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Microsoft Outlook 2007

Creating Out of Office Replies

Outlook 2007 provides you with a feature to automatically reply to emails sent to you while you are away. The Out of Office Assistant will send a specified message to each sender. The message helps senders understand why you are unavailable, who to contact in your place, how else to contact you, or other information. Out of Office messages will be sent only once per sender, no matter how many times they send a message to you.

WARNING: If you receive a junk message with Out of Office replies turned on, you may reply to that junk message. Doing so may validate your email address to the sender, inadvertently adding you to the junk sender's recipient list. You can avoid this by setting Out of Office messages to send to your Contacts only. For more information, refer to Creating Out of Office Replies. Updating your junk email filters will be helpful too. For more information, refer to Using Junk Email Filters.

return to topTips and Considerations

The following are some things to consider when creating Out of Office replies.

return to topCreating Out of Office Replies

Consider the creation of Out of Office messages a part of your preparations for your absence. Outlook allows you to create two different Out of Office messages: one which will reply to messages sent from from your organization, and one which will reply to messages sent from anyone not from your organization, or if specified, your Contacts list.

NOTE: Once you have applied the Out of Office Assistant, a a pop-up bubble will appear the next time you open Outlook, notifying you that it is turned on.

  1. From the Tools menu, select Out of Office Assistant...
    The Out of Office Assistant appears.
    Out of Office Assistant

  2. Select Send Out of Office auto-replies

  3. OPTIONAL: To send Out of Office replies during a specific time range,
    1. Select Only send during this time range
      NOTE: The option is selected if a check mark appears before it.
    2. From the Start time and End time pull-down lists, select the desired date and time range

  4. To send Out of Office replies to senders from only your organization (e.g., UW-Eau Claire faculty, staff, and students),
    1. Select the Inside My Organization tab
    2. In the text box, type your desired message

  5. To send Out of Office replies to any senders outside your organization or your Contacts list,
    1. Select the Outside My Organization tab
    2. Select Auto-reply to people outside my organization
      NOTE: The option is selected if a check mark appears before it.
    3. To send the Out of Office reply to incoming messages from senders outside your organization, select Anyone outside my organization
      To send the Out of Office reply to incoming messages from only your Contacts, select My Contacts Only
    4. In the text box, type the desired message

  6. Click OK
    The Out of Office Assistant closes and Out of Office messages are applied.

return to topTurning Off Out of Office Replies

When you return from an absence, you will want to promptly turn off Out of Office replies.

Turning Off Out of Office Replies: Opening Outlook

If the Out of Office Assistant is on, when you open Outlook, a pop-up bubble will appear to notify you that it is still activated. You can turn off Out of Office replies with this pop-up bubble.

  1. Open Outlook
    Outlook loads and a pop-up bubble appears in the lower right corner, indicating that Out of Office replies are still activated.

  2. Click the pop-up bubble
    NOTE: The pop-up bubble will disappear if no action is taken. If this occurs, refer to Turning Off Out of Office Replies: Outlook Already Open.
    The Out of Office Assistant appears.

  3. Select Do not send Out of Office auto-replies

  4. Click OK
    The Out of Office Assistant closes.

Turning Off Out of Office Replies: Outlook Already Open

  1. At the bottom of the Outlook window, click OUT OF OFFICEOut of Office button» select Turn off Out of Office auto-replies
    All Out of Office replies are turned off.

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