How to Set Auto Reply and Auto Forward for Microsoft 365 Email


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Heading out of the office? Microsoft 365 makes it easy to set up an auto-reply message for your email. You can also automatically forward your email to another person so they can handle your emails.

For Your Own Mailbox

To start, open Microsoft Outlook. Then click File > Info >Automatic Replies.

Click File > Info > Automatic Replies

Here, you can set a time range to send the auto-reply. Automatic replies will automatically turn off at the end of the time range. Type you message in the box and click OK.

Important! There are different settings for auto-replies to people inside your organization and outside. Make sure to click the tab for Outside My Organization and also set the desired message there!

Set a time range and type your auto-reply message.

Be sure to check the box to send auto-replies outside your organizations! If you forget to to this, outside senders will not receive your auto-reply.

Don’t forget to click the Outside My Organization and check the box to auto-reply to outside senders.

For Another Person’s Mailbox

If you have administrator access to 365, you can also edit the auto-reply settings for another user at your company or organization.

First, visit admin.microsoft.com and sign in to your administrator account. On the left side of the admin page, click Users > Active Users, then click the name of the person whose mailbox you want to edit.

Click Users > Active Users and click the name of the person whose mailbox you need to edit.

When you click the user’s name, a small window will pop up with their settings. Click the Mail tab. You can then edit the Forwarding and Auto Reply settings.

Click the Mail tab, then click Manage email forwarding or Manage automatic relies.

For forwarding, you can enter the email address you want to forward to. You probably will also want to check the box to Keep a copy of forwarded mail.

Note: Many organizations' settings do not allow automatic forwarding to addresses outside the organization.

Enter the email address you want to forward to. You probably will also want to check the box to Keep a copy of forwarded mail.

Under Automatic replies, notice that you have to set the auto-reply for both internal and external senders.

Don’t forget to set your auto-reply for both internal and external senders.

Note: You cannot set a time range when setting an auto-reply for another user as admin.

Editing Settings on the Go

You can also edit your mailbox settings from anywhere by visiting outlook.office.com and signing in. Click the Settings gear icon at the top right to change your settings.

You can also download the Microsoft Outlook app for iPhone or Android and edit settings there.

Forwarding to More Than One Person

To forward email to more than one address, you need to first create a Group in 365. If you do not have admin access, you will need your administrator to assist you in creating a group.

Once again, sign in to admin.microsoft.com with your administrator account. On the left side of the admin page, click Groups > Groups, the click Add a Group.

On the admin page, click Groups > Groups, the click Add a Group.

Click through the group setup and enter these settings:

  • Group type: Distribution
  • Name: [whatever you want, e.g. Managers]
  • Description: [whatever you want, optional]
  • Group email address: managers@mycompany.com, for example
  • Communication- Allow people outside of my organization to send email to this distribution group: Probably you want this checked

Review your settings and click Create Group.

Enter these settings for your distribution group.

Now, return to the Groups admin page. Notice the message:

It can take up to an hour for new distribution groups and mail-enabled security groups to appear in your groups list. If you don’t see your new group yet, go to the Exchange admin center.

Click the link to visit the Exchange Admin Center.

Click the link to the Exchange Admin Center to see your group without waiting.

You will be send to the Exchange Admin Center. Here, click Groups under Recipients. Find the name of you new group and click to select it, the click the Pencil icon to edit it.

Click the name of your group to select, then click the Pencil icon to edit.

Another window will open. Click Membership and then click the Plus icon + to add members to the group.

Click Membership and then click the Plus icon + to add members to the group.

Another window opens. Now, you can click a person’s name to select them, then click Add at the bottom to add them to the group. When you are finished adding group members, click OK.

Click a name to select a person, then click Add- > to add them to the group.

Back on the previous window, click Save. All that’s left is to return to the user’s mail settings and edit their Auto-Forward address (see previous section for instructions).

Enter the name of your new group email address (e.g. managers@mycompany.com) for the forwarding address. Auto-forwarded emails will be sent to all members of the group.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You now know how to set up automatic replies and automatic forwarding for Microsoft 365 email. Questions? Still need to migrate to 365? Contact Green Mountain IT Solutions today for help. 802-489-6948 | info@greenmtnit.com

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