How to Set Out of Office in Outlook App

In today’s fast-paced work environment, staying connected is crucial, but so is taking breaks and time off. One of the most useful features offered by Microsoft Outlook is the ability to set an out of office message, ensuring that your contacts are informed about your absence and provided with alternative contacts if necessary. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of setting out of office in the Outlook app, along with some best practices for crafting effective messages.

Understanding Out of Office

Before we dive into the specifics of setting out of office in Outlook, let’s first understand what this feature entails. Out of office, commonly abbreviated as OOO, is a setting that automatically replies to incoming emails with a predefined message when you’re unable to respond personally. This feature is invaluable when you’re on vacation, traveling for work, or simply need to focus on other tasks without interruptions.

Accessing the Out of Office Settings

To set out of office in the Outlook app, start by opening the application on your desktop or mobile device. Then, navigate to the settings menu, usually represented by a gear icon.

Writing the Out of Office Message

Once you’re in the settings menu, locate the option for out of office or automatic replies. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to craft your message. Be sure to include important details such as the dates of your absence, when you’ll be returning, and who to contact in your absence.

Setting the Duration

After composing your message, specify the duration for which you’ll be out of office. You can choose to set a start and end date or opt for an indefinite period if necessary.

Activating the Out of Office Feature

Finally, activate the out of office feature to ensure that your message is sent automatically to anyone who emails you during your absence. Once activated, you can rest assured that your contacts will be informed of your unavailability.

Customizing Out of Office Messages

Crafting an effective out of office message is essential for ensuring that your contacts receive relevant information in your absence. Here are some tips for customizing your message:

Be informative: Provide details about your absence, including when you’ll be back and who to contact in the meantime.

Be polite and professional: Maintain a professional tone in your message while expressing gratitude for their understanding.

Provide alternative contacts: In case of urgent matters, offer alternative contacts who can assist in your absence.

Managing Out of Office Settings

Once you’ve set out of office in Outlook, you may need to manage your settings depending on changes to your schedule. Here’s how you can do that:

Editing out of office messages: Update your message if there are any changes to your availability or contact information.

Changing duration or deactivating out of office feature: Adjust the duration of your absence or deactivate the feature altogether when you return to work.

Checking status of out of office: Periodically review your out of office settings to ensure they’re still accurate and up to date.

Best Practices for Using Out of Office

To make the most of the out of office feature, consider the following best practices:

Dos: Provide relevant information such as your return date and alternative contacts.

Don’ts: Avoid being vague or overly casual in your message, as clarity and professionalism are key.

Benefits of Using Out of Office

Utilizing the out of office feature offers several benefits, including:

Improved communication: Ensures that your contacts are aware of your absence and can adjust their expectations accordingly.

Maintaining professionalism: Demonstrates that you value clear communication and respect your colleagues’ time.

Managing workload effectively: Allows you to focus on your tasks without being interrupted by unnecessary emails.

Troubleshooting Out of Office Issues

Despite its usefulness, you may encounter some issues when setting out of office in Outlook. Here are some common problems and solutions:

Out of Office

Out of office not activating: Double-check your settings to ensure that the feature is enabled correctly.

Out of office message not sending: Verify that your message is correctly formatted and does not contain any errors.

Incorrect duration settings: Adjust the duration of your absence if you realize that it’s been set incorrectly.


Setting out of office in Outlook app is a simple yet essential task for maintaining effective communication in the workplace. By following the steps outlined in this article and adhering to best practices for crafting messages, you can ensure that your contacts are informed of your absence and provided with the necessary information to reach you or someone else in your absence.


Can I set out of office for specific contacts in Outlook?

Unfortunately, Outlook does not currently offer the option to set out of office for specific contacts. The feature applies to all incoming emails.

Can I customize my out of office message for different audiences?

While Outlook does not have built-in functionality for this, you can create multiple out of office messages and activate them as needed.

What happens if I forget to deactivate out of office upon my return?

If you forget to deactivate out of office, your automatic reply will continue to be sent to incoming emails until you manually turn off the feature.

Can I set different out of office messages for internal and external contacts?

Yes, Outlook allows you to create separate messages for internal and external contacts, providing flexibility in communication.

Is it possible to schedule out of office in advance?

Yes, you can set up out of office messages in advance by specifying the start and end dates of your absence.

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