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Configure Exchange to automatically send out-of-office replies

Learn how to configure and automatically send a user's out-of-office reply message from the Exchange server.

If a user is away from the office -- on vacation, for example -- and forgets to set up an "out of office reply" for incoming mails to his/her mailbox, then you can create a rule to have the user's mailbox automatically reply to a sender.

First, you have to take ownership of the mailbox then perform the following steps:

  • In Outlook on the Tools menu, click Rules Wizard.

  • When the dialog box appears click new.

  • Under which type of rule do you want to create select Check messages when they arrive then click next.

  • Under which conditions do you want to check you can select "with specific words in the subject". You can then create a custom rule that specifies certain conditions for instance you can use semicolons in the subject field to specify multiple conditions. For example if you know that you will be receiving mails with fixed subjects such as "Monthly Report; Statements" you can type this line in the subject field using the procedure mentioned earlier.

  • Under what do you want to do with the message, click to select the have server reply using a specific message check box

  • Under Rule Description, click the underlined phrase a specific message.

  • In the untitled message View menu, type the subject and the message body that you want to be sent, then click save, and close.

  • Click finish

Adesh Rampat has 10 years experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association Of Internet Professionals, the Institute For Network Professionals, and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.

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