Set up automatic replies in Outlook

  1. Let others know when you can’t respond to emails
  2. How to determine if you have an Exchange account
  3. Create an automatic email reply template
  4. Create an out-of-office auto-reply rule
  5. Turn automatic replies on and off for IMAP and POP email accounts
  6. Automatic replies for Microsoft Exchange accounts
  7. Outlook autoresponder tools and add-ons
  8. Enable automatic replies on

Let others know when you can’t respond to emails

Outlook’s powerful automatic out-of-office response ensures that while you’re gone, people know you’re unavailable when you return, and what to do if they have an issue that needs immediate attention.

How you set up an out of office response in Outlook depends on whether your email account is located on a Microsoft Exchange server, or whether it is an IMAP or POP email account (for example, regular email services such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Others ). ,

The instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013; Outlook for Office 365 and

How to determine if you have an Exchange account

If you’re not sure if you’re using Outlook with an Exchange account, check the status bar at the bottom of the Outlook window. If you’re using an Exchange account, you’ll see “Connected to: Microsoft Exchange” in the status bar.

Create an automatic email reply template

To configure Outlook Auto-Reply for an IMAP or POP email account (for Exchange, see further below), use the Outlook Rules feature. Start by creating an auto-responder email that is sent to recipients while you are away.

  1. Select New email address .

  2. Enter Subject for an email and a message body telling the recipient that you are not available.

    Let recipients know when to expect a personalized response from you, and be mindful of how much information you disclose in your auto-reply, as disclosing too much information can be risky.

  3. When you’re done composing your auto-reply message, select File.

  4. Select Save as .

  5. Click the drop-down arrow Save as type and choose Outlook Template .

  6. Outlook defaults to template subject as name in text box file name . Change this to whatever you want so you know this is your out of office email template file.

  7. Select Save .

  8. Close the message box.

Create an out-of-office auto-reply rule

The next step for IMAP or POP email accounts is to set up an Outlook rule. This rule sends a response using the template you created in the previous section.

  1. Select File > Information .

  2. Select Manage Rules and Alerts .

  3. Select tab Email Rules .

  4. In chapter Apply changes to this folder , select the email account for which you are creating an automatic reply.

    You have the option to apply the new rule to all accounts at a later stage.

  5. Select new rule .

  6. In chapter Start with an empty line select Apply rule to received messages .

  7. Select Further .

  8. In chapter Step 1. Choose conditions , Check the box Where is my name in the To field .

    An auto-reply rule will reply to all incoming emails if all conditions are met.

  9. Select Further .

  10. In chapter Step 1. Choose an action(s) Check the box response with a specific pattern .

  11. In chapter Step 2: Edit the rule description (click on the underlined value) , select link a for a specific template .

  12. Click the drop-down arrow Search in and then select User templates in the file system .

  13. Highlight the template you created.

  14. Select Open .

  15. In the dialog box Rule master select Further .

  16. In chapter Step 1. Select the exception(s) Check the box , except when it’s an automatic reply .

  17. Select Further .

  18. In chapter Step 1: Give this rule a name , enter a name for the auto-answer rule.

  19. In chapter Step 2: Adjustment rule options Check the box Enable this rule if you want to activate the autoresponder. If you don’t want the automatic reply to be active now, clear the check box.

    If you have multiple email accounts where you want to use this autoresponder, please check the box Make this rule for all accounts .

  20. Select Finished .

  21. In the dialog box Rules and Warnings select Okay .

Outlook sends an auto-responder to the address of every email received once per session; a second auto-reply is sent after closing and reopening Outlook.

Turn automatic replies on and off for IMAP and POP email accounts

For IMAP and POP email accounts, turn on autoresponder when you need it. Go to File > Manage Rules and Alerts > Email Rules , and check the box next to Auto Reply. Arrange and then select Okay .

To disable a respondent, uncheck the box and select Okay .

Automatic replies for Microsoft Exchange accounts

If your email account is a Microsoft Exchange account (you can set up an account as an Exchange account in Outlook), you can set up an out-of-office autoresponder directly on the server. Follow these steps for Outlook 2019, 2016, and Outlook for Office 365.

  1. Select File > Information .

  2. Select Automatic Replies .

  3. Select Send automatic replies . Compose your auto-reply message in the text field.

    Go to the dialog to turn off automatic replies Automatic Replies and choose Do not send automatic replies . Automatic replies are no longer sent.

  4. Not necessary: Set the time period that the autoresponder should be active. Check box Only ship within this period . Then install Start time and End time . Only messages received within this range will be answered automatically.

  5. If you work within a company or organization, you may have additional options for your automatic replies:

    • Within my organization . This message is sent to messages received from others in the same company or organization as you.
    • Outside my organization . The message will be sent to people outside your organization. Check box Autoresponder outside my organization .

    There are security risks associated with automatic replies.

  6. Select Okay .

Outlook autoresponder tools and add-ons

Instead of manually setting up a rule in Outlook, use an add-on like Mail Responder for Outlook or tools like Email Responder (FreeBusy) or Auto Reply Manager. These tools allow you to send only the required out of office responses.

To centrally store out of office responses on an Exchange server (including templates with fields merged with Active Directory), try Symprex Out-of-Office Manager.

Enable automatic replies on

Enabling automatic replies on is a simple process. This feature does not offer as many options as the Outlook software but it is easy to use.

  1. From the email page, select: Settings > View all Outlook settings .

  2. Select mail > Automatic Replies .

  3. Turn on the switch Enable automatic replies .

    Turn off the switch to disable automatic replies Automatic replies when .

  4. Not necessary: Check box Send replies only within a certain time . Specify Start time and End time . Automatic replies are only sent during this period.

  5. Enter the message you want to send with automatic replies turned on.

  6. Not necessary: Check box Only send replies to contacts to send automatic replies only to people and email addresses in your contacts.

  7. Select Save .

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