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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Out of Office Message (Outlook 2003)

    My email at work receives mail from users in our domain and also from external sources. I would like to set up an Out of Office Message that will only send a return mail to those people in our internal email system, i.e. those in our domain, but not to external addresses. I have scoured the lounge, (sorry about that, bill me for any cleaning) and the web in general along with the Outlook documentation and can't find a way to do it.

    Can anybody help? It seems like something quite fundamental. After all, isn't there an unwritten rule that you never reply to mail that might be spam because it alerts the spammer to the fact that there's a human at the end of the address?

    Regards,
    Kevin Bell

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Out of Office Message (Outlook 2003)

    If you're on Exchange, it's a setting that can only be changed by the Exchange admin. By default, Out-of-Office messages go only to other users within the same domain for security reasons, but Exchange can be configured to send Out-of-Office messages to everyone. see How to enable out-of-office reply messages to the Internet.

    If you're not on Exchange, you can't restrict Out-of-Office in any way, so you'll have to set up a rule to send a specific reply to messages with your company domain in the sender address. Unfortunately, it won't be a true Out-of-Office message - the rule will send a reply to each e-mail from within your domain, not just to the first message from each sender.

  3. #3
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    Re: Out of Office Message (Outlook 2003)

    I noticed that the link points to Outlook 2000, but there is a definition of a rule that shows how to emulate an out of office message using rules that under certain conditions will only send out once. It may come in useful to Kevin if it is applicable to Outlook 2003.

    See here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/248830
    Regards,
    Rudi

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Out of Office Message (Outlook 2003)

    The MSKB article you mention has a link to the version for Outlook 2002 and later: How to emulate the Out of Office Assistant in Microsoft Outlook.

    It should be noted that the rule described in either of these articles won't send a repeated reply to the same sender during the Outlook session, i.e. while Outlook remains open. When Outlook is closed and restarted, it will forget the list of senders to whom a reply was sent and start to build it anew.

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