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Automatic replies from distribution group do not work in Exchange Server 2003 or Exchange 2000 Server

This article was previously published under Q325469
When you send an e-mail message to a distribution group in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, if one of the group members associates a rule with the distribution group, the automatic replies to the originator do not fire and are not automatically returned.
This problem occurs because the distribution group is not set up to return automatic replies to the message originator.
In the Active Directory Users and Computers Microsoft Management Console (MMC), follow these steps:
  1. On the View menu, make sure that the Advanced Features option is selected.
  2. Double-click the distribution group that automatic replies do not work for.
  3. On the Exchange Advanced tab, click to select the Send out-of-office messages to originator check box.
  4. Click OK to close the properties of this group.
After this change replicates to all of the domain controllers that Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2000 is using, the automatic replies feature works as expected.
This behavior is by design.

Steps to Reproduce the Problem

  1. Create a global distribution group, and then name the group Group1.
  2. Create three users, and then name the users User1, User2, and User3.
  3. Make User2 and User3 members of Group1.
  4. Use Microsoft Outlook to log on to the mailbox of User2.
  5. In Outlook, use the Rules Wizard to create the following rule:
    1. In the Rules Wizard, click New.
    2. Click Start from a blank rule, click Check messages when they arrive, and then click Next.
    3. Click to select the Sent to people or distribution list check box, click Group1, and then click Next.
    4. Click to select the Have server reply using the specific message check box, create a message with any text in it, and then click Next.
    5. Click Finish to save the rule.
  6. Log on as User1, and then send a message to Group1. Notice that no automatic reply is received.
  7. Log on as User2 to verify that User2 receives a message from Group1.
XADM mmc snap-in

Article ID: 325469 - Last Review: 10/25/2007 17:24:03 - Revision: 3.5

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Standard Edition
  • kbprb KB325469