Sometimes when you’re on a vacation, business trip, or holiday, you won’t be able to respond to your emails. In such cases, you can use the Out of Office feature in Outlook to automatically reply for you.
Out of office automatic reply is a convenient feature in Microsoft Outlook that forwards a preset email when someone emails you. You can also configure Outlook to forward a preset email within a set time frame or keep forwarding it indefinitely until you stop it yourself.
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How to Put Out of Office on Outlook?
There are different methods to set up an Out of Office auto-reply depending on whether you’re using Outlook web or application. In the Outlook desktop version, the steps will also vary if you’re using the mac operating system.
On Desktop App
If you use the Outlook desktop application, it is easy to set and configure an out of office automatic reply. However, to use the automatic reply feature in Outlook, you will need an outlook email account or a Microsoft Exchange account.
- Open Outlook.
- Click on the File tab at upper right.
- Select Automatic Replies.
- Choose Send automatic replies in the new window.
- If you want to send the Out of Office email indefinitely until you stop it, leave the Only send during this time range option unchecked.
- Check the Only send during this time range option if you want the Out of Office email to be forwarded only for a set time.
- Select your starting date and time and your ending date and time.
- Type your preset email in the text box at the bottom.
- If you want to send different emails to people within and outside your organization, write separate emails within the Inside My Organization and Outside My Organization text box.
- Click OK.
To switch off your Out of Office automatic replies, click the Turn off button at the top when you open Outlook.
The above steps will work for all of the latest versions of Outlook. However, if you’re using the 2007 version, the methods to access Automatic Replies are slightly different.
- In Outlook, click on the Tools tab.
- Select Out of Office Assistant.
- Choose I am currently Out of the Office option.
- Type in your preset email.
- Click OK.
To switch off your Out of Office automatic replies in Outlook 2007, select the Out of Office tab at the bottom right and click on Turn off Out of Office auto-replies.
On Outlook Web
While the methods to set up an automatic reply in the Outlook web app are similar, the web application’s user interface differs a little.
If you want to put Out of Office on Outlook web, here’s how you can do so:
- Go to Outlook on the web.
- Click on the setting icon in the upper right.
- Select View all Outlook settings.
- Go to Mail > Automatic replies.
- Toggle on Turn on automatic replies.
- If you want to set a time frame for your automatic replies, select the Send replies only during a time period option and set the starting and ending time.
- Type in your preset email for people within and outside your organization.
- If you don’t want to forward automatic replies to people outside your organization, select the Send replies only to contacts option instead of Send replies outside your organization.
- Click Save.
If you want to edit or turn Off your automatic replies, go to the Automatic replies setting as shown above and toggle off Turn on automatic replies or edit your auto replies there.
On Outlook Mac
Outlook on a mac OS computer also has a different method of accessing the automatic replies feature. Here’s how you can do so:
- Open Outlook.
- Go to the Tools tab and click on Automatic Replies. (If you’re using the legacy version of Outlook, click on the Out of Office option.)
- Set up your automatic replies using the same steps as above.
- Click OK.
How to Put Out of Office on Outlook Using IMAP or POP3 Account?
The Out of Office auto-reply feature in Outlook is only available for people who use the outlook email account. If you have other email accounts like IMAP, POP3, or Gmail connected to your Outlook app, you won’t be able to access the Automatic replies setting.
However, you can still get around this issue by using the rules feature in Outlook.
- Launch Outlook.
- Select the New Email option in the ribbon menu.
- Type in your preset email that will be forwarded as an automatic reply. (Leave the To field empty.)
- Click on File and select Save As.
- Name the saved email. (You can name it anything you like.)
- In the Save as type option, select Outlook Template.
- Selecting the file to be saved as Outlook Template will automatically move you to the default location for saving templates.
- Click Save if you want to save it in the default location.
- If you want to save the template in a different location, navigate to where you want to save that template.
- Click Save and confirm.
- In Outlook, select the File tab at the top right.
- Click on the Rules & Alerts option and select New Rule.
- Under Start from a blank rule, select the Apply rule on messages I receive option.
- Click Next and click on Next again without changing anything in the new window.
- Click Yes to apply this rule to all messages.
- In Step 1: Select action(s) heading, check reply using a specific template.
- In Step 2: Edit the rule description, click on the a specific template option.
- If you have saved your outlook template in the default location, choose User Templates in File System next to Look in.
- If you have it saved in a different location, click on Browse, and navigate to the folder containing that template and open the folder.
- Select your outlook template and click Open and Next.
- Click Next again. (If you want to add any exceptions, you can do so here.)
- Name your rule if you want, and ensure Turn on this rule is selected.
- Click on Finish.
- Click Apply and OK.