You can send automatic (Out of Office) replies from Outlook whenever you want to let people who send you email know that you won’t be responding to their messages right away.

There are two different ways to set up automatic replies. The method you choose depends on the type of email account you have in Outlook.

You can set up automatic replies for when you're out of the office and specify an end date so that the replies will stop automatically when you return, or you can manually turn off automatic replies.

Set up automatic replies when you're out of the office

  1. At the bottom left corner of the of the navigation pane, click Mail.

  2. On the Tools tab, click Out of Office.

    On the Tools tab, click Out of Office.

  3. In the Autoreply Settings box select the account on the left you want to setup the out of office reply, check the Send automatic replies for account "X" box (where "X" is the account you'd like to send out of office replies from).

  4. Under Reply once to each sender with, enter your automatic reply.

  5. To set the start and end dates, select the Only send replies during this time period check box, and enter the start and end dates and times.

    Note: When you check this box and set start and end dates and times, your out of office replies will turn off automatically when the end date and time occurs.

  6. To set options for replying to people outside your organization (if it is enabled by your Exchange administrator), check the Also send replies to senders outside my organization box, select Send to all external senders, and under Reply once to each external sender with, enter your automatic reply.

  7. Click OK.

Turn off automatic replies

  1. At the bottom left corner of the of the navigation pane, click Mail.

  2. On the Tools tab, click Out of Office.

    On the Tools tab, click Out of Office.

  3. Clear the Send automatic replies for account "X" box (where "X" is the account you'd like to turn off Out of Office replies for).

You can set up a mail rule in Outlook to automatically reply to new email messages. You can set up mail rules for all account types in Outlook, including Exchange, POP, and IMAP accounts.

Important: Because email rules are run by Outlook and not the mail server, your computer must be turned on and Outlook must be open for automatic reply messages to be sent.

Create an email rule to automatically reply to incoming messages

  1. At the bottom left corner of the of the navigation pane, choose Mail.

  2. On the Organize tab, choose Rules, and select Edit Rules.

  3. In the left pane of the Rules box, selectthe account type that you want to create the rule for, such as Exchange, IMAP, or POP.

    Click an account type

    Tip: If you don't know what type of account you have, see I'm not sure what type of account I have, and then return to step 4 in this section.

  4. In the Rules box, choose Add a rule Add a rule.

  5. In the Rule name box, enter a name for the rule, such as Vacation Reply.

    Create a rule

  6. Under Do the following, select the Change status button, and choose Reply.

  7. Click Reply Text, and type the automated reply that you want Outlook to send, and select OK.

    Reply text

    In the Rules box you'll see the Vacation Reply rule you created.

    Vacation reply rule

    Note: Outlook will send automatic replies based on the rule you created until you manually turn off the email rule.

Manually turn off an email rule

  1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, choose Mail.

  2. On the Organize tab, select Rules, and then choose Edit Rules.

  3. In the Rules box, double-click the rule you want to turn off.

    Vacation reply rule

  4. Clear the Enabled check box, and choose OK.

    Clear the Enabled check box.

  1. In the Outlook menu bar choose Tools > Accounts.

  2. In the Accounts box, in the left pane, click the account.

  3. Above the Account Description on the right, the account type will be listed.

  4. To return to the Rules box, click Show All, and choose Rules.

    Under Email, click Rules.

  5. To configure an automatic reply rule, go to step 4 in I have a Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! or other POP or IMAP account. To set up an Out of Office reply for an Exchange server account, go to I have an Exchange out Outlook.com account.

See also

Create a rule in Outlook for Mac

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