Senders don't receive Out of Office notifications from an Office 365 user when Forwarding is enabled

Applies to: Exchange Online

PROBLEM


People who send an email message to an Office 365 user who set up an Out of Office notification don't receive the notification. However, an Out of Office MailTip for the user is displayed in the mail clients of the senders.

CAUSE


This issue may occur if one of the following conditions is true:
  • A forwarding rule or an automatic reply notification is set up in the user's mailbox. 
  • A global Exchange transport rule is created for this mailbox.
By design, a mailbox cannot have forwarding rules and an Out of Office notification active at the same time.

SOLUTION


To resolve this issue, determine whether a forwarding rule or an Exchange transport rule is set on the mailbox. To do this, follow these steps.

Step 1: Identify and remove a forwarding rule

To identify and remove a forwarding rule from an Exchange Online mailbox, follow these steps:
  1. Connect to Exchange Online by using Windows Remote PowerShell. For information about how to do this, see Connect to Exchange Online using Remote PowerShell.
  2. Type the following command, and then press Enter:
    Get-mailbox -identity <UserID> | FL *forwarding*,*deliver* 
    If forwarding is enabled on the mailbox, the command output resembles the following:

    ForwardingAddress: 
    ForwardingSmtpAddress: abc@contoso.com
    DeliverToMailboxAndForward: True
  3. If forwarding is enabled, disable it by running the following command:
    Set-Mailbox -Identity <UserID> -DeliverToMailboxAndForward $false -ForwardingSMTPAddress $null 

Step 2: Identify and remove Exchange transport rules

To identify and remove Exchange transport rules from an Exchange Online mailbox, follow these steps:
  1. Connect to Exchange Online by using Remote PowerShell. For information about how to do this, see Connect to Exchange Online using Remote PowerShell.
  2. Type the following command, and then press Enter:
    Get-TransportRule | FL Name,Description 
  3. If Exchange transport rules are enabled, follow these steps:
    1. Sign in to the Office 365 portal (https://portal.office.com) as an administrator.
    2. To open the Exchange admin center, click Admin, and then click Exchange.
    3. In the navigation pane, click mail flow, clear the rules that you want to delete, and then press Delete.

WORKAROUND


To set up email forwarding rules and an Out of Office notification at the same time, you have to set up Inbox rules for the mailbox instead of setting up a transport rule. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Sign in to the Office 365 portal (https://portal.office.com) as an administrator.
  2. To open the Exchange admin center, click Admin, and then click Exchange.
  3. In the upper-right corner, click your name, and then select Open Another user.
  4. Click Organize Mail, and then click Inbox Rules.
  5. Click New (Plus sign icon: New rule ), and then click Create a new rule for arriving messages.
  6. In the Name box, specify a name for the rule, and then click More options.
  7. Under When the Message Arrives, select Apply to all messages.
  8. Under Do the Following, point to Move, copy or delete, and then select Copy the Message to the Folder.
  9. Click Select Folder, and then select Inbox.
  10. Click Add Conditions.
  11. Under Forward the Messages to, select User whom you have to forward.
  12. Click Save.
Note If you want to forward the message to a user outside your organization, you must add that user as an external contact.

MORE INFORMATION


For more information about mail contacts, see Manage mail contacts.

For more information about how to use the Out of Office functionality in Exchange Online, see Send automatic replies when you’re out of the office.

For more information about how to create rules to forward mail, see Use rules to automatically forward messages.

For more information about how to set up automatic replies, see Automatic replies (formerly Out of Office assistant).

Still need help? Go to Microsoft Community.