How to set up an out of office response in Google Calendar

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If you’re going to be away for a few hours or on vacation for several days, you can set up an Out of Office message in Google Calendar. This automatically declines new meeting invitations and shows others that you won’t be there.

Note: As of June 2022, the Out of Office feature is available for business, school, and paid Google Workspace accounts.

Set an out of office in Google Calendar for desktop

Visit the Google Calendar website and sign in. You can then create an Out of Office in two ways.

  • Click “Create” at the top left of your calendar and select “Out of Office.”
  • Select the date and time on your calendar to open the new event popup, and choose “Out of Office.”

Out of Office in the Create menu

Using the popup for the event, you can set the time you will be out, the message, and more.

By default, the event name is Out of Office, but you can change this if you like.

Confirm or edit the date and time, or set the event to All Day. You can also create a repeating event for your Out of Office by choosing Does not repeat and choosing a frequency.

Event name, date, time and repeat options

Because all event invitations you receive during your time out of the office are automatically declined, you can choose New Meeting Invitations Only or New and Existing Meetings.

Under Message, you can use the default text or add your own. This is the note that accompanies the rejection message to the event organizers.

Meetings to decline and the optional message

Optionally, adjust your privacy settings and select “Save” when you’re done setting up the event.

save the event

You’ll see a message confirming that you want to decline events during your Out of Office time period. Select “Save and reject”.

Save and reject confirmation message

When someone sends you an invitation to an event during your time away from the office, you’ll immediately receive an email rejection with your message.

Rejected meeting email

Enable out of office response on the mobile app

You can also set up an Out of Office event in the Google Calendar mobile app with all the same options as on the web.

Tap the plus sign in the bottom right corner and choose “Out of Office.”

Out of the office in the Create menu on mobile

Then choose the date and time, make the event repeat, select which meetings to decline, and optionally change the decline message.

Out of office settings on mobile

Select “Save” and then confirm that you want to decline meetings for that time period by selecting “Save and Decline.”

Save and reject message on mobile

If you plan to be out of the office, whether it’s for a couple of hours or a few days, you can make sure that those who invite you to Google Calendar events know you’re away.

For more business and school account features, see how to show your work hours and location or how to use Focus Time in Google Calendar.