University of Bath

Using email automatic replies to tell others you are out of the office

You can set up email automatic replies in Outlook and Outlook Web App (OWA) to let others know you are on vacation, sabbatical or have another contact point.

Before you start

You can use automatic replies to respond to people who send you an email to let them know you that you aren’t in the office or that your response might be delayed.

We recommend that you include the following in your message:

  • an expected return date
  • when you will be able to deal with email (or the fact that someone else will)
  • an alternative contact in your absence and their contact email / phone number

You can set up your automatic replies using either Outlook or the Outlook Web App, you do not have to set them in both.

Within Outlook and OWA there is an 'Inside my Organization' tab for sending automatic replies to members of the University and an 'Outside My Organization' tab for any external recipients. You can choose to set a different message for each. In the 'Outside My Organization' tab you can select whether you want replies sent to 'My contacts only' or to 'Anyone outside my organization' who sends you an email.

Setting up automatic replies in Outlook

  1. Select 'File'.
  2. Select 'Automatic Replies' (Out of Office).
  3. Check the 'send automatic replies' box.
  4. You can set a start and end date or just switch it on. If you don't set an end date you will have to remember to switch automatic replies off at a later date.
  5. Write your automatic reply in the 'Inside my Organization' and 'Outside my Organization' tabs as required.

Setting up automatic replies in OWA

  1. Log in to mail.bath.ac.uk.
  2. Select the cog icon.
  3. Select 'Set automatic replies'.
  4. Select 'Send automatic replies'.
  5. You can set a start and end date or just switch it on. If you don't set an end date you will have to remember to switch automatic replies off at a later date.
  6. Write your automatic reply in the 'Inside my Organization' and 'Outside my Organization' tabs as required.