This article was previously published under Q267880
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For information about the differences between Microsoft Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook e-mail clients, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
257824 OL2000: Differences Between Outlook and Outlook Express
The Out Of Office Assistant is not available in Outlook Express. You may be able to duplicate its functionality by applying message rules.
The Out of Office Assistant is a feature of Microsoft Outlook that enables you to automatically reply to e-mail messages from people who send you mail when you are not available. Outlook Express does not have this functionality. To simulate the functionality of an Out of Office Assistant in Outlook Express you must first create an out of office message, and then an out of office rule. Additionally, it is important to remember that this function only works while Outlook Express is running and logged on to the e-mail server.
How to Create an Out of Office Message
Start Outlook Express.
Click File, New, and then click Mail Message.
Type the message that you want to use as an out of office message, click File, and then click Save As.
Enter a name for the mail message in the File name box, select the folder that you want to save the mail message in, and then click Save.
Close the message and proceed to the steps to create the out of office rule.
How to Create an Out of Office Rule
Start Outlook Express.
On the Tools menu, point to Message Rules, and then click Mail.
In the Select the Conditions for your rule dialog box, click to select the For All Messages check box.
In the Select the Actions for your rule dialog box, click to select the Reply with Message check box.
In the Rule Description dialog box, click Message.
In the Open dialog box, locate the file that you named in the "How to Create an Out of Office Message" section, click the file, and then click Open.
In the Name of the Rule dialog box, name the rule, and then click OK.
Click OK to close the Message Rules dialog box.
To test your rule, send yourself a message from a different e-mail account. Rules are not applied to mail that you send to yourself in the same e-mail account when you use Outlook Express.