How to Set Out of Office in Outlook Desktop and 365

If you use Outlook for emails, there are bound to be times when you are out of the office for a few days. You may need to inform your contacts about your unavailability during these days. Sending an email to every single can become very tedious. Luckily, we will show you how to create an Outlook out of office message.

Out-of-office replies are automated responses to emails that you can use to inform your contacts when you’re unavailable. Outlook provides this feature to its users with its automatic replies feature. You can also share your calendar to let others know your plans.

This article will explain how to set out of office in Outlook desktop or web client. Read on and follow the easy steps to get it done.

How to Set up Automatic Reply in Outlook Desktop

Here are the steps to set up the Outlook out-of-office message on the Windows desktop client. These steps should work for most Outlook versions, including 2021.

A screenshot showing where to open the file menu in Outlook

Step 1: On the main screen of Outlook, click on File in the top left corner. This will take you to the Account Information screen.

A screenshow highlighting where the automatic replies menu is in Outlook

Step 2: Here, click on Automatic Replies. This will open a new window that allows you to set up your Outlook away message.

A screenshot showing how to turn on automatic replies

Step 3: If you’re setting up automatic reply in Outlook for the first time, you may see the Do not send automatic replies selected by default. To turn on automatic replies, simply click on Send automatic replies.

A scrrenshot showing how to set a time limit on automatic replies in Outlook

Optional: If you wish to set up automatic replies to only send within a fixed time frame, check the Only send during this time range option and select the Start Time and the End time. You won’t have to turn off the automatic replies manually.

A screenshot showing where to enter the text for an automatic reply in Outlook

Step 4: Type in your away message. You can change the font, its size, and its typographical emphasis. Once you’re done writing your message, click OK to save it.

A screenshot showing where to turn off automatic replies

To turn off automatic replies, click on File and then click Turn off under the Automatic Replies section in the menu.

How to Set Automatic Reply in Outlook 365

Here are the steps you need to follow to set up automatic replies in Outlook 365:

A screenshot showing how to access the settings menu in Outlook 365

Step 1: Click on the Gear icon on the top-right side of the screen. This will open a sidebar on the right side of the screen.

A screenshot showing the two ways to get into advanced settings in Outlook 365

Step 2: There are two ways to access the advanced settings in your Outlook web client. In the first method, you can simply use the search bar to search for “Automatic Replies.” Click on the displayed link will take you to the Automatic replies section on your Outlook settings. Alternately, click on View all Outlook settings to display the settings window.

A screenshot showing the 3 clicks you must make to turn on uatomatic replies in Outlook

Step 3: In the settings window, click on Mail and Automatic replies. Here, click on Turn on automatic replies.

A screenshot identifying where to turn on the date range for an automatic reply in Outlook

Optional: To set up automatic replies to only be sent within a fixed time frame, check the Send replies only during a period option and set the Start Time and the End time. There are other options you can choose from depending on your preferences.

A screenshot showing the edit box for an out of office response in Outlook

Step 4: Type in your message. You can also use formatting tools to make your message the way you want. Once you’ve finished, simply click on the blue Save button to save your settings.

A screenshot demonstrating where the auntomatic replies radio button is in Outlook 365

To turn off the automatic replies, go to Settings, click on Mail, and then on Automatic replies. There, click on the Automatic replies on button to toggle it off.

Troubleshoot Automatic Reply Outlook Settings

If you’re unable to see the Outlook automatic replies option after clicking on File, you’re likely using an email service besides Outlook. Yahoo, Gmail, and other POP or IMAP email accounts don’t support the Automatic replies feature in Outlook.

You can set up a rule that replies to incoming messages, but you need to leave Outlook running. So, you’re better off setting the out of office response with whichever client you use instead.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Set Out of Office in Outlook

How Do I Turn My Out of Office on in Outlook?

To set up the out-of-office notification in Outlook, click on File in the top left part of the screen. There, click on Automatic replies. First, click on Send automatic replies to activate the setting. You can also set a start and an end time for your automatic replies. Simply type in your message in the text box below and click on OK to save it.

Where Is the Out of Office in Outlook 2021?

Setting up Outlook out of office is similar in all Outlook desktop versions. However, there are a few visual differences in the UI.

To set up automatic replies in Outlook 2021, click on File and Automatic replies. In the window that shows up. Click on the button to turn on automatic replies. There, type your message and click on OK.

How Do I Set Up Out of Office on Outlook Laptop?

Depending on the Outlook version you’re using, there are different ways to set up automatic replies.

  • For desktop versions, click on File and then on Automatic replies. There you can type your message to be sent.
  • For Outlook 365, head to the settings menu and click on Mail. There, click on Automatic replies and turn the option on. There you can type your message. You can also set up a start and an end date.

Out of Office Message Outlook

For many people, replying to an email or two while out of office is easy. However, many people who communicate over emails may get dozens (even hundreds) of emails per day, which can become extremely tedious to manage if you’re on vacation or simply on leave.

For these people, the automatic replies feature in Outlook can be highly beneficial as it allows you to set up one message sent to everyone when you’re out of the office. You can also set a start and an end date and time, which can be very beneficial if you plan to be on leave for a specified amount of time.

You may want to consider changing your signature while you’re out of the office too.

We hope this article helped you better understand how to set out of office in Outlook. If you need more productivity hacks, check out some of our other articles.

Jake Wright
Jake Wright
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Jake is a spreadsheet expert and content writer from New Zealand. He has a double Bachelor's Degree in Teaching and has been working in the education industry for over 11 years. His experience makes him adept at breaking down complex topics so that everyone is able to understand.