Outlook 2013 or 2010: Set Out of Office Message

Of you are an Microsoft Outlook 2013 or 2010 user in an Exchange environment, you can easily set an Out of Office message if you’re going to be away for a few days. We’ll show you how it’s done with this tutorial.

Note: These steps only work if you are using Microsoft Outlook on an Exchange server. If you wish to set this up in a non-Exchange environment, see this comment from Kate.

1. In Outlook, select the File menu.

2. Click Info on the left side.

3. Click Automatic Replies (Out of Office). If this option is grayed out, you may not be connected to an Exchange server and will not be able to use this feature.

OOOO Automatic Replies selection

4. Select the Send automatic replies option. You can also check Only send during this time range: and select a time frame to send the replies.

5. Select the Inside My Organization tab and type the reply you would like sent to your co-workers who are on the same mail system.

6. Select the Outside My Organization tab and type the reply you would like sent to people outside of your organization.

OOO Reply

You have successfully setup an automatic Out of Office Message in Outlook 2013 or 2010.


  1. Linda Montgomery says

    I work from home and do not need an exchange server. I should be able to set an out-of-office auto reply where I’m on an exchange server or not. This is stupid.

  2. Kay says

    I have the same problem as Chris (October 31, 2012 at 12:50 am)
    I only have 3/4 options in the info pane, the missing one is Automatic Replies.

    What is the reason for this?

  3. Bakul Dalal says

    Out of office did not work for me in Outlook 2010 in non-exchange server environment. I have a gmail account.

    I was able to work around this by going to Gmail account online and change the settings and turn on the vacation message there.

  4. Chris says

    Any ideas if I have Outlook 2010, but dont have the “Automatic Replies” button? I only have 3 buttons; Account Settings, Mailbox Cleanup and Rules and Alerts! Have I been sold a dud???

  5. Janice says

    Kate, your advise worked for me, I’ve been trying to get an auto reply for months and no could help, thanks a million.

  6. Janice says

    Brilliant, This worked for me, I’ve been trying for months to find out how to set up auto reply. So thank you very very much.

  7. Bob says

    Outlook is an application that can either access an Exchange server, or access your POP/IMAP accounts (or both). If you do NOT have an Exchange server then it’s impossible to send an out of the office response unless your computer is turned on and checking your email for you. If you don’t think that’s the case, download Eudora, Thunderbird or any of the other apps that are out there. What you want can’t be done short of logging in through webmail and setting one up IF your ISP or email system allows that.

    Don’t blame MS for something that you can’t grasp.

  8. Kasey says

    Kirsten is correct above. It is not possible for me to use the regular Automatic Replies box in Outlook directly. (Of course it should be, but it is not.) But if you can log on remotely to your business e-mail account, even while sitting at your desk, Out of Office is available under the Options section, and is as easy as you would expect it to be.

    Microsoft, please find a fix for this simple business function!

  9. Rose says

    It does work for pop3 and imap accounts. I downloaded the microsoft exchange server as suggested, clicked on the ‘add ons’ in file – options – add ons to ensure it was enabled. Restart your computer to install all downloads properly. Follow the rules that Kate said at the top, ensure to run your rules and then its a problem of the past. Use plain text only, no images or html configurations. It does work in outlook 2010, it wasn’t easy trying to figure it out but once you do, you’ll realise that it was quite simple. I’m not computer savvy, i’m not a fan of outlook but hopefully now that its working that will change.

  10. Dirk says

    Good luck with Apple. Bite as much as you want but they still require the same thing. An Exchange Server. :) or to set up a rule which auto-replies but the program has to be up and running to do so. I’m not a fan of MS. I’m just saying that we have to be realistic. No program (at least not yet) is capable of functioning if the software is turned off. It has to have a “server” to automate that function. :)

  11. Stephen says

    I guess the problem here is that Outlook doesn’t explain the different mail server types clearly…

    It isn’t Microsoft’s fault that autoreplies can’t be done easily if you aren’t on an Exchange server.

    The point is that you are telling your email server to reply on your behalf. Most email servers don’t support this as standard so it is your internet service provider who isn’t providing the functionality, not Microsoft.

    In general you will only be on an exchange server in a business networked environment and you will probably know about it or have an IT guy to ask. If you pay for your internet access yourself you are most likely on a POP server, maybe IMAP, neither of which can do this.

  12. Kirsten says

    I am unable to do put up an out of office alert in Outlook 2010 for whatever reason but found a very simple solution.
    If you have a Bt business account you simply sign in to Bt office mail online and set one up using the options setting on the left panel. It will then work perfectly without the need to change anything on Outlook. Magic!

    I am still astonished that they have overlooked something which is so essential to many people working in an office environment. Poor show.

  13. Mic says

    create a rule if you arent on Exchange server….but you will need to leave your outlook client running.

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