2007, you can turn off out-of-office replies, select Tools > Out of Office Assistant and deselect the checkbox next to the “Send out of Office auto-replies” option.
And this is how you can set up your Outlook for Out-of-Office replies. On the other hand, if you see the following screen on your computer, you will need to follow the steps provided below the image.
- When you don’t see the Automatic Replies button, this means that your email account doesn’t support this feature. In such a case, you can create a rule to reply to email messages automatically. Creating a rule will allow you to forward emails to another account, mark emails as read, or automatically move them to a folder.
- In your Outlook program, click on the File You will see a screen like provided above. As there is no option available for setting up an out-of-office reply, you will need to create an out-of-office template by following these steps:
- Create a new email message in your Outlook and enter a subject and a message body that you wish to create for your Out-of-Office template.
- Next, you will need to click on the File option and select Save As
- Next, enter a suitable name for the template and select Outlook Template (*.oft) option in the Save as type drop-down.
- If you wish you can change the location for your template or you can use the default location which is usually – c:\users\username\appdata\roaming\microsoft\templates. Then, click on the Save
- Once you are done creating a new template, you will need to create an out-of-office rule.
Creating an Out-of-Office Rule
- In your Outlook program, click on the File option and select Manage Rules & Alerts
- Next, in the Rules and Alerts dialog box, go to the E-mail Rules tab, click on the New Rule
- Then, under Start from a blank rule option, click on the Apply rule on message I receive and select the Next
- If you wish to reply to every email message you receive, keep the Step 1 and Step 2 boxes unchanged and click on the Next button again. Then, choose Yes option when Outlook prompts you if you wish to apply this rule to all messages.
- Under “What do you want to do with the message”, you will need to select a reply using a specific template option in Step 1: Select action(s).
- Similarly, under Step 2: Edit the rule description, you will need to click on the underlined text for a specific template
- Then, you will need to select User Templates in File System in the Look In box located at the top of the Select a Reply Template
- Now, select the template you created above, and then choose Open and Next
- Enter a suitable name for the rule in the provided field, for example, “Out-of-Office”.
NOTE: By default, you will find the “Turn on this rule’ option is selected. If you wish to enable the rule right away, simply click on the Finish button. On the other hand, if you wish to enable the rule later, you will need to deselect the “Turn on this rule” option and select Finish.
Enabling the Rule
If you wish to enable the rule you created at some later time in your Outlook program, you can do so by following these steps:
- Go to the File option and select Manage Rules & Alerts.
- Next, go to the Rules and Alerts dialog box, on the E-mail Rules, locate the rule you created and select the checkbox next to the rule.
- After that, select the OK
And this is how you can configure your Outlook for automatic Out-of-Office replies.