Auto-replies in Outlook: they're not just for vacations

A quick guide to preparing auto-replies for your Outlook email accounts.

Auto-replies in Outlook: they're not just for vacations

Other than when taking time off, auto-replies can be used to automatically share information with colleagues that may influence your ability to respond to them. Some of our iSchool colleagues regularly make use of this helpful feature even when they aren't on vacation. Auto-replies are a great way to clarify when you can reply to someone or alternative contacts people can use when you are unavailable.

Below are a few examples of when people have used auto-replies:

  • When you are out of the office
    • Taking leave from work
    • When you have irregular office hours
    • Attending a conference
  • When you encounter high volumes of work
  • During times where you receive high volumes of emails
  • When preempting frequently common questions that others ask of you.

How to auto-reply

  1. While in Outlook, click File.
  2. Select Automatic Replies
    Select automatic replies
  3. Select "Send automatic replies"
  4. Use the subsequent settings to adjust the time range, as well as the messages for those inside and outside the organization.

When creating an auto-reply, consider the following items, where appropriate:

  • Schedule your auto-reply for situations where you expect to be away or anticipate disruptions in your ability to communicate.
  • Articulate the dates or timelines that apply to your situation.
  • Include alternate contact information for colleagues that may handle your workload when away.
  • Include links or other self-service resources that people can use.


Keywordsauto, auto-replies, outlook, away from office, preset, pre-set, prepare, prepared, time off, vacation, away from office, unavailable, outlook settings, communications, email   Doc ID129242
OwnerAdam H.GroupSchool of Information Sciences
Created2023-06-21 13:31:04Updated2023-07-19 10:41:50
SitesUniversity of Illinois School of Information Sciences
Feedback  0   0