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How to set up Out of Office messages in Outlook

Remember how you were greeted with a tsunami of emails when you got back from vacation? You probably forgot to set an "Out of Office" message in your Microsoft Outlook before you walked out the door.

If not a solution to a flooded inbox, but notify your contacts with an orange light that you're away and there's a reason you won't be able to respond in a timely manner. Your contacts can keep going without cluttering your inbox.

You should set one up right now, along with canned messages and a professional email signature 7 Tips to Create the Perfect Professional Email Signature 7 Tips to Create the Perfect Professional Email Signature We've written a lot about how to send emails like a pro , but One aspect that is regularly overlooked is the email signature. Here's how to set up the perfect professional email signature. Read More It will only take a few minutes in Outlook.

How to set up automatic replies in Outlook

Using autoresponder is easy when you work with Office 365, (used to be called Hotmail), or Exchange account:

  1. Select File> Automatic Responses .
  2. In the automatic replies box, select Send automatic replies .
  3. Set a time range for automatic replies. The start and end time allows you to schedule messages and cover the time that you will be away from your email. You also don't have to remember to turn it off when you come back.
  4. Use the Within my organization tab to write a message for people in your team or in your company.
  5. Use the Outside my organization tab to write a message for any mail that comes from outside your company or team contact list.
  6. Compose and format the out of office message..
  7. Click OK to save your settings.

When Outlook is set to send automatic replies, you'll see a message below the ribbon letting you know about it. Select Shutdown to disable automatic out-of-office replies for that email.

Return from your pause and to the same dialog to turn off automatic replies.

The process is more complicated if you use a third-party POP or IMAP email service like Gmail or Yahoo with Outlook. You will need to set up an Outlook rule and trigger a template file to send the message. We'll have to save that for another tutorial, unfortunately.