Auto-Reply for e-mails using Microsoft® Outlook
What is the benefit of using Auto-Reply feature offered in Microsoft Outlook?
The Auto-Reply feature will enable the user to reply automatically to the incoming messages even if the user is not online. The functionality provided with this Microsoft Outlook application can be divided into two since the Auto-Reply tool called the Out of Office Assistant is available to the Microsoft Exchange server users only. The other users like the POP3, IMAP users should create separate rules and templates for combining with Microsoft Outlook for the Auto-Reply option. The Auto-Reply functionality can also be included through the installation of various Plug-ins. The feature enables the user to be more productive by sending replies to all e-mails being received at the account even if the user did not have time to read them. The feature will automatically send replies to the mails according to the configuration settings managed by the user. The user can set various rules and templates for the various senders. With the help of the feature, the user can even make the senders of the e-mails aware about the present situation if the e-mail cannot be read by the user.
Discussed below are some techniques to create Auto-Reply e-mails using rules and templates in Microsoft Outlook:
- Creating rules and templates in Microsoft Exchange accounts
- Creating rules and templates in other accounts
- Tips to remember
Creating rules and templates in Microsoft Exchange accounts
Open the Microsoft Outlook application and select 'Tools' option from the top menu. Now choose the 'Out of Office Assistant' from the drop down menu. Then click on 'I am currently out of the office' and also type the messages that you want to send to the senders of the e-mail message. Now click 'Add rule' option to reply automatically to the messages arriving at the user Inbox. In the 'Add rules' wizard, the user can provide the various conditions for the automatic replies.
Creating rules and templates in other accounts
The IMAP, POP3 accounts are not connected to the Microsoft Exchange Server and hence cannot use the Out of Office Assistant. In such cases the user can create templates and rules for automatically sending the reply messages. Open the Microsoft Outlook application Windows and select the 'File' option. Then choose 'New' and 'Mail message' options. In the window that opens, click on the 'Format' menu and then 'Plain text'. Now type the template or the message at the message body and then save the template. For changing the rules in the Microsoft Outlook application, the user should click on 'Rules and alerts' in the 'Tools' option. Edit the rule descriptions and specify the various conditions at the 'Rules alert' dialog box.
The Out of Office Assistant cannot be viewed at the drop menu in the 'Tools' option if the e-mail account is not connected to the Microsoft Exchange Server. In such situations the user should specify the rules and templates manually from the 'File' option. Periodically check for new e-mail messages in the mailbox. Use alternate tools like additional plug-ins for enabling the Auto-Reply feature in Microsoft Outlook application.
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