We have 2 Exchange servers, one Exchange 2003 and one 2010. We are migrating from 2003 to 2010 and this has been largely painless, but we have a niggly problem I can't figure out and the documentation isn't the clearest thing in the world.

When a mailbox moves from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010, and the client is Outlook 2007 or greater, the Out of Office dialog changes to include internal and external OOF message options. I understand the reasons behind two separate messages, but it does not work well for us (people forget to change both messages, complain about having to set the same message twice etc.) and I want it back to how it functioned in Exchange 2003 - a single OOF message which is sent to both internal and external senders.

I cannot for the life of me find any options in the Exchange Management Console, and I can't see any PowerShell-only options to make it go back to Exchange 2003 style functionality. Does such an option exist, and if so where on earth is it?


The default behavior of Exchange 2003 was to not allow OOF messages out of Exchange and onto the Internet. A specific step had to be taken to allow that. The original behavior of Exchange 2003 can be achieved on a per-user basis with:

set-mailbox -identity $User -ExternalOofOptions InternalOnly

One Dialog To Rule Them All appears to be a feature Microsoft isn't interested in.

  • Yes, we did tweak that setting to allow external OOF messages on Exchange 2003. One Dialog To Rule Them All appears to be a feature Microsoft isn't interested in - that's what I thought. I have my manager breathing down my neck on this, so I just want to be 100% sure when I say it isn't going to happen. – Ben Pilbrow Jan 27 '11 at 0:16
  • Cheers @sysadmin1138 - I'll mark this as the answer, and if we decide to cook up something hacky I will also post a separate answer. – Ben Pilbrow Feb 4 '11 at 20:19

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