How to use the Out of Office Assistant in Outlook

Summary

This article describes how to use the "Automatic Replies (Out of Office)" and "Out of Office Assistant".

Note This feature is only available with an Exchange account that used by many organizations. Home users typically do not have the Exchange account. To enable Automatic Replies feature for non-Exchange account, please go to this section: How to enable Automatic Replies in non-exchange account.

How to turn on "Automatic Replies (Out of Office)" or the "Out of Office Assistant" 

For Microsoft Office Outlook 2016, 2013 and 2010

  1. Click the File tab, and then click the Info tab in the menu.

    Outlook File Menu Snapshot

  2. Click Automatic Replies (Out of Office).

    Outlook 2013 Out Of Office feature Snapshot
    Note If you do not see this option, you are not using an Exchange account. Please go to this section: How to enable Automatic Replies in non-exchange account.
  3. In the Automatic Replies dialog box, select the Send Automatic Replies check box.
  4. If you want to specify a set time and date range, select the Only send during this time range check box. Then set the Start time, and then set the End time.
  5. In the Inside my organization tab, type the message that you want to send within your organization, and in the Outside my organization tab, type the message that you want to send outside your organization.
  6. Click OK.
  7. If you selected the “Only send during this time range” option in step 4, the Automatic Replies (Out of Office) feature will continue to run until the date and time set for the End Time in step 5 is reached.
    Otherwise, the Automatic Replies (Out of Office) will continue to run until you repeat step 1 and select the “Do not send automatic replies” option.

For Microsoft Office Outlook 2007

For Microsoft Office Outlook 2003




How to enable Automatic Replies in non-exchange account

The “Automatic Replies (Out of Office)” or “Out of Office Assistant” feature is not available on non-Exchange accounts, such as Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail), POP3, IMAP.

However, you can combine an Outlook email template with Outlook rules to simulate the functionality of the “Automatic Replies (Out of Office)” feature. For more information, see the following articles:

More Information

How to determine whether you are using an Exchange account

For Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, and Outlook 2007

In Outlook, check the status bar. If you are using an Exchange account, the status bar shows "Connected to Microsoft Exchange."

Determine whether you are using an Exchange account Snapshot

For Outlook 2003

On the Tools menu, click Email Accounts, click View or Change Existing Email Accounts, and then check the type of account which you are using.


For Outlook 2003, determine whether you are using an Exchange account

How to manage email messages by using rules
Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2010: Manage messages by using rules

Outlook 2007: Manage messages by using rules

Outlook 2003: About managing messages with rules

Properties

Article ID: 290846 - Last Review: Sep 23, 2015 - Revision: 1

Feedback