We will show you step by step how to set up a vacation notice in Outlook. On PC, notebook, tablet or smartphone. With desktop app, web browser or smartphone app.
Set up Outlook out-of-office reply: Here’s how
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If you are not at work and therefore cannot read your e-mails, you should set up a vacation notice in Outlook. If someone sends you an e-mail while you are absent, Outlook will inform the sender in an out-of-office message that you cannot read this e-mail immediately. However, you can also enter other information for the sender, for example that you only read and reply to your e-mails with a delay (for example, if you are in a different time zone) or specify a colleague as a vacation replacement.
You can create a vacation notice in Microsoft Outlook with just a few clicks of the mouse – on a PC / laptop, in the web browser or in the Outlook app.
Set up Outlook vacation notice on the PC or notebook
In Outlook on the PC or notebook, click on the “File” tab in the upper left corner and on the “Information” page that appears, click on “Automatic replies”. A pop-up will open.
Note: In very old Outlook versions, you will find this function under “Tools> Out of Office Assistant”.
Here you create an “automatic reply” in Outlook on the PC.
In the pop-up at the top, switch from “Don’t send automatic replies” to “Send automatic replies”. Since you certainly do not want to send automatic replies all the time, check the box in front of “Only send during this period:” and then enter the relevant period. In the free field you also enter the reply text that Outlook should automatically send during your absence.
By default, you do this first for mail senders within your organization. Then click on “Outside my organization (To)” so that Outlook will also send the automatic replies to external senders of e-mails. In order to avoid that every email addressed to you receives the answer you entered, you should activate the checkmark in front of “Only my contacts”. Otherwise, spam mail senders and newsletter senders will also receive your standard reply.
If these standard specifications are not sufficient for you, you can also use the “Rules” button to define specific responses, depending, for example, on the sender, subject or message text.
Then click on “Ok” to activate the automatic reply. You can deactivate or change these automatic replies at any time.
If your Outlook does not support the “automatic replies” function, you can create Outlook rules as an alternative to have your mail messages answered automatically. Microsoft explains how to do this here.
Set up Outlook vacation notice in the browser
You can also set up a vacation reply without using the Outlook desktop application. To do this, go to https://outlook.office.com in your browser and log in with your login. This way works on PC, notebook, tablet and smartphone. Click on the “Settings” gear icon in the top right corner and then on “Show all Outlook settings”. In the page that opens, select “E-Mail, Automatic Replies”. The rest of the procedure is then identical to setting up a vacation notice in Outlook on the desktop PC.
Set up Outlook vacation notice in the Outlook app
You can also create an out-of-office / out-of-office message / automatic reply in the Outlook app for iOS or Android. To do this, open the Outlook app and click on your photo icon in the top left, then on the gear icon “Settings” and then on your account in Office 365.
Then select the menu item “Automatic replies” and move the slider to the right on the following page. You can now decide whether you want to “Reply to all” or “Only reply to my organization”. The procedure is therefore slightly different than in the desktop and browser versions of Outlook. Enter the desired text – possibly different texts for external contacts and internal company contacts – and tap on “Done”.
Here we have just activated the “automatic reply” in the Outlook app.