Microsoft Office

Create An Outlook Out of Office Reply without Exchange

If you are a Microsoft Outlook user and don’t have an Exchange email server that takes care of your email the way you do in the office, you might have noticed that there isn’t an out of office option within Outlook. So if you want to configure an automatic response to happen with specific information while you are going, you will have to create a rule to do so.

The first step is to create a form to use for the auto attendant. Click New Email and make sure to use Plain Text to format the mail. Then enter all the information you want in the message body and subject. Then click File and then click Save As. In the Save As dialog box, select Outlook Template as Type, name it, and save it.

Then in Outlook, click on the File tab and then on Rules and Alerts. Click the New Rule button and then click Apply rule to messages I receive.

If you want the rule to apply to all emails and you don’t have any specific conditions, leave all the checkboxes in the step for Condition (s) you want to check section blank. You will get a pop-up message stating that this rule will apply to every message you receive and you must click the “Yes” button.

In the next step where it asks what you would like to do with the message, check the box to reply using a specific template, then click the link for a specific template at the bottom of the step 2 and click Next.

Then, where it says “Look in,” change the drop-down list to say “Use templates in the file system” and select the template you created earlier and click Next. If you need to add any special exceptions, you can do so from the next page or else click Next again.

Finally, review the configuration and decide if you want the rule to run immediately and also if you want it to run on all messages in your inbox. You may not want this option or else all emails in your inbox stating that you are out of the office will be answered.

If everything looks fine, tap Finish and then OK. You can return to your list of rules and turn off the rule or delete it when you’re done. You should also test the rule by emailing yourself from a different email address and see if you will receive a response. Keep in mind for this to work, Outlook must be running and connected to the Internet and you’ll likely need to enable automatic send and receive as well. This can be configured by going to the File tab, then Options. From there, click on Advanced, then click on the Send / Receive button and check the box that says Schedule automatic send / receive every and then choose an interval in minutes.


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