Set-up an Out of Office Reply for Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail

Edited by Leomar Umpad, Charmed, Reema, Lynn and 7 others

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There will often be times you have to take off of work for a few days. Whether it be a sick day, a personal day or a planned vacation, it's always good to inform your fellow workers and bosses that you are taking a break from work. There are also other people who you communicate with regularly for work, but who do not work in your office or company. Some of them may need to know that you are out, as well as whom they can contact while you are away. While it is unnecessary, and many people will find it impolite, to contact everyone you know about your absence, you also don't want to cause trouble or miss a big opportunity by leaving without notice. The best thing you can do is set up an "out of office" message on your phone, and on your email. By doing so, you can make sure if someone needs to contact you, they will know that you are unavailable, and will be able to help them when you return, and if they need immediate assistance, they can contact someone else in your office. This is necessary for maintaining a good business relationship and taking care of your clients. In this article, you will learn how to set up one of these automatic email replies if you have a Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or Hotmail account.

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Things to Consider for Your Auto Reply

  1. 1
    Keep it brief.
    When someone emails you, they do not want a three-paragraph reply. They just need to know you are away from the office. Be respectful of their time by keeping your email reply short.
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  2. 2
    Don't be too detailed.
    Those emailing you are doing so for business, so they do not need to know everything about why you are absent. You can mention the length of time that you will be gone, but you don't need to say why. As everyone emailing you will get the same message, they don't need to know about your back pains, or your cruise to a foreign country.
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  3. 3
    Include the necessary information.
    In your auto-reply, you need to include everything the person trying to contact you may need to know.  
    1. Obviously, you will say that you are out of the office.
    2. You can then say how long you will be gone.
    3. Give them the name and contact information for the co-worker who is taking on your duties while you are gone.
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  4. 4
    Do not include your cell phone number.
    This is a common mistake. Often, people think that they need to give their number so that whoever needs to contact them may do so. Unfortunately, this can result in you spending your entire time off either answering or ignoring your constantly ringing phone. If you are sick, you need the rest, and if you are on vacation, you need to have fun, not be disturbed for work matters. So you can leave your number with your co-worker who is stepping in for you, or with your boss, so that they can call you if an emergency arises, or to consult on a critical matter.
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Setting Up Out of Office Reply in Gmail

  1. 1
    Log in to your Google account.
    Open google gmail.jpg
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  2. 2
    Click on the "Settings" menu (gear icon).
    Google Setting.jpg
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  3. 3
    Click on the "General" tab.
    General google setting.jpg
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  4. 4
    Under "Vacation Responder", make sure that it is turned on.
    General Responder.jpg
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  5. 5
    In the message box, enter your "Out of Office" reply.
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  6. 6
    Set the dates for starting and ending the reply.
    Click a start date under "First Day". Tick on "Ends:" and set a date for the auto-reply to stop.
    Date of reply.jpg
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  7. 7
    You have the option to reply to those who are only in your contact list, or include people who are not on your contacts.
    You can check or uncheck the box next to "Send A Response To People In My Contacts".
    Only send a response.jpg
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  8. 8
    When you are happy with your auto-replay message, click on "Save Changes".
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Turning Off Out of Office Reply in Gmail

  1. 1
    Log in to your Gmail account.
    Open google gmail.jpg
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  2. 2
    Click on the "Settings" menu (gear icon).
    Google Setting.jpg
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  3. 3
    Click on the "General" tab.
    General google setting.jpg
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  4. 4
    Under "Vacation Responder", make sure that it is turned off.
    Vacation responder on.jpg
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  5. 5
    Don't forget to click "Save the Changes".
    Vacation responder off save.jpg
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Setting Up Out of Office Reply in Hotmail

  1. 1
    Log in to your Hotmail email account.
    Log in.jpg
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  2. 2
    Hover your arrow over the "Options" menu in the upper right corner of the screen.
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  3. 3
    Click on "More Options".
    More options.jpg
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  4. 4
    Click on "Managing Your Account", and then "Sending automated Vacation Replies".
    Managing your account.jpg
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  5. 5
    Tick on the box beside "Send Vacation Replies To People Who Email".
    Send vacation replies to people who email me.jpg
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  6. 6
    In the message box, enter your "Out of Office" reply.
    Out of office.jpg
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  7. 7
    You have the option to reply to only those who are only in your contact list, or include people who are not on your contacts.
    You can check or uncheck the box next to "Only Reply To Your Contacts".
    Only reply to your contacts.jpg
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  8. 8
    When you are happy with your auto-replay message, click on "Save Changes".
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Turning Off Out of Office Reply in Hotmail

  1. 1
    Log in to your Hotmail email account.
    Log in 2.jpg
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  2. 2
    Hover your arrow over the "Options" menu in the upper right corner of the screen.
    Options on hotmail.jpg
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  3. 3
    Click on "More Options".
    More options on hotmail.jpg
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  4. 4
    On your "Managing Your Account" option, choose "Sending Automated Vacation replies".
    Don't send verification reply.jpg
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  5. 5
    Tick on the box next to "Don't Send Any Vacation Replies".
    Don't send verification reply save.jpg
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Setting Up Out of Office Reply in Yahoo Mail

  1. 1
    Log in to your Yahoo email account.
    Yahoo log in.jpg
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  2. 2
    Click on "Options", then "Mail Options".
    Setting.jpg
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  3. 3
    Click on "Vacation Response".
    Vacation response 2.jpg
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  4. 4
    Check "Enable Auto-Response During These Dates".
    Enable during these days.jpg
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  5. 5
    Enter your starting date under "From:" and enter your end date under "Until:"
    Enable during these days from and to.jpg
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  6. 6
    In the message box, enter your "Out of Office" reply.
    Out of the office.jpg
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  7. 7
    You can send a different response to all users in a specific domain by checking on "Response To Emails From A Specific Domain".
    You can then enter the domain that you want to send a different response (e.g ABCcompany.com, XYZCo.net). You can then type your desired out-of-office reply.
    Different response.jpg
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  8. 8
    When you are happy with your auto-replay message, click on "Save".
    Save auto response yahoo.jpg
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Turning Off Out of Office Reply on Yahoo Mail

  1. 1
    Log in to your Yahoo email account.
    Yahoo log in.jpg
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  2. 2
    Click on "Options", then "Mail Options".
    Setting.jpg
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  3. 3
    Click on "Vacation Response".
    Vacation response 2.jpg
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  4. 4
    Uncheck "Enable Auto-Response During These Dates".
    Uncheck enable during 2.jpg
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  5. 5
    Click on "Save".
    Uncheck enable during save.jpg
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Questions and Answers

Need to setup out of office in Hotmail accessing from chrome.

Need to setup out of office in Hotmail accessing from chrome. Help?

You can still access your Hotmail account from Google Chrome. There shouldn't be any problems.

  1. 1
    Sign into your account and then go to "Settings".
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  2. 2
    In settings, choose "Autoreply".
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  3. 3
    Then you can type in the message that you'd like to be automatically sent while you are out of the office.
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How do I do an out-of-office autoreply now that I am forced to use Outlook?

I used to be able to do an "out of office" reply in Hotmail, but now that my Hotmail has converted itself to Outlook, I can't find that option.

Easy – Go to Settings (gear icon) >> Options >> In the menu down the left of the page, select "Automatic Replies.

I want to set up an automatic response?

I know how to set up a vacation automatic response, but I don't want it to appear as vacation to the sender. How do I go about it

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

I am trying to set up an OF on Outlook.com but for the life of me I cannot seem to see how to do it?

I am trying to set up an OF on Outlok.com but for the life of me I cannot seem to see how to do it? I have tried: Googling.

Try this. Go to Settings (gear icon) >> Options >> In the menu down the left of the page, select "Automatic Replies.

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APA (American Psychological Association)
Set-up an Out of Office Reply for Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. (2017). In VisiHow. Retrieved Mar 25, 2017, from http://visihow.com/Set-up_an_Out_of_Office_Reply_for_Gmail,_Hotmail_and_Yahoo_Mail

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MLA (Modern Language Association) "Set-up an Out of Office Reply for Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail." VisiHow, visihow.com/Set-up_an_Out_of_Office_Reply_for_Gmail,_Hotmail_and_Yahoo_Mail Accessed 25 Mar 2017.

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Chicago / Turabian VisiHow.com. "Set-up an Out of Office Reply for Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail." Accessed Mar 25, 2017. http://visihow.com/Set-up_an_Out_of_Office_Reply_for_Gmail,_Hotmail_and_Yahoo_Mail.

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