We are running Exchange 2007 with a mix of Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007. Is it possible to set the Out of Office Assistant so that when OoO is enabled, it sends a reply to every single email the user receives? Also, is there something I can reference that covers the options for OoO such as length of time between replies, etc.?


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    I did some work for a very large company which found they had to live within the one reply limit. Since it could have effected their customers, I suspect they couldn't figure out a way around it. I know one reason for the limit. X sends an e-mail to y just before leaving on vacation and turning on his OoO. Y is already on vacation. The two mailboxes send each other OoO messages until the server crashes. – Jordan 1GT Mar 22 '10 at 23:10

As far as I know, this is not possible, and there are a number of good reasons for this. For a start people can get very annoyed getting multiple out of office reply's, secondly, what if the users is subscribed to a newsletter or mailing list, they will reply to the newsletter with an out of office, the newsletter mailbox will then often reply with a "don't send mail here, no one reads it" notice, which will be replied to etc until your mail server is using all it's memory to play OoO tennis.

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Most of the time I get asked this question, the user doesn't want an OOO message, they want an autoresponder that says "we got your message".

In that case, you should instead create an Outlook profile on your computer with the mailbox that needs the autoresponder as the mail mailbox. Then add a rule that says "have the server reply with a specific message".

CAUTION: this setup DOES NOT throttle messages to mailboxes that also autorespond to every incoming email message. At a minimum, you should add an exclusion to the rule for the mailbox itself. It might also be a good idea to add an exclusion for all emails from your domain. You will also find that you need to add other email addresses as needed if the sender also has an autoresponder.

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Unfortunately it cannot be fulfilled by security reasons because it can cause a loop.

BUT, there is a method you can use to fulfill this that can provide you with the same results, by creating an Inbox Rule, create and activate this Inbox Rule instead the Out of Office function and you’ll be OK.

Microsoft Outlook 2010: Create a Rule to Automatically Reply to all new E-mail messages when they arrive.

You can set up Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 to send an automatic response to all of the people who send you e-mail messages. This tutorial gives steps for a department email account.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Move group, click Create Rule. A Create Rule dialog box opens.
  2. Click on the Advanced Options bottom.
  3. In the Rules Wizard dialog box, put a check in the box by Sent only to me, click the Next button.
  4. Put a check in the box by Have server reply using a specifc message.
  5. Edit the rule description (click an underlined value), click on the a specific message link.
  6. A new blank email message will appear, now you can type in your automatic reply.
  7. Click Save & Close.
  8. Whatever you type as the Subject will appear below in the “have server reply using link” and it will be used as the Subject of your Out of Office Message.
  9. Click Finish on the Rules Wizard after making sure the Turn on this rule is checked.

Now you can close Outlook and log off of the computer. If you ever need to make any changes you will have to log onto a computer with that account and open up Outlook to Tools, Rules and Alerts to edit that rule.

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