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How to exclude certain email sender address from out of office replies in Outlook?

When setting Out of Office reply to all receiving emails in Outlook, you may need to exclude replying to certain email senders. Methods in this article can help you to solve this problem in details.

Exclude certain email sender address from out of office in Outlook
Exclude certain email sender address (internal users only) from out of office in Exchange account


Exclude certain email sender address from out of office in Outlook

If you are using IMAP or POP3 account in Outlook, you can exclude certain email sender address from out of office in Outlook by creating a rule. Please do as follows.

1. Firstly, you need to create an auto reply template. Please create a new email, composing it and save as an Outlook Template.

2. After creating the auto reply template, click Rules > Manage Rules & Alerts under Home tab. See screenshot:

3. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, click the New Rule button. See screenshot:

4. In the first Rules Wizard, select Apply rule on messages I receive in the Start from a blank rule section, and then click the Next button.

5. In the second Rules Wizard, click the Next button directly without selecting any conditions. In the popping up Microsoft Outlook dialog box, click the Yes button (with this setting, the auto reply email will send to all senders). See screenshot:

6. Then in the select actions Rules Wizard, select reply using a specific template option in the Step 1 box, and then click the “a specific template” link in the step 2 box. In the Select a Reply Template dialog box, choose User Templates in File System from the Look in drop down list, select the auto reply template you created in step 1, and then click the Open button. Click the Next button to go ahead. See screenshot:

7. Now you need to exclude senders from auto reply. In the following exceptions Rules Wizard, select except if from people or public group box in Step 1 box, click the people or public group link in the Step 2 box to select the senders’ email addresses, and then click the Next button.

8. In the last Rules Wizard window, name the rule and click the Finish button. See screenshot:

9. Click the OK button in the Rules and Alerts window to finish the rule.

From now on, the auto reply email will send to all received emails except for the specified senders.


Exclude certain email sender address (internal users only) from out of office in Exchange account

If you are using Exchange account in Outlook, you can exclude certain email sender from out of office reply as follows.
Note: This only applies for email addresses from inside your organisation.

1. Shift to the Exchange account in your Outlook, then click File > Info > Automatic Replies. See screenshot:

2. In the Automatic Replies dialog box, select the Send automatic replies option, specify the sending time as you need, and then click the Rules button under the Inside My Organization tab.

3. In the Automatic Reply Rules dialog box, click the Add Rule button.

Note: If you want to apply the rule for all Outlook profiles, check the Show rule for all profiles box, otherwise, uncheck it.

4. In the Edit Rule dialog box, you need to:

4.1 Click the From button to select the senders’ email addresses you will exclude from out of office;
4.2 Check the Reply with box, and then click the Template button to create the auto reply template;
4.3 Click the Advanced button. See screenshot:

5. In the Advanced dialog box, check the Only items that do not match these conditions box, and then click the OK button.

6. Click OK buttons. When it returns to the Automatic Replies dialog box, click the OK button, and then click the Yes button in the popping up Microsoft Outlook prompt box. See screenshot:

Now you have excluded specific senders from out of office replies in your Exchange account.


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Comments (10)
Rated 0.5 out of 5 · 1 ratings
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I used the Exchange instructions but my outlook is sending two out of office messages now. The standard and the advanced with from the rule. How do I turn off the standard reply?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Anj,

Please check if there is any out of office rule in your Outlook. Go to the Home tab, click Rules > Manage Rules & Alerts. If the corresponding rule exists, uncheck the check box before it and click the OK button in the Rules & Alerts dialog box to save the changes.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Terrible instructions. You are missing a step between steps 4.2 and 4.3.
And at step 6 I do not receive an Outlook prompt box.
Rated 0.5 out of 5
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I agree with Fransua. This is no longer working (Exchange).
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I have applied the rule but it is not working, is it a time for replication?
thank you
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thanks for the tips! Could you please also advise how many email accounts we can put on the exception field? I am trying to exclude about 200 persons email accounts and it seems not working. Is there any other way to auto-reply to all the persons except for these 200 persons? Thank you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Dai,
Only one email account can be put on the exception field if you check the "except through the specified account" option in the exception step.
Maybe you can create a Contact Group with these 200 persons in it, and specify this group directly when selecting exceptions.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This Doesn't work for External users so is misleading and should be re-written.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Jim Short,
Thanks for your reminder! Specific note has been added to the article.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi I've followed your "Exclude certain email sender address from out of office in Exchange account" but this only applies for email addresses from inside my organisation. If I use the "Outside my organisation" tab I get an error saying it cannot be empty. Clould you help me with this?

Thanks in advance
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