How to set up an out of office message in Outlook

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An out-of-office (OOO) reply to your emails is a convenient way to let others know when you’re away. We’ll show you how to set up an out of office reply in Microsoft Outlook on Windows and Mac.

Whether you’re gone for a few hours, a day, or a week, you can create an autoresponder in your own words. This lets others know you’re gone and will reply to their email when you return. Plus, you can set start and end dates so Outlook takes over when the time comes.

Out of Office in Outlook on Windows

Setting up an out of office reply in Outlook on Windows takes just a few minutes. To get started, open Outlook and select the File tab.

RELATED: How to set up an out of office reply in Outlook.com

In the Information section, use the dropdown box at the top to select an account if you have more than one. Then choose “Automatic Replies”.

Information, automatic replies in Outlook on Windows

In the pop-up window, check the Send automatic replies option at the top.

To automatically send replies over a period of time, check the Send only during this time interval box. Then, enter the dates and times in the appropriate boxes. If you don’t check this option, you can manually disable automatic replies using the Don’t send automatic replies setting at the top.

Send automatic replies in Windows

Enter your out of office message in the text box at the bottom. You can format the font style and size, as well as use bold, italics, color, and additional options.

Out of office message in Windows

When finished, click “OK”.

RELATED: How to sign out of Microsoft Outlook

Out of Office in Outlook on Mac

You can easily create an out of office reply in both the legacy and new versions of Outlook on Mac. While the window you see to enter the automatic reply is the same in both versions, the way you access it differs.

In the legacy version, open Outlook, select your account on the left if you have more than one, and go to the Tools tab. Click “Out of Office” on the ribbon.

Out of Office in the Tools tab on Mac

If you’re using the new version of Outlook, open the app and choose your account on the left if you have more than one. Select Tools> Automatic Replies on the menu bar.

Tools, Automatic Replies in the Mac menu bar

In the pop-up window, check the option at the top to enable automatic replies. Enter the message you want to use for other people within your organization.

Send internal replies in Outlook on Mac

To send the response over a period of time, check the Send responses only during this time period box and enter the start and end dates and times. If you don’t check this option, you can manually disable replies by unchecking the box at the top.

Dates for autoresponders on Mac

Check the box for Send responses outside my organization if you want to use that option. Choose your contacts or all external senders, and then enter your message.

Send external replies in Outlook on Mac

When finished, click “OK”.

OOO replies are useful for other people who email you while you’re away. So if you also use other email services, check out how to set up an out of office in Gmail and automatic replies in Apple Mail too.