I have a question. We have an employee that is going to be on maternity leave for the next 8 weeks.

I think that Outlook/Exchange is designed to send one out of office message to each person that sends an email to my user for the duration of the out of office reply. Meaning that if someone sends an email to my user each week they are only going to receive one out of office message - the first time they send her an e-mail.

My concern is that over time people might forget that she is out of the office. Since they are not receiving any type of reply when they send an email this would seem possible.

Does anyone know if Exchange ever resets the out of message notification after a certain amount of time? Like a week or so? I'm not looking for every message to get an out of office message, but I think more than one over the course of 8 weeks would be appropriate.

I know that I can turn off and turn back on the out of office assistant to "reset" the replies, but I'm curious if Exchange performs a reset after a certain period of time automatically.


I dont know of a server side solution, and while that would definately be best

Assuming that you can access a workstation with the user's Outlook remotely, you could use a freeware utility called GhostMouse, along with Windows task scheduler, to do this.

Record a "script" in GhostMouse, where mouse movements and clicks get recorded to a file. Precisely record this script such that you 1) minimize all Windows, 2) open Outlook, 3) take the necessary menu actions to disable and re-enable Out-Of-Office, 4) close Outlook.

Use Task Scheduler to schedule this script file to run automatically on a daily basis.

Again this is a client-side solution but is cheap and will probably work fine.

Just found this if you want to try it, I have not Out of office extender

  • +1 for finding Out of Office Extender. Unfortunately in my situation it can not be used because we are in a hosted environment. – Richard West Mar 23 '10 at 12:40

I've seen OOO settings persist for as long as a year. So, I doubt there is a limit or at least not one that will be useful to you.

  • That seems to be what I am finding as well. Thanks! – Richard West Mar 23 '10 at 12:41

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