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:
- Visit Outlook and sign in.
- Click on the gear icon at the top right and click on “View all Outlook settings.”
- Go to the “Mail” tab and click on “Automatic replies.” You can also use the search bar in the pop-up.
- Click on the toggle beside “Turn on automatic replies” to set it up.
- 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.
- If applicable, pick a time and date range.
- 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.
- Type and format your message in the text box. If you leave it blank, your recipients will receive a blank email.
- 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.”
- When you’re done, click on the “Save” button.
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:
- Launch Outlook.
- Click on “File” in the menu bar.
- Select the email account you want to use from the drop-down menu in the “Info” tab.
- Click on “Automatic Replies.”
- Click on the radio button beside “Send automatic replies” in the dialog box that opens.
- 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.
- Type and format your message. You can use Outlook keyboard shortcuts to format your message faster.
- If you want to customize how your automatic replies work, click on the “Rules” button in the bottom-left corner.
- Click on “Add Rule” in the new pop-up.
- 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.
- Exit the Automatic Reply Rules window.
- Click on the “OK” button after setting up your out-of-office message.
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.
- Launch Outlook.
- Click on “Tools” from the menu bar and select “Automatic Replies.”
- Check the box for “Send automatic replies for account [email@example.com].”
- 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.
- 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.
- Choose whether you want your automatic reply to be sent to anyone or only users within your email organization.
- Type your message for external recipients in the second text box.
- Once you’re done, click on the “OK” button.
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.
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