How to Auto Reply in Outlook 2007

By Angela M. Wheeland

Microsoft Office 2007 includes a feature to send an automatic response to incoming messages. Although Microsoft Exchange Server includes an Out of Office Assistant, Outlook can replicate this feature by creating rules and an e-mail template. Each time you receive an e-mail, Outlook replies to the sender with an automatic response. Although the sender may send multiple e-mails, the rule allows only one reply. This prevents senders from receiving the same reply multiple times.

Create an Auto Reply Template

Step 1

Open Microsoft Office 2007 and click the "File" menu. Point your mouse to "New" and click "Mail Message."

Step 2

Click the "Options" tab in the Format group. Click "Plain Text."

Step 3

Type the message you wish to send as your automatic reply into the message body.

Step 4

Click the "Microsoft Office Button" and click "Save As." The Microsoft Office Button is located in the top-left section of your message.

Step 5

Click "Outlook Template (*.oft)" in the "Save as type" drop-down list.

Step 6

Type a file name for your message template in the "File Name" box and then press "Save."

Create an Auto Reply Rule

Step 1

Click "Rules and Alerts" on the "Tools" drop-down menu. Click "New Rule."

Step 2

Click "Check messages when they arrive" under "Start from a blank rule." Click "Next."

Step 3

Select "Sent to only me" check box under "Which conditions do you want to check?" and select any other condition that you need. Click "Next." Select "Yes" when asked whether you would like this rule applied to each message received.

Step 4

Check the box "Reply using a specific template" under "What do you want to do with the message?"

Step 5

Look under "Step 2: Edit the rule description" and choose "A specific template." Click "User Templates in File System" in the "Look in" dialog box.

Step 6

Select the template created for an automatic response and click "Open." Click "Next."

Step 7

Select any preferred exceptions to the rule and click "Next."

Step 8

Type a name for your new rule under "Step 1: Specify a name for this rule" and click "Finish." Your rule is now on and is ready to use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Microsoft Office Online offers free out-of-office message templates available to download.
  • In order for the automatic replies to be sent, your computer must remain turned on and Microsoft Office 2007 must be left open.
  • To turn your rule off, click the "Tools" menu and click "Rules and Alerts." Uncheck the box for the rule you want to disable.