Outlook 2010 - Out of Office Assistant (Staff and PGRs)


f you plan to be away from LSE for a period of time and will not access your email, you can switch on the Out of Office Assistant to manage your Inbox and automatically respond to incoming mail. This can be done using Microsoft Outlook on campus or via the Web Email service from any location.

You can schedule your messages ahead of time so you do not forget to set them, and you can create internal and external messages which can differ depending on who will receive them.

Creating your messages

To create your out of office messages:

  1. Click File | Info | Automatic Replies The Automatic Replies dialog box opens

  2. Before you can enter any text, you must click on the Send automatic replies radio button. The text area will then become active and you can type your message.

Note: You have two tabs: Inside My Organization and Outside My Organization. You can use the same message in both if you wish. Use Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste, as using the mouse to copy and paste as normal does not work here.

Scheduling your message

  1. Click the Send automatic replies radio button
    Note: if this is all you do in the scheduling area, automatic replies will be sent until you manually turn off the assistant. Outlook will show a notification at the top of your inbox window when the Out of Office assistant is on.
  2. Click the Only send during this time range: tick box. The date and time options become available
  3. Use the down arrows to select the start and end dates and times that suit you.

Note: The Out of Office Assistant will turn off on the day and time you have chosen. If you have not set these, remember to turn off the assistant by clicking the Do not send automatic replies radio button.


Important: Out of Office Automatic Replies should never mention a holiday or similar reason for being unable to answer the message promptly. If you are a member of staff, your text should contain the following types of information:

  • the date you will return to the office
  • if and when you will be accessing your email while you are away from the School
  • if possible, the name and contact details of a colleague who can deal with enquiries in your absence. remember to confirm with your colleague that they agree to do this, and don't assume they will be able to deal with all of your enquiries. If you cannot find a colleague to point to, include the next paragraph's information, as it is important that the school meets the deadline for information requests
  • make provision for requests for information as defined by the Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act or Environmental Information Regulations.

Activating the Out of Office assistant from off-campus

Please see Office 365: Out-of-Office Assistant|.

Creating rules

You can also create rules that automatically manage incoming messages by telling Outlook what action to take with them. For example, you can create rules to automatically move or copy messages to other folders, to delete messages, to send custom replies and so on.

For guidance on creating and managing such rules, please see Outlook 2010 - Creating Rules to Manage Your Email|.