Turn on or off Out of Office replies

You can send an out of office e-mail message to people while you are out of the office. If your mail account is a Microsoft Exchange account, you can use the Out of Office Assistant. For POP or IMAP accounts, you can set up a mail rule to automatically reply to new e-mail messages.

Do any of the following:

Turn on the Out of Office Assistant for an Exchange account

The Out of Office Assistant works with the server that is running Microsoft Exchange Server to automatically reply to e-mail 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.

  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 any 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.

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

Turn off the Out of Office Assistant for an Exchange account

  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.

Create a mail rule to automatically reply to incoming mail messages

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

Important   Because mail 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.

  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 what type of account you 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 E-mail, click Rules.

  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 a mail 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 what type of account you 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 E-mail, click Rules.

  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.

See also

Create a rule

Edit a rule

I can't connect to my Exchange account

About sharing and delegation

Applies To: Outlook for Mac 2011



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