How to Set up an Away Message in Gmail or Outlook

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There are times when urgent matters that require our attention are sent to us via email. This is unfortunate if it happens during a time when we are away from our computers. If the email sender does not know our direct contact information, other than our email address, then setting up an away message is ideal to ensure that critical information is relayed to us at the soonest possible time.


This is pretty simple to setup in Gmail. Follow this step by step guide:

  1. Login in to your Gmail account.
  2. Click on the Gear Icon in the upper right hand corner.
  3. The General Options will appear, if it doesn’t then click on General Tab.
  4. Scroll down to Vacation Responder, this is very near the bottom of the page.
  5. Click the radio button for Vacation Responder On.
  6. Input the necessary information for your automatic response. This includes start date, return date, subject, and message. There is default information typed in the last two fields. It is recommended to customize them accordingly to suit your needs.

Outlook 2003 and 2007

Outlook must have an exchange server for this to work. Follow these steps to turn on the Out of Office Assistant:

  1. Click on the Tools Menu, then select Out of Office Assistant.
  2. A dialog box will appear, select I am currently Out of the Office.
  3. A text box will appear. This is the AutoReply only once to each sender. Type in the away message that you want others to receive while you are not in the office.
  4. Finalize by clicking OK.

Take note that your account will be sending automatic away messages to unique senders until you repeat step 1 only this time you will be selecting I am Currently in the Office. This action effectively disables the autoresponse feature.

The steps for outlook 2007 are similar to what is enumerated above. The difference is that it has an added option of identifying the date range during which the away messages. Another new feature is the ability to customize the messages for recipients from within and from outside your organization.

The email application will continue to send away messages to unique senders up until the last day specified in the date range. If the date range is not specified then similar to the 2003 version, away messages shall be sent until you manually change your status to I am Currently in the Office.




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