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How Do I Set an Out of Office Message (vacation mail) on the Exchange Site?

Staff Faculty

 

Note: OWA now has the same functionality across major browsers in most cases; see In Outlook Web App (OWA), what are the "Premium" and "Light" interfaces? For more information on using OWA, with your Inbox displayed, click ? (the question mark) at the top right.

 

In Microsoft Outlook Web App (OWA), the Out of Office Assistant (vacation mail) option allows you to collect messages in your Inbox while you are out of the office, and replies automatically to incoming messages.

The Out of Office Assistant can notify people who send you mail that you are out of the office and cannot reply immediately. The auto-reply feature will notify each sender only once, even if you receive multiple messages from that person, and can be configured to be active only while you're away from your office.

Enabling and disabling the Out of Office assistant

To enable the Out of Office Assistant:

  1. In the upper right corner of the OWA window, click Options.

  2. In the resulting window:

    • In the Premium Interface, on the left, click Organize E-Mail and then to the right click Automatic Replies.
    • In the the Light Interface, on the left, click Automatic Replies.
  3. To disable the Out of Office assistant, on the right, select Don't send automatic replies.

    To enable the Out of Office assistant, on the right, select Send automatic replies. You have several options:

    1. To set a time frame for the Out of Office auto-replies to begin and end, check Send replies only during this time period: . Then:

      1. Next to "Start time:", use the menu to select the month and day, and then the time you want the Out of Office Assistant to start sending the auto-replies.
      2. Repeat for the "End time:".
    2. To send a different message to users outside your organization, check Send automatic reply messages to External Senders. Then, choose from the two options available:

      • Send replies only to senders in my Contacts list (Use this option to send the reply to senders outside of your organization but in your Contacts list.)
      • Send replies to anyone outside my organization
  4. Compose the auto-reply in the text boxes provided; you can also send a different message to external senders. The Premium interface provides font and paragraph editing tools; the Light interface provides only a text field with no formatting tools.

  5. Click Save.

Disabling the Out of Office assistant

To disable the Out of Office Assistant, in step 3 above, select Don't send automatic replies, and then click Save

Configuring the Out of Office assistant to reply only to messages from USD users or your contacts

To configure the Out of Office Assistant in OWA so that it does not reply to all senders, but only those from USD and senders outside USD in your contact list:

  1. Enable the Out of Office Assistant; see "Enabling the Out of Office assistant" above.

  2. Check Send automatic reply messages to External Senders.

  3. Select Send replies to senders in my Contacts list.

  4. Click Save.

Note: You do not need to enter a message in the second text box labeled "Send a reply once to each sender outside my organization with the following message:".

(Content used with permission of Indiana University. You can find the original at http://kb.iu.edu/data/avrq.html)