Outlook logo on a blue background.

An out-of-office (OOO) reply for your emails is a convenient way to let others know when you’re away. We’ll show you how to set up an out-of-office reply in Microsoft Outlook on Windows and Mac.

Whether you’re going to be away for a few hours, a day, or a week, you can create an automatic reply using your own words. This lets others know you’re gone and will reply to their email when you return. Plus, you can set the start and end dates, so Outlook takes over when the time comes.

Out of Office in Outlook on Windows

Setting up an out of office reply in Outlook on Windows takes only a few minutes. To get started, open Outlook and select the File tab.

RELATED: How to Set Up an Out of Office Reply on Outlook.com

In the Info section, use the drop-down box at the top to select an account if you have more than one. Then, choose “Automatic Replies.”

Info, Automatic Replies in Outlook on Windows

In the pop-up window, mark the Send Automatic Replies option at the top.

To automatically send replies during a timeframe, check the box for Only Send During This Time Range. Then, enter the dates and times in the corresponding boxes. If you don’t mark this option, you can manually turn automatic replies off using the Do Not Send Automatic Replies setting at the top.

Send automatic replies on Windows

Enter your out-of-office message in the text box at the bottom. You can format the font style and size as well as use bold, italics, color, and additional options.

Out of office message on Windows

When you finish, click “OK.”

RELATED: How to Sign Out of Microsoft Outlook

Out of Office in Outlook on Mac

You can easily create an out-of-office reply in both the legacy and new version of Outlook on Mac. While the window you see to enter the automatic reply is the same in both versions, how you access it differs.

In the legacy version, open Outlook, select your account on the left if you have more than one, and head to the Tools tab. Click “Out of Office” in the ribbon.

Out of Office on the Tools tab on Mac

If you’re using the new version of Outlook, open the app and choose your account on the left if you have more than one. Select Tools > Automatic Replies in the menu bar.

Tools, Automatic Replies in the Mac menu bar

In the pop-up window, mark the option at the top to enable automatic replies. Enter the message you want to use for others inside your organization.

Send internal replies in Outlook on Mac

To send the reply during a timeframe, check the box for Send Replies Only During This Time Period and enter the start and end dates and times. If you don’t mark this option, you can turn off the replies manually by unchecking the box at the top.

Dates for automatic replies on Mac

Check the box for Send Replies Outside My Organization if you want to use that option. Choose your contacts or all external senders and then enter your message.

Send external replies in Outlook on Mac

When you finish, click “OK.”

OOO replies are helpful to others who send you emails while you’re away. So if you also use other email services, look at how to set up an out of office in Gmail and automatic replies in Apple Mail too.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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