Send and receive messages

Send automatic reply messages

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Set an automatic out-of-office reply to let people know that you cannot respond to email messages right away. When you're ready, you can turn off the automatic replies.

Send automatic replies
  1. Select File > Info > Automatic Replies.

  2. Select Send automatic replies.

  3. Select the Only send during this time range checkbox, and then select the dates and Start time and End time.

  4. To set an automatic reply that everyone in your organization will see:

    • Select the Inside My Organization tab.

    • In the message body, type the message you want people to see.

    • Select OK.

    Your Out of Office message for people in your organization will turn on, for the dates and times you chose.

  5. To set an automatic reply that people outside your organization will see:

    • Select the Outside My Organization tab.

    • Select the Auto-reply to people outside my organization checkbox.

    • Select either My Contacts only or Anyone outside my organization.

    • In the message body, type the message you want people to see.

    • Select OK.

    Your Out of Office message for people outside your organization will turn on, for the dates and times you chose

  6. Select the Back arrow to return to the Inbox.

Turn off automatic replies
  1. Select File > Info > Automatic Replies.

  2. Select the Do not send automatic replies checkbox.

  3. Select OK.

  4. Select the Back arrow to return to the Inbox.

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Send automatic "Out-of-Office" replies from Outlook for Windows

Automatically reply to email messages without using an Exchange Server account

When you go on vacation, you probably change your voicemail on your phone telling callers the dates you'll be unavailable to return their calls.

You can do the same type of thing with email and it's called Out of Office.

Outlook will auto-respond to anyone that emails you during the dates that you'll be away with a message that you specify.

It's important to note that this functionality is supported in Outlook only if you're connected to an Exchange or Office 365 account.

If you're using POP or IMAP, you can create a message rule to send out a reply to all incoming messages.

However, the Outlook client has to be open and running.

I'm using Gmail for IMAP.

Gmail has it's own vacation responder built right into their web interface.

So you should check first with your email provider to make sure they don't already have this functionality. In my Landon Hotel account, however, let's create an Out of Office message. Select "File" from the ribbon tab.

Make sure you're on the "Info" tab on the left hand side and select Automatic Replies.

It's going to open up the Automatic Replies dialog box and the first thing you need to do is change to the Send automatic replies radio button.

You can specify a time range, but you don't have to.

Not specifying a time range is a great option for an unmonitored mailbox to send an auto reply back telling senders that this is in fact an unmonitored mailbox.

I'll place a checkbox here to set a date range for when I'm going to be away.

I'll be away the 24th through the 28th. I can even set the start and end time.

The automatic replies will reply once for each sender with a message that I specify.

I'm going to type it in now.

This is a message that everybody inside my organization will see.

If I'd like everybody outside of my organization, that is, external email addresses, to see my message I can create a new message just for them. I'll select Auto-reply to people outside my organization..

I can choose to have it autoreply to my contacts only or everybody.

I can type a new message.

When I'm done, click OK. And my Out of Office message will be turned on.

I can click the arrow on the top left-hand side to return to my Inbox.

A great thing about the Out of Office message with Exchange or Office 365 is that Outlook does not have to be open or running and my computer doesn't have to be turned on for it to work.

When I'm back in the office it will automatically turn itself off after the date that I told it that I was returning.

However if I need to turn it off ahead of time or change it for any reason I can select File, change to the Info tab, click Automatic Replies and choose to Do not send automatic replies. I'll click OK.

I'll click the arrow to get back to my Inbox.

And now, the Out of Office automatic responder has been turned off.

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