How to Set an Out-Of-Office Message in Outlook

Out Of Office Message Outlook Featured Image

Are you taking a break from work and can’t respond to emails? You can set an out-of-office message in Outlook with personalized content and date range on Outlook for Windows, Mac, and the Web.

You may also want to plan ahead and schedule your emails in Outlook to be sent when you’re away.

How to Set an Out-Of-Office Message in Outlook.com

If you use Outlook in a web browser, follow these steps to set an out-of-office message:

  1. Visit Outlook and sign in.
  2. Click on the gear icon at the top right and click on “View all Outlook settings.”
Out Of Office Message Outlook Main
  1. Go to the “Mail” tab and click on “Automatic replies.” You can also use the search bar in the pop-up.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Settings
  1. Click on the toggle beside “Turn on automatic replies” to set it up.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Settings Mail Automatic Replies
  1. If you want the out-of-office message sent only during a specific period, check the box beside “Send replies only during a time period.” Otherwise, leave the box unchecked. If unchecked, automatic replies will be sent out right away, and you can turn them off manually.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Settings Mail Automatic Replies On
  1. If applicable, pick a time and date range.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Settings Mail Automatic Replies On Dates
  1. You can also choose to block your calendar, automatically decline event invitations, and decline or cancel meetings already in your calendar for the time period you choose.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Settings Mail Automatic Replies On Dates Calendar
  1. Type and format your message in the text box. If you leave it blank, your recipients will receive a blank email.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Settings Mail Automatic Replies On Dates Text Box
  1. If you want your out-of-office message to only be sent to your Outlook contacts, check the box beside “Send reply only to contacts.”
Out Of Office Message Outlook Settings Mail Automatic Replies On Dates Contacts Only
  1. When you’re done, click on the “Save” button.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Settings Mail Automatic Replies Save

How to Set an Out-Of-Office Message in Outlook for Windows

The Outlook app is preinstalled on the latest version of Windows. If you can’t find it on your computer, download Outlook from the Microsoft Store.

To set an out-of-office message in Outlook for Windows, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Outlook.
  2. Click on “File” in the menu bar.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Windows
  1. Select the email account you want to use from the drop-down menu in the “Info” tab.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Windows File
  1. Click on “Automatic Replies.”
Out Of Office Message Outlook Windows File Info
  1. Click on the radio button beside “Send automatic replies” in the dialog box that opens.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Windows Automatic Replies
  1. If you want your automatic replies to only be sent during a specified time period, check the box beside “Only send during this time range” and select a start and end time. Otherwise, leave the box unchecked to allow automatic replies indefinitely. You can turn them off manually.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Windows Automatic Replies On Set Dates 1
  1. Type and format your message. You can use Outlook keyboard shortcuts to format your message faster.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Windows Automatic Replies Text Box 1
  1. If you want to customize how your automatic replies work, click on the “Rules” button in the bottom-left corner.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Windows Automatic Replies Rules
  1. Click on “Add Rule” in the new pop-up.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Windows Automatic Replies Rules Window
  1. Set up the rule and click on the “OK” button when you’re finished. You’ll be taken back to the Automatic Reply Rules window with the rule you set up on the list.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Windows Automatic Replies Rules Window Add
  1. Exit the Automatic Reply Rules window.
  2. Click on the “OK” button after setting up your out-of-office message.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Windows Automatic Replies Ok

How to Set an Out-Of-Office Message in Outlook for Mac

If you’re using the Outlook app for Mac, follow the steps below to set an out-of-office message.

  1. Launch Outlook.
  2. Click on “Tools” from the menu bar and select “Automatic Replies.”
Out Of Office Message Outlook Mac Tools
  1. Check the box for “Send automatic replies for account [youremail@email.com].”
Out of Office Message Outlook Mac Tools Automatic Replies
  1. If your email is included in an email organization, you can set an automatic reply to your email organization’s members using the first text box. Skip this if it’s not relevant.
Screenshot
  1. If you have a time period for your automatic replies, check the box beside “Send replies only during this time period,” and select a start and end time. Otherwise, leave the box unchecked. When left unchecked, automatic replies will start right away, and you can turn them off manually.
Out of Office Message Outlook Mac Tools Automatic Replies On Period
  1. Choose whether you want your automatic reply to be sent to anyone or only users within your email organization.
Out of Office Message Outlook Mac Tools Automatic Replies On Recipients
  1. Type your message for external recipients in the second text box.
Out Of Office Message Outlook Mac Tools Automatic Replies On External
  1. Once you’re done, click on the “OK” button.
Out of Office Message Outlook Mac Tools Automatic Replies On Ok

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a character limit when setting an automatic reply?

There are no character limits for automatic replies in Outlook for Web, Windows, and Mac.

Is there a minimum or maximum time period for automatic replies?

No. The minimum interval between the start and end date on all platforms is 30 minutes, but there’s no maximum interval.

Image credit: Pixabay. All screenshots by Natalie dela Vega.

Natalie dela Vega
Natalie dela Vega

Natalie is a writer specializing in tech how-tos and gaming. When she's not writing, she plays PC games and travels. Here at MakeTechEasier, you will see her write about guides, tips, and solutions for Windows and iOS.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox