Not there? How to say you’re Out of Office in Outlook

Automatic Replies buttonCan’t find the Out of Office Assistant to update your contacts for a long July 4th weekend? Well, for Outlook 2010 you find it where you find all of the other options and tools: the Backstage view (click the gold File tab in the upper-left corner of the screen) and then click the Automatic Replies button.

This new video training goes over the basics of setting up Automatic Replies for any occasion (including the most frequent, your out-of-office message). But the training also has a workaround if you don’t have a mailbox on Microsoft Exchange, a program that delivers email to Outlook and your mobile devices. Here’s the first part of the training and let me explain more below about Outlook and Exchange.


Microsoft Exchange is what many companies use to work with Outlook. However, you may have another service (like Hotmail, Gmail, your Internet provider). If you don’t have Exchange, the Automatic Replies tool (and the button, pictured above) does not appear. However, the second course of this training shows you a simple step to create an Out of Office template that will work the same way. (Here are the written instructions for the procedure at

You can read more about automatic replies for Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003. Teachers might want to read this blog post in the Office in Education blog.

–Doug Thomas