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How to Create a Custom Auto Responder in Outlook

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Category: How To Tutorials  |  Permalink

Published: Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Before anything else, you should make sure that you are not using Microsoft Office Word as your default e-mail editor. You can do this by accessing the Mail Format tab under the Options in the Tools menu. Once you have opened the Mail Format tab, make sure that under Message Format that the "Use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to edit e-mail messages" check box is not selected.

To create your Auto Reply Message Template

  1. Click on the File menu, scroll over New and then click Mail Message.

  2. Under the message window, select the Options tab. In the Format box select Plain Text. (Avoid using HTML or Rich Text formatted messages. This may cause problems when sending to recipients.) Be sure to click YES or Continue, when the warning prompt stating that you are removing all current formatting appears.



  3. Type the personalized message you wish to use as your Auto Responder email in the message body of the email.
  4. Once you've finished, open the File menu and select Save As.
  5. After the Save As dialog box is open, select the Outlook Template under the Save As Type list.
  6. Create a name for your Auto Reply template (here we used "Outlook Auto Reply") in the File Name box and then select Save.


Creating a rule to reply to new e-mail messages using your Auto Responder template

  1. Open the Tools menu and select Rules and Alerts.


  2. Under the Rules and Alerts dialog box select New Rule.
  3. Click on the Start from a blank rule. Select Check messages when they arrive and then click Next.


  4. Select the Sent Only To Me option and any other criteria would like to have under the Which condition(s) do you want to check? then select Next.


  5. Click on the Reply using a specific template check box under What do you want to do with the massage?
  6. Beneath Step 2: Edit the rule description (click an underlined value), select A Specific Template.


  7. Once the Select a Reply Template dialog box, select User Templates in File System under the Look In box. Choose the template that you created in the previous section and then select Open.


  8. Select Next.
  9. You can also select any other exceptions to the auto-reply rule by choosing any of the check boxes.
  10. Select Next.
  11. Beneath Step 1: Specify a name for this rule, create a name for the auto reply rule and then select Finish.


Note: The Reply Using a Specific Template rule in The Rules Wizard sends your Auto Responder template only once to each sender during a session. Outlook keeps track of the list of users in which it has responded, thus preventing repetitive replies to a sender that you receive multiple messages from. However if you exit and restart Outlook, the list of senders that have received auto replies is reset.
Outlook must also be running and configured to periodically check for new messages in order for the Rules Wizard to send your Auto Reply.

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