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How to Set up an Out of Office Reply in Outlook 2007

Microsoft Office

How to Set up an Out of Office Reply in Outlook 2007

Whenever you are out of Office or going on a vacation, its better to set up and Out of Office or auto reply, so that your friends will know that you wont be able to reply back to the mails. Outlook 2007 has an Out of Office assistant which will help you to set up an auto reply. But this feature is available in Microsoft Outlook only if it is using a Microsoft Exchange Server service. This means that if you are using POP or IMAP account in Outlook, then this feature will not be available. Alternatively, you can create a rule to send automatic emails.

1. Create a Auto Reply Template

  • Select a new Outlook message.
  • In the Options tab, click Plain Text.
  • Type in the Auto Reply message you want to reply.
  • Click Save As and in the Save As dialog box, click to select the Outlook Template check box in the Save as type list.
  • Type a name for your reply template in the File name box, and then click Save.

2. Creating a Rule for sending Auto Reply.

  • Click on the Tools menu, select Rules and Alerts.
  • In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, click the New Rule button.
  • In the Rules Wizard under Start from a blank rule, click Check messages when they arrive, and then click Next.
  • Under Which condition(s) do you want to check?, click to select the Sent Only To Me check box or any other check box that you want, and then click Next.
  • Under What do you want to do with the message, click to select the Reply using a specific template check box.
  • Under Step 2: Edit the Rule Description, click the underlined phrase a specific template.
  • In the Select A Reply Template dialog box, click the template that you saved previously and then click Open.
  • Complete the Rules Wizard instructions, click Finish, and then click OK.

Now, auto reply message will be sent to all mails that arrive after the rule is applied. The feature of this rule (for rules created with Reply using a specific template option) is that it will remember the list of persons whom it has replied, so that this auto reply is not send to same person again and again. This rule is reset when you restart Outlook.

NB: Outlook must be running for the Rules Wizard to automatically reply.

rules and alerts

rules and alerts_1

rules and alerts_2

In case you are using Microsoft Exchange Server (mostly in Offices), then you can use the Out of Office Assistant to configure Auto Reply.

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Nirmal is a Technology Blogger and a Microsoft MVP in Windows. He can be contacted at You can find Nirmal on , and .



  1. Criar site

    February 15, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Parabéns, excelente post!

  2. Guillermo Gomis

    March 4, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Excelente tutorial! Me fuè muy ùtil! Muchas Gracias!

  3. Deepak D Kumar

    March 31, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you very much. This tutorial has been of immense help to me and my colleagues.

  4. Murtaza

    June 11, 2010 at 9:07 am

    is there a way where you the out of office message goes when my outlook is closed..

  5. heather

    June 19, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Help – I’ve tried this all and it is not working…

  6. lamborian97

    July 13, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Nice info..Thanks For Sharing…

  7. jonel

    December 18, 2010 at 6:03 am

    I’ve tried this and it is not working. It say’s cannot reply to message

  8. Dileep

    December 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you very much, this tutorial will be help everyone

  9. Tomm174

    January 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Didn’t work for me in outlook 2010.
    Use Thunderbird autoresponder instead. See this howto

  10. admec multimedia

    January 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks Nirmal,
    finally i got an indian doing something very useful for me. i have also implemented ur tuts with my many students and on my admec multimedia site also.


  11. Pingback: How to Set Up Automatic Replies (Out of Office) in Outlook 2010

  12. alistools seo

    June 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    thanks for sharing this much quality informational thing. i dont know that this feature is there in outlook. thanks this is really a useful thing.

  13. Erin Lamon

    July 1, 2011 at 12:03 am

    FINALLY!! Some easy step by step instructions!! Thank you so much!

  14. Not so skilled

    July 29, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks for the help!

    Number one step four is a simple, but the way you worded it made it seem so complicated I had to read it muliptle times.

    Try saying: Click Save As : , then in the Save as type : select “Outlook Template”.

  15. Zul

    August 26, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I don’t have Outlook template in my lists. Only document template the closest. (.dot.) When i open the Rules Wizard, It can’t find .dot.

    I’m using Outlook 2003

    Please help

  16. Louis van Senden

    February 2, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Great thanks for that!

  17. Alpha_memory

    April 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

    it doesnt work on MS Office 2007 /wo exchange mail server

  18. Brian S

    July 24, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    It did work for me just as it said it would.

  19. anil

    August 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you it was big help but the reply goes into Junk mail don’t know why any ideas about that?

  20. Hammad

    March 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    how can i find my templet??? i have a template but it does not show in forlder?

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