New Features in Outlook's Out of Office Assistant

When you know you're going to be out of the office for a few days (conference, vacation, etc.), you can set Outlook to automatically reply to emails for you.

And now that Pete & Jody have finished upgrading Winnefox's email server, we have an improved version of the Out of Office Assistant / Automatic Replies feature — yay!

Improvements:

  • You can specify a time range
  • You can specify that automatic replies are sent only to senders inside your organization (that is, any staff with an email account at a library inside the Winnefox Library System).  This is the appropriate setting.

IMPORTANT:  Do NOT auto-reply to people outside your organization. (If you were to do so and listservs and other automatic mailing systems receive notices from you that you are out of the office, you could be unsubscribed from the mailing list or service.)  When you turn the notification on, be sure to set it only for senders INSIDE the organization.

That said, here's how to use Automatic Replies (if you use Outlook 2010) and the Out of Office Assistant (if you use Outlook 2007):

Outlook 2010:

  1. Open Outlook, and click the File tab on the ribbon.
     
  2. Click the Automatic Replies button.

     
  3. Click the circle next to Send automatic replies.
    • Optional: you can specify a time range to have Outlook automagically turn on & off the Automatic Reply for the duration you choose.
       
  4. Click the Outside My Organization tab and make sure this is NOT checked (so it is turned off).
     
  5. Compose the message you want people to receive.
     
  6. Click the OK button.

     
  7. This will take you back to the File > Info page, where you'll see that the Automatic Replies feature is highlighted in yellow, and Outlook is confirming that it's turned on and automatic replies are being sent.

     
  8. If you didn't choose a time range or you want to turn off autoreplies manually, you can click the Turn off button there, or on the Home tab in Outlook.


Outlook 2007:

  1. Open Outlook and click on Tools
     
  2. Click Out of Office Assistant on the menu

     
  3. Click the circle next to Send automatic replies.
    • Optional: you can specify a time range to have Outlook automagically turn on & off the Automatic Reply for the duration you choose.
       
  4. Click the Outside My Organization tab and make sure this is NOT checked (so it is turned off).
     
  5. Compose the message you want people to receive.
     
  6. Click the OK button.

     
  7. This will pop up a notice at the bottom righthand corner of Outlook, to confirm you've successfully turned on the Out of Office Assistant.

     
  8. If you didn't choose a time range or you want to turn off autoreplies manually, you can click the Turn off button there, or on the Home tab in Outlook.

Watch this series of short video tutorials to learn how to manage e-mail messages with Rules and Automatic Replies.

Topic: 

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.