Email client Microsoft Outlook
comes with a built-in feature that allows users to set automated away messages that alert contacts when you are out of the office. This feature can be programmed with a specific start and end date, or can be set indefinitely.
This article will walk you through how to use the Out of Office Assistant
in Microsoft Outlook
. Note that the steps described below are valid for the 2010 and 2013 version of Outlook.
Set Away Message in Microsoft Outlook
Before beginning, do a check to verify whether or not you have an Exchange
account, as the procedures to follow vary slightly.
Open Outlook and look at your status bar
. If your status bar reads Connected to Microsoft Exchange
, please follow the procedure related to Exchange
With an Exchange Account (Outlook 2010 and 2013)
Click the File
tab and then click on Info
in the menu that appears. Then select Automatic Replies
(this tab will not be displayed if you do not have an Exchange account).
A dialog box will open. Select Send automatic responses
and then type your message into the Within my organization
or Outside my organization
fields according to the people you'd like to alert. Note that you can specify an hour and a start and end date by checking the Send between
Confirm by clicking OK
Without an Exchange Account (Outlook 2010 and 2013)
If you'd like to set an automatic reply without an Exchange account, you need to first create a message template
Click on the Home
tab > New email message
. In the message body, type the message that you want to send as your automated reply.
In the message window, click File
> Save As
. In the Save as
dropdown menu, click on Outlook Template
Type a name for your message template and then click on Save
Once you've saved your template, it's time to create your inbox rule
. Click Home
> Manage Rules & Alerts
. In the Rules and Alerts
box, select the New Rule
Under Start from a blank rule
, click Apply rules on messages I receive
, followed by Next
Under Which condition(s) do you want to check?
, check any criteria that you would like to set, followed by Next
. (Note that most users choose not to check any items.)
Next, head to the section labeled What do you want to do with the message?
. Check reply using a specific template
and then edit the rule description.
Go to Step 2: Edit the rule description
and select a specific template
. A dialog box will appear. Head to the Look In
box and click User Templates in File System
Select the template that you created earlier, and then click on Open
If necessary, check any exceptions you'd like to make to your auto-reply rule, and then click on Next
Under the Step 1: Specify a name for this rule
heading, type a name for the auto-reply rule, and then click on Finish
Turn Off Automatic Replies
Disabling automatic replies is very simple. Simply go to the Home
tab > Rules
menu > Manage Rules and Alerts
In the dialog box that opens, uncheck the rule you would like to disable to turn off your automatic reply.