When you are away you may wish or be required to setup an auto-reply message to say when you will be back or to suggest an alternative contact. It is easy to setup a Vacation message using webmail.
To create an out of office auto-response message to be sent when you are away do the following:
Login to the mail service using webmail.
Click on Filters in the toolbar to setup, edit or inspect your mail filters on the server.
To install a vacation message rule click on Vacation in the toolbar. A screen will open for you to edit your vacation filter rule
Enter all the email addresses in the My email addresses box that you want your vacation filter to reply to. On staffmail this is under the Advanced Settings tab.The system will enter your default identity from address but you may add other aliases that you may use.
A response will only be sent in reply to one of these addresses. Put one address per line.
If you know there are people or addresses you definitely do not want a vacation reply to go to, then enter the mail addresses in the Addresses to not send responses to box. On staffmail this is under the Advanced Settings tab. Put one address per line.
By default your vacation replies will not be sent back to mailing lists you are subscribed to, or to bulk mail senders. You should not disable this unless you are very sure of what you are doing. Most mailing list owners will immediately unsubscribe people who send automatic replies to their lists as they can cause mail loops to occur. This can also result in the University's mail systems being put on mail blacklists. You have been warned!
You can limit the number of responses sent back to any particular sender so that no one address will get sent your vacation message in any set period. Set the number of days you want the system to wait before sending further copies of your vacation message in the box.
If you are using staffmail then you can specify the start and end dates for when you want the message sent. If you don't specify a date range then the rule will always apply. Note that the dates are inclusive so the end date should be the day before you want the messages to stop being sent.
Next enter the subject of the vacation message you want to send back. By default this is set to Out of Office notification.
Enter the reason you are not reading your email. This is the text of the message that is sent in reply to messages received. When you are finished, click on Save to save your vacation filter rule.
To enable your out of office message click on the red cross next to the rule so that it changes to a green tick. The screen should update and say that the filter has been saved.
You are strongly encouraged to place your vacation filter after a spam filter in your filters list. If you don't do this then you will be replying to all the spam that comes into your mailbox, and you increase the risk of receiving more spam in future, and you put the University's mail servers at risk of being blacklisted. Information Services reserve the right to insert a spam handling filter ahead of any unprotected vacation filter.
When you get back remember to turn off your message. To do this login to webmail and click on Filters and then click the green tick next to the vacation rule. The screen will refresh and the tick will become a red cross and it should say that your filters have been saved.
If you are using staffmail, and completed the start and end dates for your out of office/vacation message, then you don't need to disable the filter rule as the system will stop responding to messages outside the range of dates you specified.
This article was published on Nov 11, 2013