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I have 3 users that are useless and have forgotten to turn out off office on, I don't want to reset their passwords and use Outlook and would like to know how to use Microsoft Exchange 2007 to turn it on instead, also how to do it in Exchange 2003 on SBS?

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See also serverfault.com/questions/76376/… where I put a webpage I created so I could enable our helpdesk to do this without having to give them full mailbox access to every user (which is abusable). –  Richard Gadsden Nov 27 '09 at 15:15

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

One really quick way is to use OWA - if you've rights on their mailbox you can browse to the OWA and stick their user account name on the end.

You can then set out of office in options.

e.g. http://servername/exchange/accountname

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Ideally I'd like to use Exchange as this is a regular occurence and when the 3 users are in South Africa watching the rugby it's a bit harder to chase after passwords. –  stead1984 Jun 18 '09 at 10:55
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You don't need the password to use this approach - if you've got admin rights to the mailboxes you can login via OWA. I've used this a few times on SBS 2003 to save the hassle you mention. –  Chris W Jun 18 '09 at 11:00
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In Exchange 2007, it is servername/owa/username@domain.com –  Kevin Kuphal Jun 18 '09 at 12:35
    
Chirs hit it right on the spot. The easiest way to do it is this approach. –  Hondalex Jun 18 '09 at 13:47

If you have the correct permissions set on their mailbox (as I would assume you do being the exchange administrator) how I do it is as follows:
Open Control Panel on your local machine, then into the Mail option.
Create an alternative profile and when prompted complete it with the user's credentials. Ensure that "Use Cached mode" is disabled otherwise you will have a copy of their emails on your machine and it will take longer to access.
Remember to tick the box to tell outloo to ask which profile to use on startup.
Open outlook and select the new profile
Set Out Of Office as per normal

I do not know of a way to set it via Exchange or if it is even possible, but I find that this is a relatively straightforward mechanism for doing this or any other user administrative tasks that they neglect to do themselves.

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Andy Grogan has a fudged powershell technique that might be handy here?

Edit: Aah, he's got the 'finished product' here, looks like a bit of work to set up.

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I have my users do it on OWA. If they set it in Outlook on their computer or if you do it on yours, you will need to make sure the pc stays on and does not go to sleep. If the computer sleeps, turns off, or Outlook gets closed, mail will be routed to the mailbox like normal without an Out Of Office reply. When done on OWA, they can log out and close the browser, turn the pc off, etc... and the auto reply will still work.

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Hi theKAT007 I think you might be misinformed or your environment may be misconfigured or not an exchange server. The Out Of Office assistant sets it on Exchange and not on the local machine. –  Dan Jun 18 '09 at 12:45

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