University of Southampton


How to create automatic replies (Out of office) in Office 365

Use automatic replies to let people know you will be not available during a specific period of time.

You can set out-of-office replies from the browser version and the desktop client.


To set out-of-office replies via Outlook using the browser version

1. Go to

2. Log in using your university username (for example: and password

3. Choose Settings Settings icon > 'View all Outlook settings' > 'Automatic replies'

All Outlook settings banner

4. Unlock the 'Automatic replies on' and check the option 'Send replies only during a time period'

5. Add a start time and an end time 

6. Add the message you want to be showed 

7. Click on 'Save'


To set out-of-office replies via the desktop client

1. Sign in to your account

2. Go to the menu bar and click on 'File'

3. Click on 'Automatic Replies'

Image of the Automatic replies (out of office) button

Note: For Outlook 2007 choose Tools Out of Office Assistant.

4. In the Automatic Replies box, select 'Send automatic replies'.

You can set a date range for your automatic replies: yhis will turn off automatic replies at the date and time you enter for the end time. Otherwise, you'll need to turn off automatic replies manually.

Note: If you don't see 'Send automatic replies', you can set up your out-of-office message using Rules and Alerts.

5. Sending automatic replies to anyone inside or outside the University of Southampton:

  • Click on the 'Inside My Organisation' tab
  • Type the response that you want to send to teammates or colleagues while you are out of the office
    Out-of-office settings
  • Click on the tab 'Outside my Organization (On)' and follow the process above. Sending automatic replies to anyone outside my organization will send your automatic reply to every email (including newsletters, advertisements and junk email).
  • Click 'OK' to confirm

Use the following information to help you set up your automatic reply



Don’t send automatic replies

Select this option to turn off automatic replies.

Send automatic replies

Select this option to turn on automatic replies.

Send replies only during this time period

Select this check box, and then set a start time and end time to control when automatic replies are sent.

If you don't set a time period, your automatic reply will remain on until you turn it off. You’ll be reminded your automatic replies are turned on each time you sign in to your mailbox.

Send a reply once to each sender 'Inside my Organization' with the following message

Use the text box to create a message that is sent only to senders who are inside the University. This option may not be available.

Send automatic reply messages to senders 'Outside my organization'

Select this check box if you want automatic replies to be sent to senders outside the University.

If you select the check box to send automatic replies to persons outside the University, two other options are made available. Choose one of the following:

  • Send replies only to senders in 'My Contacts list': select this to limit automatic replies to senders who are in your Contacts folder. Senders who aren't in your Contacts folder will not receive the automatic reply.
  • Send replies to "Anyone outside my Organization': elect this to send your reply to all senders outside the University.


Useful links

Microsoft Training Center | Outlook - How do I...?

How to add a shared (generic) email account to Outlook for Windows using the desktop client

How to add an email account to Outlook

Attached files:

Was this article helpful?

If you have any further comments, please put them below.

Please note that feedback is anonymous - if you require a reply or assistance, please raise a ticket via ServiceLine.

Thank you for your feedback, it is much appreciated.

Tweet This Article

Back to List

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.