How to Set Up Automatic Outlook Out of Office Reply?


An out-of-office reply is an inbuilt option provided in Outlook to convey appropriate reply to the received emails when you are away from the Outlook application/computer for long days.

It is not complicated to configure automatic Outlook out of Office reply as you can do it in a number of ways. So, in this instructive editorial, it is explained in detail that how to set up Outlook out of Office reply in an easy way.

Steps to Setup Up Out of Office Reply:

Step 1: Click File menu and select Automatic Replies.


Note: In older versions of Outlook, select Tools then choose Out of Office Assistant option.

Step 2: In the Automatic Replies wizard, click Send automatic replies button.

Optional: Set a range of date for sending automatic replies. This will automatically turn off automatic replies after the specified date and time. Else, you have to turn off automatic out of Office replies manually.

Step 3: In Inside My Organization panel, type your reply for the sender email that you want to send when you are out of the office. For, example

I will be out of office from 5th to 11th. Please contact my assistant, ABC at for further assistance.

Step 4: Select OK and save the settings.


In case, you cannot find Automatic Replies option in the Outlook File menu, then follow the below guidelines to set up out of Office reply.

#1: Create an Out of Office Email

In Outlook, create a new email, enter the subject as Out of Office and content (body for your out-of-office email as explained in previous procedure).

Select File, click Save As, name the file as Out of Office and select Outlook Template (*.oft) from the Save as type drop-down menu. Click Save button.

#2: Create an Out of Office Rule

  • Go to File and select Manage Rules & Alerts.


  • Switch to E-mail Rules tab and choose New Rule.


  • In “Start from a blank rule” section, select Apply rule on messages I receive and hit Next.
  • Keep Step 1 and Step 2 boxes unchanged and go Next.
  • Select the sender type in Step 1: Select condition(s) and click Next.


  • When the Outlook prompts to apply this rule to all emails you receive, hit Yes.


  • Select the “reply using a specific template” option in Step 1: Select action(s).
  • In Step 2: Edit the rule description, click on a specific template.


  • In “Select a Reply Template” window, click User Templates in File System (under Look In).


  • Open the template (.oft file) which you have created in #1 and proceed Next.
  • Add exceptions (if you wish), name the rule as Out of Office.

#3: Turn On the Rule

  • Turn on this rule option is checked by default. If you want to run automatic out of Office reply now, leave this checkbox checked and click Finish button.
  • Else, uncheck the box and later turn it on using below steps.
  • Open File menu and select Manage Rules & Alerts.
  • Under E-mail Rules pane, find out of Office rule you created, enable it (check its checkbox) and hit OK.

Note: You must leave your Outlook application running so that it can send automatic out of Office replies for your received emails when you are not available.

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