Setting an auto reply for a shared mailbox

[Update] This post was updated on January 30, 2018

To configure a professional auto-response (not an Exchange Out Of Office message, which is sent only once per sender) for a shared mailbox, apply one of those solutions:

Set an auto reply for a shared mailbox in Outlook

  1. In Outlook Mail Setup in Windows (one way to get there is via Control Panel, User Accounts, Mail) click Show Profiles…auto reply for shared mailbox 01 show profiles

  1. In the resulting window switch the setting to Prompt for a profile to be used and click Add…auto reply for shared mailbox 02 add profile
  2. In the resulting window type in the new Outlook profile’s name, click OK.
    autoreply for shared mailbox 03 new profile
  3. In the Add Account wizard provide an account name, the shared mailbox’s address and click Next and then Finish.
    autoreply for shared mailbox 04 add account wizard
  4. Run Outlook. A Choose Profile prompt will pop up – select the profile you have just created for the shared mailbox.autoreply for shared mailbox 05 Choose Outlook profile
  5. In Outlook click File (upper-left corner), Manage Rules & Alerts. In the resulting window click New Rule…autoreply for distribution group 8 outlook new rule
  6. In the subsequent window click Apply rule on messages I receive, Next.autoreply for shared mailbox 07 rules wizard
  7. (Optional) Configure criteria which will have to be met by messages for the rule to be applied (if you skip this step the rule will be applied to all messages sent to the shared mailbox), click Next.
    autoreply for shared folder 08 Rules Wizard
  8. Select Have server reply using a specific message, click the a specific message link and design the template of the auto reply for shared mailbox (the original sender will be automatically added in the TO field every time the auto-response is triggered) and click Save & Close.autoreply for shared folder 09 specific messageOptionally, add other actions.
    Click Next.
  9. (Optional) Configure exceptions.autoreply for shared folder 10 configuring exceptions
  10. In the last step, provide the name for the rule, configure additional settings and click Finish.autoreply for shared folder 11 finish rule setup

Professional auto-response system via CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro

CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro lets you deploy professional auto-response systems for email addresses and AD users.

To configure the application to send automatic replies to messages addressed to a shared mailbox all you have to do is create a new rule, define a Recipient condition that matches the shared mailbox, configure an Auto respond action per your requirements and click Save.

In addition to easy auto replies setup, the program lets you centrally manage your mail flow and email signatures.

Get the free 30-day CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro trial

Further reading

Tools for Exchange Server

25 thoughts on “Setting an auto reply for a shared mailbox

  1. The first solution need an exchange license for the user? I’m thinking about using it for the users that doesn’t work in my company anymore.

  2. Hi, How can I create a rule that allows me to send an automatic reply to all emails addressed in the email (including people that are CC’d) or other people in the To box? Right now, I am only able to send the automatic reply to the person who emailed me, but if someone else is CC’d in the email this person will not get the automatic reply.

    • I don’t think there is a way to set it up. Out of curiosity, why would it be a useful scenario? In case of multiple recipients, it has the potential of spamming quite a lot of mailboxes.

  3. Isn’t it true the Outlook client needs to be running on a device in order for the rule to be executed? Seems if you need this response sent 24/7 a machine would need to be fired up with the Outlook client (containing the correctly configured rule) running.


    • It all depends on the type of the inbox rule. This setup creates a server-side inbox rule, which should be executed regardless of the Outlook’s state, by the server and not Outlook (client). If you’re interested, you can read more about inbox rules in this article.

  4. Will this work even if autoreply is disabled at the Exchange Organization? WE are using Exchange 2013 and currently only Out of Office is ENABLED (once a day or every toggle). Auto reply is disabled due to security. can you please confirm this?

    • Are autoreplies disabled with a mail flow rule, like described here? If that’s the case, this method will not work. To make it work, you would need to add an exception to the rule.

    • Hi,
      There’s no elegant way to do that.
      The only way to specify date is to use “received in a specific date span” condition, but to fine-tune it for weekends only, you’d have to manually change this condition for weekends each week. Or create a separate rule for each weekend.

  5. In some environments, you will need to complete Step 3 twice Ie: Create new profile, name it anything as you will be deleting this later, then without existing, create new profile a second time. The Step 4 window will then appear.

  6. You can’t login to a mailbox type “sharedMailbox” from a client, so you cant setup a profile in Outlook. This is not a process for a shared mailbox, rather a regular user mailbox.

    • This is a workaround which requires entering a user’s credentials to set up a shared mailbox profile. If the solution does not work in your case, you can always use CodeTwo Out of Office Manager. This freeware will let you set up automatic replies for all user accounts, including shared mailboxes.

  7. Hello
    thanks for your uplord.
    At step 4, i got a deffrent window that appears “connect outlook to office 365 Account;******* and connect button”
    could you tell me what should i to do?

  8. Hey,
    thanks for this tutorial, unfortunately in our environment this fail at step 4. We don´t get this window for the new account rather i can only type the email address in. If i type it in the configuration will fail and when i choose configure it manually i can only switch between exchange, O365, IMAP aso.
    Any ideas how i can get this working? Maybe its a problem that we use the german cloud?

    • Hi Peter,
      It seems that you have accessed the Mail settings via the Settings app. Please try opening Mail settings from the Control Panel.
      First, use the Win + r keyboard shortcut, input control panel and click ok. Then go to Accounts > Mail and you will get the window from step 4.

    • Hey Adam,
      thanks for your reply. No this is exactly where i´m going but anyway it opens the the wrong window.

      Kind regards,

    • Hey Adam,

      we´ve found the problem. I use the 64Bit version of the office package. With the 32bit this works how described.


  9. What about an Auto Response but where the mail can never hit the mailbox? In Office 365, Hybrid Mode. Mailboxes already migrated. Domain name rebrand but company has to end of year to notify so partners and potential customers don’t have to get NDR’s thinking the company is gone or person is gone where proactive autoreponders are fine up to the day X where you are no longer allowed to receive mail sent to that domain but you own the domain and manage DNS so that on Day X you drop the mail but respond with “Hey, we were this domain now this one update your records”. Right now the only real option is Transport Rule on 365 and then a extremely limited and short response message. Then what about notifying the user internal that xyz company sent an email and we responded and let them know but here is data proving it. In that scenario I would also want some type of reporting, and automated report sent to managers showing how great technology is and how well we do our jobs. That’s value add. Where can I find that? If you don’t mind.

    This is the short version…. The long version is here:

    • Hi Brian,
      I must tell you that I don’t know of such a tool. This is a very interesting concept, though, and a feature request has been sent to our dev team.

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