MCG University

Out of Office Replies

In this course of MCG University, we walk you through how to setup out of office replies on Microsoft 365 and Outlook. This tutorial will demonstrate where to locate out of office settings, how to create an out of office email template and other additional settings on Microsoft 365 and Outlook.

Setting up Out of Office Replies on Microsoft 365

  • Go to the Microsoft 365 web page and log-in
  • Once logged in, open Outlook from the toolbar on the left-hand side
  • Navigate to the “Gear Icon” on the upper-right hand corner, then scroll-down and click on “View all Outlook settings
  • Once you have the settings open, select “Mail” > select “Automatic Replies” > select “Automatic Replies On
  • Once you are on this screen you can either enter an automatic reply that will be sent indefinitely, or you can select “Send replies only during a time period” to have it send for a certain amount of time.
  • There are 3 additional settings that you can add, which are:
    • Block my calendar for this period” which does not let people add you to events during the time you have automatic replies enabled
    • Automatically decline new invitations for events that occur during this period” which makes sure all invitations are rejected once they reach your inbox while you have automatic replies enabled
    • Decline and cancel my meetings during this period” which makes sure all meetings are rejected once they reach your inbox while you have automatic replies enabled
  • Once you have selected your preferred automatic reply settings, you will have to create an automatic reply message in the “Send automatic replies within your organization” text box. (This only send the message to people within your organization)
  • If you would like to send an automatic reply to people outside of your organization, select the “Send replies outside your organization” box and write your template email in the text box underneath.
  • You can filter out sending this email to only contacts outside of your organization by selecting the “Send replies only to contacts” box.
  • Once you are ready to confirm these changes, select “Save” on the bottom right-hand corner.
  • This will publish a pop-up at the top of the screen confirming the setting has been applied successfully.

Setting up Out of Office Replies on Outlook

  • Open Outlook application on your desktop
  • Navigate to the top left-hand corner and select “File
  • Once these settings are open, you will select “Automatic Replies (Out of Office)
  • Once you have reached the Automatic Reply settings, you will have to check “Send automatic replies” checkbox
  • From here you can decide to set a time period that you would like automatic replies to be sent by selecting the “Only send during this time range” check box.
  • If you do not select this checkbox, it will be set to indefinite.
  • The next step would be to create an email template that will be sent to people within your organization.
  • To do this select “Inside My Organization” and craft your message in the text box below.
  • If you would like to send automatic replies to users outside of your organization as well, select the “Outside My Organization (Off)” tab and select the “Auto-reply to people outside my organization” check box.
  • From here you can filter who receives the message.
  • You can choose anyone who is outside of your organization by selecting the “Anyone outside my organization” check box, or only contacts, by selecting “My Contacts only” check box.
  • The last step would be to craft your message in the text box below, and then apply your changes by selecting “OK
  • If the changes were successful, your outlook settings page should now highlight “Automatic Replies (Out of Office)” in yellow.
  • If you wish to disable these settings sooner, press the “Turn Off” button inside the highlighted automatic replies settings box.