How to set out of office auto reply in Outlook

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
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If you regularly send and receive emails but plan to go on vacation soon, setting up automated replies will be a lifesaver. Automatic replies are machine-generated texts that activate once you receive an email but are out of the office to respond. That way, the sender will know you're out of the office for a vacation, and it'll save your inbox from being bombarded with follow-up emails.


If you're looking for an easy way to set up out-of-office replies in Outlook, this guide is for you. The article below discusses how to configure "out of office" replies in Outlook on various platforms.


How to configure Out of Office in Outlook on PC

If you use the web version of Outlook on PC to send and receive email, setting up an "out of office" reply can be done quickly in just a few steps. All you have to do is:

  1. Log in to your Outlook account on your browser.
  2. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner.
  3. Click "Show all Outlook settings".
  4. Select the "Mail" tab.
  5. Enable the “Automatic replies enabled” option.
  6. Type your "out of office" response in the text box.
  7. Click "Save" and the window will close.

In step 5, under "Automatic replies enabled", you will find another option called "Send replies only during a specific time period". This option is ideal if you want to send out-of-office replies only for a limited time, such as the start and end of your vacation.


Enabling this option also saves you the extra step of going back to Outlook when you want to turn off automatic replies.


How to Set Out of Office in Outlook on iPhone App

Outlook has a fantastic mobile version available on the App Store. If you manage your emails from the convenience of your iPhone, setting up “Out of Office” replies is pretty straightforward.

Here are the steps to get started:

  1. Launch the "Outlook" application on your iPhone.
  2. Click on “Home”.
  3. Click on the “Settings” icon.
  4. Select your Outlook account.
  5. Tap on the “Automatic Replies” option.
  6. Tap the "Automatic Replies" button to enable "Out of Office" replies.
  7. Type the "out of office" in the text box under the "Automatic replies" toggle.

Once back in your office, simply go back to your Outlook account in the Outlook app and follow the same steps up to step 6. Tap the "Automatic replies" button to turn off "out of office" replies.

How to Configure Out of Office in Outlook on an Android

Working on the Android Outlook app is a great experience, but turning on your “out of office” replies before you go on vacation is even easier. Before you leave town, activate your “out of office” responses by doing the following:

  1. Launch the "Outlook" application on your Android.
  2. Select "Home" in the upper left corner; they are three horizontal lines.
  3. Enter "Settings".
  4. Choose the account to configure "out of office" responses.
  5. Tap "Automatic Replies" under the account title to open a new window.
  6. Type the "out of office" text you want to use in the box under "Reply to everyone with".
  7. Select the "Verify" icon in the upper right corner of the window.

Now you don't have to worry about not keeping your customers up to date.



How to Set Up Out of Office in Outlook on an iPad

Using Outlook on an iPad lets you work and manage your emails on the same device. As a bonus, if you plan to take time off from your office, you don't have to make a special trip to get to work. You can set up Outlook "out of office" replies right from your iPad in just a few steps.


You will need to start with:

  1. Launch the “Outlook” application on your iPad.
  2. Tap on the “Home” icon visible in the upper left corner.
  3. Choose the "Settings" icon.
  4. Tap your Outlook account.
  5. Choose the “Automatic replies” option.
  6. Select the "Automatic Replies" button to enable "Out of Office" replies.
  7. Type your "out of office" in the text box under the "Automatic replies" toggle.

Your Outlook will now automatically reply to emails received on your iPad.

Exchange accounts work slightly differently from regular Gmail and Yahoo accounts. If you have an Exchange account on Outlook, you can enable out-of-office replies by doing the following:

  1. Launch the “Settings” app on your iPad.
  2. Select “Accounts and Passwords”.
  3. Choose the email account to enable out of office replies.
  4. Scroll down and select "Auto Answer", turning it on.
  5. Choose an “End Date” to specify when to stop “out of office” responses.
  6. Type your “out of office” response in the “Out of office message” box.
  7. Select the "Save" button.
  8. Quit the “Settings” application.

The Exchange account on your Outlook will send "out of office" replies just like any other email account.


Additional FAQ

How can I turn it off when I'm back in the office?

If you want to turn off “out of office” automatic replies in Outlook, you can do so easily by following the steps below:

1. Log into your Outlook account on your browser.

2. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner.

3. Click "Show all Outlook settings".

4. Select the "Mail" tab.

5. Disable the "Automatic replies enabled" option.

Does Outlook support "Out of Office" replies for Gmail?

Outlook supports out-of-office replies for Gmail as well as Yahoo. Setting up out-of-office replies is relatively simple for Gmail and Yahoo accounts on Outlook. Microsoft Exchange accounts work the same way with a slight difference for configuring "out of office" responses.

Keep your customers in the know

Everyone deserves a break once in a while, but it's best to set up "out of office" replies in your Outlook account before you leave the office. This can be a lifesaver as it lets customers know that you are not available for an immediate response. They can also know when to expect a response if you provide this type of information in your "out of office" response, which makes communication much easier and life much simpler.

How often do you set out of office replies in your Outlook? Do you manually disable automatic replies? Tell us in the comment section below.

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