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How to set out of office (automatic reply) in outlook?

Sometimes, you are out of office and can’t deal with the emails in time. In this case, you might want to let people know why you're not responding to their emails even though you have received the emails. You can set out of office (auto replying rule) in Outlook with below workarounds:

Set out of office (automatic reply) with Out of Office Assistant with Exchange Account (4 steps)

Set out of office (automatic reply) with Manage Rules & Alerts function (11 steps)

Set out of office (automatic reply) with Kutools for Outlook (2 steps)

Easily set up Auto Reply for out of office in Outlook without exchange sever

If you need to set a rule for automatically replying messages via Outlook, normally you have to compose a new message and save as an Outlook template, next set a rule which will filter messages based on special criteria and reply with the specific template, and then select exceptions if necessary. Hear quite tough to get it done? Actually Kutools for Outlook's Auto Reply utility can help you automatically reply messages easily. Click for 60-day free trial without limitation!
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arrow blue right bubble Set out of office (automatic reply) with Out of Office Assistant with Exchange Account

If you are using an Exchange account, you can auto reply a specified message for the received emails with setting the Out of Office Assistant while you are away. Please do as follows:

1. In the Mail view, select the exchange account on the Navigation Pane, and click File > Info > Automatic Replies.
Note: If your outlook have not connected to an Exchange Server, you can't find the Automatic Replies option.

2. In the Automatic Replies dialog box, (1) select the Send automatic replies option; (2) check the Only send during this time range option and specify the Start time and End time as you need; (3) type the replying message in the below box. See screenshot:

3. If you need to enable auto-reply for external senders too, please (1) click the Outside My Organization (On) tab; (2) check the Auto-reply to people outside my organization option; (3) type the auto replying message in the below box. See screenshot:

4. Click OK to activate the out of office message.


arrow blue right bubble Set out of office (automatic reply) with Manage Rules & Alerts function

If your outlook haven’t connected to an Exchange Server, the above method will not work. In this situation, the Manage Rules & Alerts function of Outlook can help you to set out of office auto reply as following steps:

1. Click Home > New E-mail to create a new message, type the subject and message as you need. See screenshot:

2. The click File > Save As in the new message window.

3. Now in the Save As dialog box, please select Outlook Template (*.oft) from the Save as type drop down list, and click the Save button. See screenshot:

Note: After specifying the Save as type as Outlook Template (*.oft), the email will be saved to the default template folder automatically. And it's not necessary to choose saving folder any more.

4. Go ahead to click Home > Rules > Manage Rules & Alerts, see screenshot:

5. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, (1) click E-mail Rules tab; (2) select the email account that you want to apply the out of office setting from Apply changes to this folder drop down list; (3) and then click New Rule. See screenshot:

6. In the Rules Wizard , click Apply rule on message I receive from the Start from a blank rule section, and click the Next button.

7. In the Rules Wizard (which condition(s) do you want to check), check the sent only to me option, and click the Next button. See screenshot:

8. Now in the Rules Wizard (what do you want to do with the message?), please do as following screenshot shown: (1) Check the reply using a specific template option; (2) Click the linked text of a specific template; (3) Now in the popping out Select a Reply Template dialog box, select the User Templates in File System from Look in drop down list, click to select the message template you created just now, and click the Open button; (4) Now you return to the Rules Wizard, please click the Next button.

9. Click the Next button twice to get into the Rules Wizard (Finish rule setup), please (1) type a name for the new rule in the Step 1 box; (2) check options as you need in the Step 2 section; (3) and click the Finish button.

10. Close the Rules and Alert dialog box.

Going forward, when new emails are coming in your Outlook, they will be automatically replied with the specified message template at once.


arrow blue right bubble Set out of office (automatic reply) with Kutools for Outlook

The above method is somewhat troublesome and tedious for you to set them step by step. But here I will introduce you an easy and handy way to set out of office quickly and conveniently in Outlook.

Kutools for Outlook - With more than 20 handy Outlook add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days

1. Click Kutools > Reply > Enable Auto Reply to active this utility.
doc auto reply 01

2. Get into the Auto Reply Manager by clicking Kutools > Reply > Auto Reply Manager. Check the Account Name that you want to apply this function, and click the OK button. You can also edit the subject and auto reply text as your need. See screenshots:

And now the auto reply setting has been successfully set up.

Tip: Once closing the Outlook application the Auto Reply feature will stop working.


arrow blue right bubbleDemo: Set out of office (automatic reply) with Kutools for Outlook

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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    maria · 2 months ago
    Hi,

    Can someone elaborate on how to use the "Rules" at the bottom of the initial screen under "Set out of office (automatic reply) with Out of Office Assistant with Exchange Account" before we click on OK

    https://www.extendoffice.com/images/stories/doc-outlook/doc-out-of-office/doc-auto-reply-04.png


    Would this allow for various out of office rules/replies pertaining to different topics such as away rule during holiday, or for a meeting, move announcement, etc.

    Thanks!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    tina · 1 years ago
    Thank you, whoever did this. But really Microsoft, the old box for managing alerts made setting up out of office messages so much easier!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    lynelpinto · 1 years ago
    You made my life simpler....Thank you for the Step by Step effort on Outlook.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Jacob · 1 years ago
    Is it possible to find a list of previous Out of Offices that I have set up?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Retep · 2 years ago
    Section on autoreply for non-techies excellent, very clear and works. Before Item 10 I think the instruction "click on Open" is necessary. Tried to do this quite a few times before and basically failed - this was GREAT.