How to create an auto reply message for a shared mailbox

These instructions apply to Microsoft Outlook 2007 and 2010. To set up an auto reply message from a shared mailbox, you will need to create a second Outlook profile that connects only to the shared mailbox.

Create second Outlook profile​

  1. Make sure to close out any open Outlook.
  2. Click the Start menu, select Control Panel, and double-click Mail. The "Mail Setup" box appears.  
  3. Click Show Profiles, choose Prompt for a profile to be used, and click Add, and type in the name of your new profile. Click OK.
  4. Check Manually configure server settings… and click Next.
  5. Select Microsoft Exchange, click Next, and enter the Microsoft Exchange server name (
  6. In the User Name field, enter the shared mailbox alias.
  7. Click Next to finish the wizard.

Server-based automatic reply rules

There are situations where it is necessary to send an automatic reply directly from the server. The pre-configured Out of Office (OoO) rule is an example of that. To send a reply with a customized subject and message to every message received:

  1. Launch Outlook and select the profile you created above.
  2. Select the Inbox, and click Tools, then Rules and Alerts.
  3. Click New Rule and click Check messages when they arrive.
  4. Click Next twice (don’t do anything in the "What condition(s) do you want to check?" box.)
  5. Select have server reply using a specific message, and click …a specific message. A blank email appears.
  6. In the Subject and Message fields, type the message you want to send. Leave the To, CC, and BCC (if showing) fields blank
  7. Click Save and Close to close the message window and click Next.
  8. Select the appropriate exclusion option (if any) and click Next.
  9. Name the rule (do not check the Run this rule… checkbox.) and check Turn on this rule.
  10. Click Finish.
  11.  You can now close Outlook and re-launch it using your own profile.

For any message that you receive in the shared mailbox, the server will send an automatic reply to sender whether or not Outlook is running on your computer.

Need help?

Last updated: 

February 04, 2016

Browse by tag