How to Setup Out Of Office Automated Reply in Outlook 2013 (Office 365)

Out of Office automated reply in any email client is a great way to let your coworkers know that you are on currently on out-of-office schedule due to vacation, business trip, sick leave, etc. Unfortunately Microsoft Outlook 2013 (office 365 package) doesn’t give a straightforward way to set this thing up. You need to create a rule to set out of office automated reply to senders.


Steps to Setup Automated Out of Office Reply


1. First thing you need to do is to create a out of office template in which you will be writing the out of office message. Create a new email and add in subject and content.

Automated Message Template

Automated Message Template (Sorry, the dates doesn’t make any sense!)

2. Save As the message as Outlook Template file (*.oft) by choosing it from the drop down list before saving the message. Make sure you remember where you save this file as it will be needed in future.

Outlook Template File

Outlook Template File

You will now have to create a rule and use the template which you made as a automated reply message to the senders.


1. From main page, go to File > Rules and Alerts and then click on New Rule.

Rules and Alerts

Rules and Alerts

2. In the first step of Rules wizard select “Apply rule on messages I receive” and then click Next.

Rules Wizard - Apply rule on message I receive

Rules Wizard – Apply rule on message I receive

3. You now have several options on whom do you want to send a autoreply. I would choose sent only to me, which implies that I want to send autoreply to only those emails which are only sent to me, not for those emails that are sent to several people. Click Next.

Rules Wizard - Sent only to me

Rules Wizard – Sent only to me

4. Select reply using a specific template, and then click on a specific template located in Step 2 section and then select the Out of Office template file which you have created in Section I of this article.

Rules Wizard -  Reply Using a Specific Template

Rules Wizard – Reply Using a Specific Template

Select a Reply Template

Select a Reply Template

5. Click Next.

Rules Wizard

Rules Wizard

6. Make sure to check the box Turn on this rule, and then click Finish.

Finish the Rule Setup

Finish the Rule Setup

7. Finally click OK to save and exit the Rules and Alert Wizard.

Rules and Alerts

Rules and Alerts

Congratulations! You have now successfully setup the Out of Office schedule on your Outlook! Got any questions or feedback? Do let us know in comments below.

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Kiran Kumar

Hi there! Kiran Kumar is an Engineer by profession, and loves blogging primarily on Microsoft Windows operating system and also enjoys reviewing software and products. Currently, he is exploring Windows 10 and you will see a lot of articles on know-how about it. When he is not writing for TWP, he enjoys time with his Family, listens to lot of music, enjoys Biking, and occasionally plays racing games on Xbox One.