How to Setup Out of Office Reply in Outlook

Must Read To Set up an Out of Office Reply in Outlook Email

So you are finally ready for the vacation that you have been seeking for so long! But what about the important mails that you will be getting while you are out. If you are an Outlook user, then do not worry! The out of office reply technique will take care of it. The automated out of office reply system sends a pre-determined email to the persons who contact you through the Outlook email in a particular time range. The email will let them know that they should not frantically wait for a reply and will get one once you return. You can choose the start and the end of the time range as per your convenience. This article addresses the techniques on how to set up out of office in Outlook in its different versions and different devices.

How to set up Out of Office in Outlook 2016

Depending on your type of email account, there are two ways to set up out of office in Outlook. The first one directly uses the “automatic replies” option, while the other one uses rules to get the same result. Follow these steps-

  1. Click on the “File” option at the top left corner of your Outlook interface. In the resulting page, if you find the “automatic replies” option, then you can make use of it. But if you do not see it there, then you will have to use rules to set the out of office reply. First, let us go make use of the “Automatic Replies” button.
  2. Now, click on the “Automatic Replies (Out of Office)” option.
  3. In the resulting page, check on the “send automatic replies” button. It will be under the “do not send automatic replies” button, which is the default option.
  4. Next, select the time range for which you want the email senders to receive the automated out of office reply. The system will work only in the time range between the “start-time” and the “end time.” If you do not enter the “end time,” then you will have to turn it off later manually.
  5. Check the box that says, “Only send during this time range” above the time range settings.
  6. You can now choose to write two types of automated replies from your Outlook account. One for the email senders of your organization and another one for outsiders. Under the “Inside My Organization” tab, write the response that you want your colleagues to get while you are out. You can write the email just like a normal one with all the options in fonts, sizes, and lengths. Write the response for the outsiders under the “Outside My Organization” tab beside it.
  7. Once you are done, click on the “Ok” button on the right bottom corner of your screen. Your Out of Office reply is now set. Everyone who will contact you in the defined period of time will get the response that you have written for them just now.

Now, let us see the use of rules to set up out of office reply in Outlook mail.

  1. First, you will need to create an Outlook email template to use as an automated reply. You can create more than one model to use. Start the process by creating a new email. Type in an appropriate subject and body for the Out of office reply.
  2. Now, go to the files option on the top left corner and click on the “save as” option. It will bring up a new window.
  3. In the new save window, choose an appropriate name to the template and click on the drop-down menu beside the “save as type” option. Select the “Outlook Template (*.oft)” option from the list.
  4. Now, click on the “save” button. You can also choose the saving folder for the template as per your convenience. Keep in mind that you can use the same template multiple times for out of office replies. Or, you can make a new one every time the need arises.
  5. Next, you will need to set the rule to use the template as the Out of office reply. To initiate the process, click on the “File” option, followed by the selection of “Manage rules & alerts.”
  6. In the new window, select the “Email rules” tab and then choose the “New rule” option to create a new rule in your email account.
  7. Go for the “start from a blank rule” section. Follow it by opting for the “Apply rule on messages I receive” and then hit the “next” button.
  8. In the resulting window, you will need to leave the “Step 1” and “Step 2” boxes so that every email sender receives your out of office email. Hit the “next” button. When the email service asks if you want every email sender to receive the reply, click on the “Yes” option.
  9. Next, under the “Step 1: Select action(s)” option, choose “reply using a specific template.” In “Step 2: Edit the rule description,” go for “a specific template.”
  10. Above the “select a reply template,” choose “user templates in file system” under the “Look in” section.
  11. You will get the list of Outlook templates that you have created so far. Select the template that you want to use this time. After selection, click on the “Open” and “next” buttons on your screen.
  12. If you want to add some exception to your Out of office reply email, then you can do so at this point. Once it is done, click on “next.”
  13. Choose an appropriate name for your rule. If you want to apply this rule a few hours or days later, then you should uncheck the “Turn on this rule” option. By default, this box is checked.

These same steps are applicable for Outlook 2010, 2013, and 2019 versions also.

How to set up Out of Office in Outlook 2007

The steps to set up out of office email in Outlook 2007 are a bit different than its later versions. It is crucial as many old users are still using this version of Outlook. If you are one of them and you want to set up an automated reply for the email senders, then here are the steps to follow-

  1. Open your Outlook mail software. On the top bar of the resulting window, click on the “Tools” tab. It will bring up a list of menus.
  2. In the previous menu, choose the “Out of office assistant” option. It will bring up the dialogue box of Out of office assistant. You will need to check the box that says, “Send out of office auto-replies.”
  3. You would probably like to set a specific time range in which you will want the email senders to receive the automated reply. To ensure that, check the box that says, “Only send during this time range.” Then select the start and end time of that you want to keep this service active.
  4. Now, go to the “Inside my organization” tab to write the automated email for your colleagues. If you want to set a different email for those outsides of your organization, then you can do so in the “Outside my Organization” tab. After typing both the messages, click on the “Ok” button. The setting of your Out of office email is finished at this point.

Keep in mind that if you do not set a particular end date for the service, then you will have to stop it later manually. You can do so by checking on the box, “Do not send out of office auto-replies.”

How to set up Out of Office in Outlook calendar

Microsoft has also allowed creating an out of office calendar to its users. Here’s how you can avail this facility-

  1. First, open your Outlook email software and click on the “Calendar” option in the interface. It is located at the bottom left corner of the window.
  2. Now, select the calendar in which you would like to create the out of office indication.
  3. In the calendar, select a day.
  4. Next, you will need to choose the “New appointment” option under the “Home” tab.
  5. In the “subject” field, you should add an appropriate short description of the mail.
  6. Then you will need to choose the start date and time for the Out of office notification. The end date of the same should also be selected at the same time.
  7. Now, check the box next to the “all day” option.
  8. In the “Event” tab, you can opt for the “Out of Office” option under the “show as” tab.
  9. In the end, click on the “save & close” button on your screen.

Now, the people who have access to your shared calendar will know the period for which you will be unavailable in the office.

How to set up Out of Office in Outlook in Office 365

Follow these steps to set up out of office automatic email in Outlook in Office 365-        

  1. First, log into your Office 365 account by entering the right credentials. Once you are inside your Office 365 account, you will find various options on the landing page.
  2. Click on the “Mail” option on the landing page of Office 365. It will open up your Outlook mail account.
  3. In the Outlook mail account, click on the gear icon at the top right corner of the window. It will bring up a menu.
  4. In the menu that we have mentioned in the last step, choose the option “Automatic replies.” It will bring up the automatic replies window on your screen. It will host all the settings that you can set for the Out of office reply.
  5. Check the option “send automatic replies” to enable the changes in settings. Also, choose the option “send replies only during this time period.”
  6. Next, choose the start time and the end time for the Out of office reply. If you do not select an end time, then you will have to stop the process manually.
  7. Now, write the email that you want email senders of your organization on the space provided for the same. Keep in mind that the bottom space is offered to write the message that the people outside of your organization should get. You can either choose to keep the same email for both the sets or decide to send different ones. Once you are done typing the messages, click on the “Ok” button at the top of the same window. It marks the end of the set up of out of office reply in Office 365.

Set up out of office in Outlook Mac

We have discussed the techniques to set up Out of Office in different versions of Outlook so far. Now we will talk about the same in Mac devices. If you are looking for the same, here is how you can do it-

  1. Go over to your Outlook app in your Mac device. Click on the “Files” option, followed by the “Out of Office” section under it. 
  2. In the resulting pop-up window, check the option that says, “Send out of office messages.”
  3. In the provided space below the phrase “Reply to messages with,” write the mail that you want the email senders to receive during your absence. 
  4. After writing the mail, now it is time to choose the start and the end date for the Out of Office automated reply process. Choose the period as per your convenience.
  5. Next, check the box before the phrase “Send replies outside my company to” and then “anyone outside my company.” It will allow you to write an email that you want the email senders to get who is not a part of your organization. 
  6. Write the email and then hit the “Ok” button to finish the setup task in your Mac device.

So, here they are! Now you can set up your Outlook mail to send Out of Office messages in any version or device during your vacations.

Leave a Reply