Setting Up an Email Auto-Reply

This article contains instructions for:

If you aren't sure which email system you are on, please see All About Email at UO.


Automatic replies, also known as out-of-office messages or away messages, automatically respond to emails sent to your account with a note conveying that you are away from your email. Before you set up an automatic reply, please be aware of the potential drawbacks of the tool:

  • Auto-responders and spam: Please be aware that auto-responders will automatically respond to unwanted spam email just as they will to real mail, and using an auto-responder may result in the 'confirmation' of your email address (and a subsequent general increase in spam levels for your account).
  • Auto-responders and mailing lists: You should also know that while we try to avoid having the auto-responder accidentally reply to list postings, the auto-responder may be unable to identify some mail that's coming from a mailing list. As a result, it may sometimes respond to list mailings.


In UOmail, you can set up an automatic reply message for when you are going to be out of the office.

  1. Go to (UOmail)
  2. Log in with your email address and password.
  3. In the top right corner, click on the gear icon ⚙ (settings).
  4. Type in Automatic replies in the search box and click on the title Automatic replies.
  5. Slide Turn on automatic replies to the "ON" position (blue).
  6. You can specify a specific amount of time to enable forwarding by checking the Send replies only during a time period box.
  7. The next two boxes allow you to write separate messages to those within your organization ( addresses) and outside emails. If you un-check Send replies outside your organization, then only messages to addresses will be sent. You can also specify whether outside addresses need to be in your contacts list to receive an automatic reply by checking the Send replies only to contacts.
  8. Click the Save button at the top. Your changes are now saved and you can close the window.
  9. If you did not set your auto-reply to expire on a certain day, you will need to turn it off manually. To do so, follow the same process as above but slide Automatic replies on to the "Off" position and click the Save button.


In Outlook, you can set up an automatic reply message for when you are going to be out of the office.

To turn automatic replies on, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Log in with your Duck ID and password.
  3. Click on the gear in the top-right corner.
  4. Click Set automatic replies.
  5. Select Send automatic replies.
  6. Choose whether to send automatic replies through certain dates or until further notice by clicking the check box.
  7. Edit the automatic reply that will go to anyone who tries to email you while it is active.
  8. Click Save.

If you did not set auto-replies to expire on a certain date, you will need to turn them off when you no longer want to send your out-of-office message. To do so, repeat steps 1-4 above and then select Don't send automatic replies. Press Save when finished.

For instructions on how to set up automatic replies using Outlook the application, see either of the following articles:


Setting up an auto-reply is not currently available for Webmail users. If you need help removing an existing auto-reply, please contact the Technology Service Desk.


Article ID: 32972
Fri 7/7/17 11:35 AM
Wed 7/20/22 1:59 PM