The 'Out of Office' (OOO) reply comes in handy when you are on an impromptu leave or are away from the office for a longer duration. The automatic reply is sent to whosoever emails you when the automatic reply is turned on.
You can also set a specific period for which the automatic replies should be active, and then it will turn off by itself, saving you the hassle of disabling it. So, let's get down to business.
Set Up Out-of-Office Auto-Reply from the Settings
Head to the Start Menu and type
Outlook to perform a search. Then, click on its tile to launch it.
Now, from the Outlook app window, click the 'gear' icon to open Settings.
Next, select the 'Accounts' tab from the left sidebar and choose the 'Automatic replies' option to continue.
On the next screen, turn on the toggle for 'Automatic replies' to enable all the settings.
Next, click 'Send replies only during a time period' if you want the reply to turn off automatically. Once checked, select the start and end dates. You can also set start and end times which could be your office timings.
To block your calendar, decline invitations to new events, and cancel your already scheduled meetings for the duration you specified, check all three checkboxes. Though these are optional, they will help your colleagues know that you are not available.
Now, type in the message that you would like to send as the "Out of Office" reply to all those contacts that try to reach you during the specified period.
Also, check the 'Send replies outside your organization' checkbox if you are frequently contacted by people that have a different email address than that of your organization. You can then type a new response or copy+paste the one you typed above. Once done, click 'Save' to apply the changes.
That's it. Outlook will now automatically reply to whoever emails you during the specified time duration.
There you go, people. Automatic Out of Office replies can help your colleagues and clients know that you are not available. Moreover, you can also let them know who to reach out to in your absence so no work is hampered.