Why Use Out of Office In Outlook
Using an Outlook out-of-office reply is beneficial to those who communicate via email for business and are going to be unavailable for some time.
Creating and setting out-of-office in Outlook tells people you’re away so you cannot personally respond yet. Within your message, you can forward the sender to the next appropriate person and give a date for your return.
You do not need to disclose your reasons for being absent; however, it's helpful for those emailing you to have some understanding of your absence.
As a professional, you should be following email etiquette rules. Out-of-office responses ensure the sender feels content with your response and knows what the next step is.
Keep reading this article to learn how to set up out-of-office in Outlook.
How To Set Up Out of Office In Outlook
Here’s how to create an out-of-office reply in Outlook on the web application, mobile, desktop, and Mac.
How to Set Out of Office in Outlook App on the Web
Learn how to set up out-of-office in Outlook on the web here:
- Go to https://outlook.live.com/ and sign into your account.
- At the top of your page, you will see Settings with a cog icon. Click this, then click View all Outlook settings.
- Go to Mail section. Then choose Automatic replies and click the ‘Turn on automatic replies’ toggle.
- Now select ‘Send replies only during a time period’ box and enter a start and end date. (If you don’t input a date, the OOO reply will stay on until you turn the toggle off.)
- Optionally: click the checkboxes for the following options (you may choose all of them or select the one you need):
- ‘Block my calendar for this period.’
- ‘Automatically decline new invitations for events that occur during this period.’
- ‘Decline and cancel my meetings during this period.’
- Now create your message in the box available.
- Select the box for ‘Send replies only to contacts’ to send your OOO message only to your contact list.
- Finally, click Save and you’re done!
💡 Note: When writing your Outlook out-of-office message, always be polite, friendly, and understanding. Your message doesn’t need to be long, nor do you need to explain in detail your absence. Keep in mind anyone can read this email, so never share any personal information.
Set Up Your Out of Office in Outlook Desktop App for Windows
Learn how to set up out-of-office replies on the Outlook desktop version here:
- Open the Outlook desktop app on your Windows laptop and select File.
- Click Automatic Replies (if you don’t see this option, click here.)
- Select Send automatic replies.
- Then click the checkbox near Only send during this time range. Set a start and end date for your automatic replies.
- Select OK to save.
- Optionally: You can add a Rule that will be applied to messages that will come while you are OOO. For this, click Rules… button at the bottom of the window instead of the previous step. Then click Add Rule… In the next window, set the criteria for your rule and choose an action to perform with your emails. Click OK to save the rule.
How to Set Out of Office In Outlook for Mac
Follow these steps to set out of the office message in your Mac Outlook client. This method will work if you have an Outlook.com, Hotmail, Office 365, or Exchange account.
- Select Mail from the bottom left corner of the navigation pane.
- Now click on the Tools tab, then select Automatic Replies.
- Now choose to Send automatic replies for account “your account”.
- Enter your message in the Reply once to senders within my organization box.
- Click the Send replies during this time period checkbox to enter the OOO message's start and end dates.
- Finally, click OK and your OOO message is set!
- Optionally: If you’d like to send your OOO message to senders outside your organization, click the Send replies outside my organization checkbox and add your message text in the relevant text box. Click OK to save your message.
How to Put Out of Office in Outlook Mobile App
Set OOO replies using your Outlook mobile App.
- Open Outlook app on your mobile device.
- Tap the Profile icon from the top left and click Settings. Choose your email account.
- Tap Automatic Replies. Click the slider to enable automatic replies.
- Choose to Reply during a time period. Set the start and end date for your Outlook OOO message.
- Write the OOO message in the ‘Reply to everyone with’ box.
- Click the check mark at the top right to save.
💡 Note: Your OOO messages will automatically end from the date you have set. If you want to extend your out-of-office period time, head back into the settings and change the date. On the other hand, you can also disable your out-of-office message from here too.
Tidy Your Mailbox With Clean Email
While Clean Email cannot help with creating OOO templates as it is not an email client for Outlook, it can help create the perfect tidy mailbox to help boost productivity and reduce email anxiety.
The Clean Email app helps clean up old Outlook emails, unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters, automate routine mailing tasks, and lots more!
Choose from a wide range of features to create an email workspace that works for you. Keep all essential emails in one place, never feel email stress again, and enjoy the experience.
💡 Note: You can only perform Clean Email actions if you use the Outlook email service provider, not the Outlook desktop email client. Clean Email will not synchronise with your desktop client.
With the Auto Clean feature, you can eliminate the need to manually sort and organise your mail. Create rules to cover almost any criteria and action to your messages. All you need to do is to choose the Auto Clean section from the left-side pane and click + at the top of the screen to create a new rule.
Then you will need to name your Auto Clean rule and set the criteria for the messages that should match this rule. For example, you can choose messages from an individual sender or a sender domain. Then choose the action to apply to emails, e.g. Mark Read (other actions include Delete, Archive, Mark Spam, Move to folder, Star, and more.)
Choose to apply the rule to existing messages or only to the new ones and click Create Rule. You can always edit or remove created rules at any time.
The Unsubscriber tool helps you get rid of all unwanted newsletters and mail subscriptions.
Click on Unsubscriber on the left-side pane and choose to Unsubscribe, Keep Receiving, Deliver to Read Later, and more. Read more about how the Unsubscriber works here.
You can preview messages before deciding on an action, and all emails are grouped by subscription meaning senders who have the same unsubscribe link will be together in one place.
The Screener tool is a brilliant new feature that keeps all emails from unknown senders out of your main inbox until you choose to let them in or block them.
This means your inbox should be less clogged with unwanted emails, meaning only the emails you want to see will appear.
Wondering to learn more about professional email templates? Check out our guides on how to create a proper business email format, what canned responses are, and what the Reply All email etiquette is.