Create a Conditional Out of Office Reply in Microsoft Outlook

How to use the Out of Office Assistant in Microsoft Outlook. The Out of Office Assistant feature in Microsoft Outlook is a Microsoft Exchange Server service. It is available only when the Exchange Server transport service is included in an Outlook user’s profile. You can emulate this feature by creating an e-mail template and defining a rule in the Rules Wizard to automatically reply with the template.

August 10, 2007

Question: Is there a way to add extra conditions to out-of-office replies? I’m on various mailing lists, so I don’t want the out-of-office response to go to people who mail the list, but I also don’t want to unsubscribe and re-subscribe from them all if I can avoid it.

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Answer: The Out-Of-Office Assistant in Microsoft Outlook is only available when you are using Exchange Server email, when you are using Outlook to as a POP3 email client for GMail or Hotmail.

  1. In Mail, on the Tools menu, click Out of Office Assistant.
  2. Click Add Rule.
  3. Under When a message arrives that meets the following conditions, specify the conditions of the rule that the message must meet for the action to occur.
  4. To specify more conditions, click Advanced, select the options you want, and then click OK.
  5. To specify that this rule must be the last one applied, select the Do not process subsequent rules check box.
  6. Under Perform these actions, select the options you want. You can select more than one option.

Note  If you specify that a message must be deleted, rules that follow the delete rule in the list of rules in the Out of Office Assistant dialog box do not affect the message.