Send automatic Out of Office replies from Outlook for Mac

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.

I have an Exchange server account

I have an Outlook.com, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! or other POP or IMAP account

I'm not sure what type of account I have

I have an Exchange server account

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.

    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, check the Send automatic replies for account "X" box (where "X" is the account you'd like to send out of office replies from).

    Send automatic replies

  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.

    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).

I have an Outlook.com, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! or other POP or IMAP account

You can set up an 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, click Mail.

    Click Mail

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

  3. In the left pane of the Rules box, click the 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, click Add a rule Add a rule .

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

    Create a rule

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

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

    Click Mail

  2. On the Organize tab, click Rules, and then click 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 click OK.

    Clear the Enabled check box.

I'm not sure what type of account I have

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

    Click Mail

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

  3. In the Rules box, click Show All.

    Click an account type

  4. In the Outlook Preferences box, under Personal Settings, click Accounts.

    Outlook Preferences box

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

  6. To return to the Rules box, click Show All, and then under Email, click Rules.

    Under Email, click Rules.

  7. To configure an automatic reply rule, go to step 4 in I have an Outlook.com, 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 server account.

Top of page

See also

Create a rule in Outlook 2016 for Mac

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.

I have an Exchange server account

I have a POP or IMAP email account

I'm not sure what kind of account I have

I have an Exchange server account

Turn on the Out of Office Assistant
  1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click Mail  Mail view button .

    Note: If you have multiple Exchange accounts, you must turn the Out of Office Assistant on or off for each account separately. To choose an account for which you want to turn on the Out of Office Assistant, select a folder in the account in the folder list before you continue to the next step.

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

    Tools tab, group 2

  3. Click Send Out of Office messages.

  4. In the Reply to message with box, type the text that you want to include in your automatic reply.

  5. Do either of the following.

    To

    Do this

    Set start and end dates for an Out of Office message

    Select the I am out of the office between check box, and then set your Start date and End date.

    Set options for replying outside your organization (if enabled by your Microsoft Exchange administrator)

    Select the Send replies outside my company to check box, and then complete the information.

The Out of Office Assistant works with the server that is running Microsoft Exchange Server to automatically reply to email messages while you are out of the office. Because the Exchange server sends the messages (not Outlook), Outlook does not need to be open for the reply messages to be sent.

Note: Your delegate cannot turn on or turn off the Out of Office Assistant for you.

Turn off the Out of Office Assistant
  1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click Mail  Mail view button .

    Note: If you have multiple Exchange accounts, you must turn the Out of Office Assistant on or off for each account separately. To choose an account for which you want to turn off the Out of Office Assistant, select a folder in the account in the folder list before you continue to the next step.

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

    Tools tab, group 2

  3. Click Do not send Out of Office messages.

    Tip: If you set a start and end date for your Out of Office message, it will turn off automatically when it reaches the end date. If you want to turn off the Out of Office message before the end date, click Do not send Out of Office messages.

I have a POP or IMAP email account

You can set up an email rule in Outlook to automatically reply to new email messages. Rules can be set up for all account types in Outlook, including POP and IMAP accounts.

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

Create an email rule to automatically reply to incoming mail messages
  1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click Mail  Mail view button .

  2. On the Organize tab, click Rules, and then click Edit Rules.

    Organize tab, group 3

  3. In the left pane of the Rules dialog box, click the account type for which you want to create the rule. If you don't know which type of account you have, go to I'm not sure what kind of account I have.

  4. Click Add  Add .

  5. In the Rule name box, type a name for the rule, such as Vacation response.

  6. Under the Add Action button, on the Change status pop-up menu, click Reply.

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

  8. Make sure that the Enabled check box is selected, and then click OK.

  9. To turn off the automatic reply messages, double-click the rule to open it, and then clear the Enabled check box.

    Tip: You can also turn off a rule by clearing the check box next to the name of the rule in the Rules dialog box.

Turn off an email rule
  1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click Mail  Mail view button .

  2. On the Organize tab, click Rules, and then click Edit Rules.

    Organize tab, group 3

  3. In the left pane of the Rules dialog box, click the account type for which you want to create the rule. If you don't know which type of account you have, go to I'm not sure what kind of account I have.

  4. Double-click the rule to open it, and then clear the Enabled check box.

    Tip: You can also turn off a rule by clearing the check box next to the name of the rule in the Rules dialog box.

I'm not sure what kind of account I have

  1. In the Rules dialog box, click Show All, and then under Personal Settings, click Accounts.

  2. In the left pane of the Accounts dialog box, click the account.The account type appears under the account description. In this example, the account is a POP account.

    Account type indicator

  3. To return to the Rules dialog box, click Show All, and then under Email, click Rules.

Top of page

See also

Create or edit a rule in Outlook for Mac 2011

I can't connect to my Exchange account

About sharing and delegation

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!

×