A new Outlook user wanted to know if Outlook handles Out of Office replies as well as Lotus Notes does:
I migrated from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Outlook. In Notes, when you send an email you have the option for the following "Don't notify me if recipient(s) are running Out of Office" This obviously works for Internal email only and is great if you're emailing a large internal group. Does outlook have something similar?
No, Outlook doesn't have a specific option to not receive Out of Office replies, but you can use rules to delete the Out of Office (OOF) replies as they arrive in your Inbox.
You can choose between two types of rules: create a rule that looks for messages which are automatic replies or create a rule that looks in the subject for commonly used words that identify the message as an 'automatic reply'.
Which is better? In an office environment, where most or all of the OOF will come from coworkers, the automatic reply rule should work fine. When you receive hundreds of automatic replies from outside your network, my experience is that rules looking for words in the subject tend to do better.
Creating the Rules
Open Outlook's Rules Wizard and create a rule using Apply this rule after the message arrives.
On the Conditions page, choose "which is an automatic reply" and select Delete the message as the action.
If you prefer to create a rule that looks for words in the subject, copy the subject line from several messages and paste each into the rule. Tip: paste the phrases into notepad before opening the Rules Wizard.
Published April 24, 2012. Last updated on June 27, 2016.