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

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There will always be times when we are off from work for a few days. May it be a sickness leave, or a planned vacation leave, it will always be good to inform our fellow workers, and bosses, that we are taking a break from work. However, there are people who are connected to your work but is not in the office and not part of your company. They may need some information from you that may cause to miss a big opportunity if this will not get attended to. It is also impolite to send a blast email to everyone informing that you will be on leave for three days, that is unnecessary. We will be discussing below on how to set-up an "out of office" reply for the three common email providers, Gmail, Yahoomail and Hotmail.

Things To Note On Your Auto Reply

  1. 1
    Keep it brief
    .
    Receivers do not want a three-paragraph auto reply. You may want to save their time from reading an auto-reply message by keeping your mail short.
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  2. 2
    Do not talk about your leave
    .
    Your recipients have nothing to do with it, and they do not need to know about it. You can mention that you are on a 3-day sick leave, or a 4-day vacation leave. That's it. Do not tell everyone that you are on a leave due to severe back pains, or a cruise to a foreign country, those are unnecessary information.
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  3. 3
    Keep it complete
    .
    Your recipient is the person who sends an email to you. The email is about the usual work that you are doing, or an inquiry that the sender thought that you can help him with. Thus, it is important to leave an alternate person, or persons, to contact to in the email. The auto-reply email should contain three important information: 1. You are out of office.; 2. Length of leave.; 3. Alternate contact person (including his email and contact number).
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  4. 4
    Do not leave your cellphone number on the email
    .
    This is a common mistake. A concerned employee will always leave his contact number on the auto-reply mail. As a result, the sick leave intended for resting has been spent on phone calls and the beach vacation has turned into beach call centers. Only leave your personal contact number to the person who will take over on your leave or to your boss. They should be polite enough to give you calls only on emergency and critical matters.
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Setting Up Out of Office Reply on Hotmail

  1. 1
    Login to your Hotmail email account
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  2. 2
    Hover your pointer to the Options Menu in the upper right corner of the screen.
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  3. 3
    Click on More Options.
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  4. 4
    On your Managing Your Account Option, choose "Sending automated vacation replies".
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  5. 5
    Tick on the box with "Send vacation replies to people who email".
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  6. 6
    In the message box, enter your "out of office" reply.
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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 in "Only reply to your contacts".
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  8. 8
    Click on Save.
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Turning Off Out of Office Reply on Hotmail

  1. 1
    Login to your Hotmail email account
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  2. 2
    Hover your pointer to the Options Menu in the upper right corner of the screen.
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  3. 3
    Click on More Options.
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  4. 4
    On your Managing Your Account Option, choose "Sending automated vacation replies".
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  5. 5
    Tick on the box with "Don't send any vacation replies".
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Setting Up Out of Office Reply on Gmail

  1. 1
    Login to your Google email account.
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  2. 2
    Click on the Settings Menu (gear icon).
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  3. 3
    Click on General Tab.
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  4. 4
    Under Vacation responder, make sure that it is turned on.
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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.
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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 in "Send a response to people in my Contacts".
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  8. 8
    Click on "Save Changes".
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Turning Off Out of Office Reply on Gmail

  1. 1
    Login to your Gmail email account.
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  2. 2
    Click on the Settings Menu (gear icon).
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  3. 3
    Click on General Tab.
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  4. 4
    Under Vacation responder, make sure that it is turned off.
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Setting Up Out of Office Reply on Yahoomail

  1. 1
    Login to your Yahoo email account.
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  2. 2
    Click on Options > Mail Options
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  3. 3
    Click on Vacation Response
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  4. 4
    Check "Enable auto-response during these dates (inclusive)
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  5. 5
    Enter your starting date under "From:" and enter your end date under "Until:"
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  6. 6
    In the message box, enter your "out of office" reply.
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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.
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  8. 8
    Click on Save
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Turning Off Out of Office Reply on Yahoomail

  1. 1
    Login to your Yahoo email account.
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  2. 2
    Click on Options > Mail Options
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  3. 3
    Click on Vacation Response
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  4. 4
    Uncheck "Enable auto-response during these dates (inclusive)
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  5. 5
    Click on Save
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Recent edits by: Alma, Nuance, Maria Quinney

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