Imperial Software Systems

Microsoft Outlook Tutorials

Take control of your email

Problem: How do I set up an out-of-office reply or a vacation message for my email?


Open MS Outlook, go to Tools > Options. Click the Mail Format tab. Make sure Word is not enabled as the email editor in Outlook by deactivating the checkbox under Message Format. Compose a new message. Type the Subject and Body of your auto-reply. It is recommended that you include a contact name in your message so people can expect assistance from someone in your absence. Save this file as an Outlook Template by selecting Outlook Template in the "Save as type" drop-down menu. Click Save.

Go to Tools > Rules and Alerts. Click New Rule and choose to start from a blank rule. Enable the option check messages when they arrive. Click Next and choose to enable "where my name is in the To box" under Select condition(s). Click Next and enable "reply using a specific template" under Select action(s). Click the link titled "a specific template" under "Edit the rule description." Select "User Templates in File System" from the Look In drop-down menu. Browse to the template we created before and click Open. Click Next and enable "Except if it is an Out of Office message" under Select exception(s). Click Next and type the desired name for your auto-responding filter under "Specify a name for this rule." If you would like to apply this rule for all your email accounts then check "Create this rule on all accounts." When prompted, click Finish.

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