Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How To Set An Automatic Webmail ‘I’m Away’ Response

You have probably seen one of these: you send someone an e-mail, and later, in your Inbox you see their reply. So you open it and it says, “I’m on vacation. Quit bugging me!”

Okay. Maybe not those words. Exactly. But you know what I am describing. Right? It’s an e-mail feature called ‘vacation responder‘ (aka “I’m out of the office”).

If you go on vacation (or otherwise won’t have Internet access for a while) and you have a vacation responder turned on, an automatic reply – with a message you’ve pre-typed (you do not have to say “Quit bugging me!”) – will be sent automatically to the Sender letting them know you will get back to them, just not right away. When you get back online again, you simply turn it off again.

Find the Webmail you use from the list below.

* Gmail
Here’s how to let people know you can’t respond right away:

  1. Sign in to Gmail.
  2. Click Settings along the top of any Gmail page.
  3. From the General tab, select Vacation responder on in the Vacation responder: section.
  4. Enter the subject and body of your message in the Subject: and Message: fields.
    • If you’ve enabled a personalized signature in your settings, Gmail will automatically append it to the bottom of your vacation response.
  5. Check the box next to Only send a response to people in my Contacts if you don’t want everyone who emails you to know that you’re away from your mail.
  6. Click Save Changes.

* Hotmail
To make Windows Live Hotmail reply to incoming emails in your absence:

  • Select Options | More options… from the Windows Live Hotmail toolbar.
  • Follow the Sending automated vacation replies link under Managing your account.
  • Make sure Send vacation replies to people who email me is selected.
  • Type your desired out-of-office message under Enter the message you’d like to send while you’re away:.
    • Possibly include approximate info on when you will be able to reply personally.
    • Who to contact in the meantime or an alternative way of reaching you might also be appropriate.
    • In general, keep the message simple. Something like “I’m currently unable to read my mail, sorry! Come February, I’ll get back to you. In the meantime, you can…” shall do.
    • The subject Windows Live Hotmail uses for automatic replies is “Vacation reply”, by the way.
  • If you frequently get mail from people not yet in your Windows Live Hotmail address book, make sure Only reply to your contacts is not checked.
  • Click Save.

* Yahoo! Mail/Earthlink/Mindspring
To set a vacation response:

  1. Click Options in the upper-right corner of your Mail page. Then select Mail Options…
  2. From the list on the left, click Vacation Response.
  3. Check the box that says Enable auto-response during your vacation.
  4. Select start and end dates for your trip.
  5. Enter the day your vacation will start in the “”Auto-respond from”” field and the day it will end in the “”up until (and including)”” field.
  6. Enter a Generic Response. It can be up to ten lines.
  7. When you are finished writing your Generic Response, click Save Changes located near the upper-left corner of the page.

* AOL
AOL WebMail allows you to setup an away message, that will auto-reply with a custom message or a pre-set message that you choose, when you are away. This is extremely useful if you are on vacation and need to reply to someone who might email you.

1. Click the Settings link, located at the upper right of your AOL WebMail inbox.
2. Click the General link, located in the left panel.
3. In the Mail Away Message section, click the drop-down menu and select an appropriate away message. If you select Custom type your own personal away message in the text box provided.
4. Click Save.

[Note: if your webmail service is not listed here, don’t worry. The method is the same. Look for a “settings”, “options”, or “preferences” menu (those are all the same things, btw.).]

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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November 16, 2010 - Posted by | computers, e-mail, how to, Internet, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Hey Paul—thanks for this great tip! I always set up an “out of office” message on Outlook, but didn’t realize you could do the same for all of these webmail services too. This how-to will definitely come in handy for my next vacation.

    Like

    Comment by TuneUp | November 22, 2010 | Reply

    • TuneUp Blogger,
      And thank you. You reminded me that I was going to follow up that article with the How To for the e-mail clients (Outlook, Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail..).

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | November 22, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thank you. This was just the amount of instruction I needed.

    Like

    Comment by Teressa | May 15, 2015 | Reply

    • Teressa,
      And thank you for taking the time to let me know you found my writing helpful.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | May 15, 2015 | Reply


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