Set up an Out-of-Office Message in Google Apps

Just as in Outlook, you can set up an automatic out-of-office (OOF) reply in Gmail on Google Apps for when you are unavailable or on holiday etc.  This blogpost will walk you through configuring this.  You should take a moment to consider whether an Out-Of-Office Message is the best option for handling email in your absence.  You may prefer to delegate access to your mailbox so that a colleague can attend to any incoming emails, or set up a forwarder so that the mail automatically gets forwarded to your deputy.

If you DO want to set up an automatic reply / out-of-office message then follow the procedure below:

  • First you’ll need to log into the Gmail web interface; you can’t set this up from Outlook or your mobile device.  Login at
  • Go to Settings by clicking the gear icon in the top-rightOOF1
  • Scroll Down to Settings > General > Vacation Responder:


These settings are mostly self-explanatory but there’s a few things to note:

  • Check that your account is set to the correct time zone from Calendar > Settings > General, otherwise the OOF reply will not turn on and off at the expected times.
  • Consider only sending a response to people in your organisation / contacts list  – there’s no reason for unsolicited emailers to know your movements
  • Your signature will be attached to the OOF reply
  • OOF replies will not be sent for messages marked as SPAM or for emails from mailing lists
  • When your OOF auto-reply is active you will see a bar across the top of your inbox in Gmail to remind you that OOF is set:



No Comments Yet.

Leave a Comment