How to Set Up Out of Office in the Microsoft Outlook App

Introduction

Are you planning a vacation, attending a conference, or taking some well-deserved time off? Making sure your colleagues and contacts know you’re unavailable is key to enjoying your break without work interruptions. In this video I’ll walk you through setting up an Out of Office reply in the Microsoft Outlook app on your mobile device. This feature is a lifesaver for managing expectations and maintaining professionalism, even when you’re away from your desk. In this article I’ll show you how to set up an Out of Office message in the Microsoft Outlook app.

Are you planning a vacation, attending a conference, or taking some well-deserved time off? Making sure your colleagues and contacts know you’re unavailable is key to enjoying your break without work interruptions. In this video I’ll walk you through setting up an Out of Office reply in the Microsoft Outlook app on your mobile device. This feature is a lifesaver for managing expectations and maintaining professionalism, even when you’re away from your desk.

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Steps to Set Up Out of Office in the Microsoft Outlook App

  1. Tap your profile icon at the top of the Microsoft Outlook app to open a menu, and then tap “Settings” in this menu. The Settings screen is displayed.

  1. Navigate to Mail Accounts, and then tap the Outlook email account you want to turn on an out of office message for. The next screen displays options for that specific Outlook email account.
  2. Navigate to the Account Settings section, and then tap “Automatic Replies” in this section. The Automatic Replies screen opens.

  1. Tap to toggle on “Automatic Replies.”

If you want to reply during a specific time period, tap to toggle on “Reply During a Time Period.” Set the start and end times during which you want this out of office message to be sent to people.

  1. Tap to toggle on “Block My Calendar” if you want to create an event in your Microsoft Outlook calendar that aligns with when you’ll be out of the office.

Enter a title for your event if you want to.

  1. Enter the message you want to be sent to people during this time frame in the “Reply to Everyone With” field.

  1. Now, tap the check mark at the top of the screen.

Your Out of Office automatic reply is now set up and will be sent over your specified time frame. You’ll see a message letting you know automatic replies are active at the top of your Microsoft Outlook inbox.

You can turn off your automatic reply at any time by tapping “Turn Off” on this screen. A window will pop up asking if you want to turn off automatic replies. Tap “OK” in this window. Your out of office replies will be turned off immediately.

Reasons to Set Up Out of Office in the Microsoft Outlook App

1. Vacation or Personal Leave

Setting up an Out of Office message in the Outlook app for vacation alerts senders you’re away for personal time. It sets clear expectations about your email response delay. This practice ensures that people know you’re recharging, not ignoring their messages. It maintains respect and understanding in professional relationships, keeping communication lines open and respectful.

2. Business Trip or Professional Engagement

When attending business trips or conferences, setting an Out of Office message informs others of your temporary unavailability. It communicates that while you’re engaged in professional development or networking, you might respond slower than usual. This helps manage expectations and keeps the communication flow professional and courteous.

3. Medical Leave

Using an Out of Office message during medical leave informs contacts of your health-related absence. It maintains privacy while ensuring people know you’re not available for immediate responses. This approach respects both personal boundaries and professional obligations, ensuring others can redirect their queries appropriately.

4. Work-Life Balance

Setting an Out of Office message after hours or on weekends promotes work-life balance. It clearly communicates your commitment to personal time outside work hours. This practice sets healthy boundaries, showing respect for your time and encouraging others to do the same.

5. Automatic Redirects

An Out of Office message can automatically direct senders to the right contact in your absence. This ensures continuous workflow and immediate assistance for urgent matters. It’s a proactive way to manage responsibilities, keeping projects moving smoothly without delays.

6. Professional Courtesy

An Out of Office reply is a professional courtesy that manages sender expectations. It informs them of your unavailability and expected return, preventing misunderstandings. This small act of communication significantly enhances mutual respect and understanding in professional interactions.

7. Emergency Contacts

Providing emergency contact information in your Out of Office message ensures critical issues are addressed promptly. It’s a responsible way to handle potential emergencies, offering peace of mind to both you and your contacts. This approach ensures that urgent matters receive the attention they deserve.

8. Automating Responses

An automated Out of Office message can answer common queries or offer resources. This efficient communication strategy reduces the need for your immediate input while providing valuable information to senders. It’s an effective way to manage your inbox and assist others simultaneously.

In some industries, Out of Office messages are required to notify correspondents of your absence. They ensure compliance with regulations, maintaining professional standards. This practice is essential for transparency and accountability in specific sectors.

10. Maintaining Communication Flow

An Out of Office message helps maintain communication flow by directing emails to an alternate contact. It prevents bottlenecks in workflow, ensuring business processes continue smoothly. This strategy is vital for team efficiency and project continuity.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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