Outlook Out of Office Reply

No one in my office uses it. :s

The “tech guy” claims it is bad because it replies to all spam (which we get a lot of), most of those sender addresses are invalid, and the autoreplies would therefore bounce back and forth, causing strain on our server or something like that.

I don’t completely believe him as most “professional” people use the function. I’m preparing to leave on a trip and want to set it up myself if they won’t help me, but my office computer’s in Chinese. So I’m sittting here at home trying to learn it on my English computer first, but I can’t find how to enable that function. Where is it? How does one activate the out of office reply?

Thanks. :slight_smile:

MT, if you’re using the Office XP version, Outlook will have an Out of Office Assistant feature under the “TOOLS” Menu. If it’s not there, then the easiest way would be to log into your webmail account and under Options, it’ll let you set up the Out of Office Reply function there. It’s the first one on the top of the options features. Click the second button and type in your message in the message box.

It’s not. Why would that be? If it’s there on your Office XP why isn’t it on mine? Shouldn’t all Office XPs be identical?

Ok, I confess I’m a real tech dummie. what does that mean exactly? I take it that’s different from clicking on the Outlook icon on my screen to pull up my mailbox?

I’m not sure what that means but I’m afraid it might not be possible for me. Our office has good legal skills but the computers are all screwed up. I can only access my Outlook account on my office computer or my laptop. When I travel, I can’t access my office e-mails from my parents’ house or a hotel Internet service unless I brought my laptop along with me, which is what I am often forced to do. :s

Does that mean I’m screwed? Can’t get the Out of Office Reply?

Ok, so if you can access your emails from outside the office that means you probably access the office email using mail.office-address.com/webmail or some other kind of URL?

Some installations of Office will not have all the features installed so that’s why sometimes someone’s computer will have XYZ features, but yours only has XY features.

click on link. . .

[quote]The page cannot be displayed

The page you are looking for is currently unavailable. The Web site might be experiencing technical difficulties, or you may need to adjust your browser settings. [/quote]


Sorry, that URL was only used as an example… In place of the real one that you would use normally when you’re on the road, out of the office?

That’s one of the problems I have. On the road I must bring my laptop, connect to the Internet, and click on the outlook icon. I cannot access my account without my laptop and I don’t think it’s just my ineptitude. My partner informs me that he is also unable to get his e-mails from outside the office without his laptop. Primitive, yes, but that’s my situation.

I’ve tried repeatedly to get them to change that so we can access our e-mails from other computers, but the “tech guy” ( :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: ) responds with some nonsense about security concerns. I suspect its a $$$ issue.

Not 100% sure but I think the ‘out of office’ function only works in a MS Exchange environment (MS Exchange runs on the mail server), and I guess it has to be activated/enabled there before the mail client (your Office XP / Outlook) can use it.

Where is your mail hosted? On a mail server in your office or external (at the ISP - Internet Service Provider)?
Most ISP will allow web-access (i.e. you can then use an internet browser, from any PC, anywhere in the world) but if your company has it’s own mailserver (typically at your company’s premises) this function might not be available. Usually an own mailserver enhances performance (inter-office mail) and provides security.

Let me get this straight… can you actually send and receive new e-mails on your laptop outside the office? Or you can just read the e-mails which are already stored on your laptop?
If you can indeed send and receive new e-mails outside the office, you just have to copy your Outlook settings to another computer… but I’m afraid that’s not the case.

I suspect that your e-mail account is not accessible from outside the office, from any computer, and you’re just seeing old e-mails on your laptop. Is that right?

Anyway, you can set your office computer to forward the e-mails to a webmail account (like GMail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, etc.), and you’ll be able to read them from any computer, using a web browser.

In response to Rascal, our firm uses its own mail server.

I can send and receive new e-mails on my laptop using my office Outlook account, but if I first download an e-mail in the office I will not later be able to access it on the laptop. Thus, I go online at home every morning to download the night’s e-mails onto my laptop so its contents will be as close as possible to my office version.

I’m not sure I understand the question. I cannot access my Outlook account at all with any computer outside the office except my laptop. With my laptop I can access new e-mails at any time, so long as I didn’t first download them in the office. I cannot access on any computer outside the office, including my laptop, e-mails that I first downloaded in the office.

Really? After reading my further elaboration above, do you still think that might be possible?

Your MS Exchange administrator didn’t install some of the features and this feature is not available because he didn’t enable it. So, that means you’re going to have to do it manually, using the Rules function. To do it manually, you’ll have to create an out-of-office mail template (save as a *.OFT file)

Then, go to the Tools menu, Rules Wizard and create a NEW rule. Starting from a blank rule (2nd button option), leave the first highlight rule as is, “Check Messages when they arrive” Click Next. The next window will tell you to select the rule conditions. So, you check number 5 option (where my name is in the To box) Click Next. Then you get to say what you want to do with those incoming mails sent to you. You click on the option 9 (reply using a specific template). That specific template is the out-of-office template you created before going into the Rules Wizard. Click Next or Finish and then you’re done.

So, maybe like the IT guy says, tai ma fan :slight_smile:

EDIT: You can use Andre’s suggestion and also forward all your mails to a webmail account. You’d do it using the same Rules Wizard steps. Select forward all incoming mails to you to . That’s probably the easiest if they let you email to clients from a personal account. Some businesses frown against that. But your IT guy isn’t helpful so you can point the finger back at him :blush:

And if you can’t follow yellow cartman’s steps (which are very good), have a look here… http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/MF015.html

(This is to forward ALL mail to another account, e.g. Yahoo or something.)

Definitely be careful about this. Businesses that deal with intellectual property or confidential materials often have policies against forwarding business email outside of the company. I’ve seen people almost get fired for doing that, so make sure it’s OK.

OK. I’m a little bit confused about this now.

Is it that you are unwilling to carry the laptop, but the company expects you to keep up to date with your work email? or…

Is it that you just want to keep up to date with your inbox, without necessary replying to any business emails…?

If it’s the first, and the company is willing to provide you with a laptop, but not help you to configure another computer, then laptop it has to be.

If it’s the second, then forwarding that email “should” be OK, but ask first anyway (and don’t reply from your yahoo account, as others have mentioned).

Or is it a third option that you would happily just use the Out of Office assistant, so people aren’t waiting for a reply for a week or two… but your company is unwilling to let you set that up (which seems absolutely insane to me).

OK, so the mail server really is accessible from the outside. Good.

That’s probably because the Outlook on your office computer is configured to delete the e-mails from the server once they’re downloaded. I don’t use Outlook, but I have MS Office 2000 installed. Things might be a little different in Office XP, but you can try this:
Go to Tools->Services; select your account, and click Properties.
On the “Advanced” tab there’s a section called “Delivery”. Check “Leave a copy of messages on server”, and “Remove from server after x days”. Choose a reasonable period (a few days), so you’ll have a chance to download them on your laptop.
This doesn’t work if it’s a MS Exchange server… but I have a feeling it’s not.

Since you are in the “Properties” window, write down all the settings (from all tabs), and try them on your home computer. You’ll need to know the mail account password though… :idunno:

Andre’s last e-mail looks very helpful, thanks, I’ll try that. But to answer your questions irishstu. . .

I’m willing to carry the laptop sometimes, particularly if I’ll be gone for a whole week and the only way I can access my office emails in Outlook is through my laptop. But dragging the laptop around can be a drag sometimes and I’d just as soon leave it behind if I could access my office Outlook on a hotel’s computer or family/friend’s computer, but that’s so far been impossible.

No. If I’m out of the office for a few days I feel an obligation to check my incoming emails and send a few responses, especially if I have no Out of Office function and people who write to me expect that I’ve received their messages.

Presently, with my screwed up system, I have to communicate with my secretary by phone, fax and Hotmail, ask her to check my emails and send me anything important. It’s not only a pain in the ass, but it’s embarassing telling clients sorry I can’t access your emails on the road (when people I deal with are available 24/7 by Blackberry), then having to write back to them with Hotmail, as if I were in cybercafe on Khao San Rd.

Just Out of Office assistant would be a compromise I could live with, though I’d prefer having access to Outlook from other computers. Several of you have given me good comments and suggestions. Thanks, I’ll follow up on them.

EDIT: Ok, I couldn’t do Andre’s last suggestion: Tools>Services>Select Acct>Properties>Advanced>Delivery, etc.,

BUT I did succeed in setting up a rule so my office emails are automatically forwarded to my Hotmail account, and found that it’s easy to turn on and off the rule. Yes it’s a hokey solution and I’ll still have to reply to clients via Hotmail, but at least I can now receive my emails (and spam) on the road without the laptop. Thanks.