Article ID: 311107 - View products that this article applies to.
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Summary

The Out of Office Assistant feature in Microsoft Outlook is a Microsoft Exchange Server service. It is available only when the Exchange Server transport service is included in an Outlook user's profile. You can emulate this feature by creating an e-mail template and defining a rule in the Rules Wizard to automatically reply with the template.

NOTE: Microsoft has confirmed there is no working process to achieve these end results for Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.

More information

How to define an automatic reply template

Microsoft Office Outlook 2010

  1. Click New E-Mail on the Ribbon.
  2. On the Format Text tab, click Plain Text.
  3. Type the information that you want to have in your reply message.
  4. Click File on the Ribbon, and then click Save As.
  5. In the Save As dialog box, click to select the Outlook Template check box in the Save as type list.
  6. Type a name for your reply template in the File name box, and then click Save.

Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 and earlier versions of Outlook

NOTE: To complete these steps, do not use Microsoft Word as your e-mail editor.
If Microsoft Word is currently set to be your default email editor, you will need to turn that off.
Otherwise, the "Outlook Template" option will not be visible in step 4.
After you complete step 5, you may return Word back to being your default email editor.
  1. Open a new Outlook message formatted as plain text.
  2. Type the information that you want to have in your reply message.
  3. On the File menu, click Save As.
  4. In the Save As dialog box, click to select the Outlook Template check box in the Save As Type list.
  5. Type a name for your reply template in the File Name box, and then click Save.

How to define a rule to send an automatic reply


Mirosoft Office Outlook 2010

  1. Click the File tab in the Ribbon, and then click the Info tab on the menu.
  2. In the Rules and Alerts tab, click the New Rule button on the E-mail Rules tab.
  3. In the Rules Wizard under Start from a blank rule, click Check messages when they arrive, and then click Next.
  4. Under Which condition(s) do you want to check, click to select the Sent Only To Me check box or any other check box that you want, and then click Next.
  5. Under What do you want to do with the message, click to select the Reply using a specific template check box.
  6. Under Step 2: Edit the Rule Description, click the underlined phrase a specific template.
  7. In the Select A Reply Template dialog box, click the template that you saved in step 6 of the "How to Define an Automatic Reply Template" section, and then click Open.
  8. Complete the Rules Wizard instructions, click Finish, and then click OK.


Microsoft Office Outlook 2003

  1. On the Tools menu, click Rules and Alerts.
  2. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, click the New Rule button on the E-mail Rules tab.
  3. In the Rules Wizard, click the Start from a blank rule button, click Check messages when they arrive, and then click Next.
  4. Under Which condition(s) do you want to check?, click to select the Sent Only To Me check box or any other check box that you want, and then click Next.
  5. Under What do you want to do with the message?, click to select the Reply using a specific template check box.
  6. On the Step 2: Edit the Rule Description page of the wizard, click the underlined phrase a specific template.
  7. In the Select A Reply Template dialog box, click the template that you saved in step 5 of the "How to Define an Automatic Reply Template" section, and then click Open.
  8. Complete the Rules Wizard instructions, click Finish, and then click OK.

Outlook 2002, in Outlook 2000, and in Outlook 98

  1. On the Tools menu, click Rules Wizard.
  2. In the Rules Wizard dialog box, click New.
  3. Under Which type of rule do you want to create?, click Start from a blank rule, click Check messages when they arrive, and then click Next.
  4. Under Which condition(s) do you want to check?, click to select the Sent Only To Me check box or any other criteria that you want, and then click Next.
  5. Under What do you want to do with the message?, click to select the Reply using a specific template check box.
  6. Under Rule Description, click the underlined phrase, a specific template.
  7. In the Select A Reply Template dialog box, click the template that you saved in step 5 of "How to Define an Automatic Reply Template," and then click Open.
  8. Complete the Rule Wizard instructions, click Finish, and then click OK.
The Rules Wizard rule to "reply using a specific template" is designed to send the reply only one time to each sender during a session. This prevents Outlook from sending repetitive replies to a sender from whom you receive multiple messages.

During a session, Outlook remembers the list of users to whom it has responded. When you restart Outlook, this list is deleted and the rule is reset to start again for each sender.

NOTE: Outlook must be running for the Rules Wizard to automatically reply. Additionally, Outlook 2007 must be running and configured to check periodically for new messages.

For additional information about how to emulate the Out of Office Assistant in Outlook Express, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
267880 Out of Office Assistant is not available in Outlook Express

Properties

Article ID: 311107 - Last Review: September 4, 2013 - Revision: 8.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2010
Keywords: 
kbPubTypeKC kbhowto consumeroff2010track KB311107

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