UPDATE: We are sorry, but CodeTwo Out of Office Manager mentioned in this article has been discontinued. If you are looking for an alternative for Exchange Server, take a look at the auto respond feature in CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro.
During the holiday season, many IT admins face the problem of setting an autoreply for another user on Exchange Server or Office 365. The story is often the same… An employee goes on vacation and forgets to set the autoreply in the Exchange/Office 365 mailbox. The only person capable of fixing this is usually the IT guy, who can use his or her admin rights to set the autoreply in Exchange Admin Center.
While many administrators don’t mind performing such small office tasks, others may find it distracting and would rather delegate setting autoreplies for users to a secretary or an HR specialist. In this article I am going to show you how you can grant Exchange or Office 365 autoreply editing rights to another user – not necessarily the admin – by installing a smart 3rd party tool called CodeTwo Out of Office Manager. Let’s get started then!
CodeTwo Out of Office Manager – intro & installation
To cut a long story short, CodeTwo Out of Office Manager is an easy-to-use autoreply manager that works with Exchange Server (on-premises) and Exchange Online. The program connects with the email server and allows you remotely create, edit and remove users’ Exchange autoreplies without the need of logging in to users’ mailboxes. Everything is configured in a convenient graphical user’s interface and no PowerShell scripting is required.
The installation is very easy. To install CodeTwo Out of Office Manager, simply download the installer to the desired PC and run it. The installation wizard will guide you through the installation process. (Learn more about the installation…)
When you first launch CodeTwo Out of Office Manager you will be prompted to establish a server connection. You can connect to Exchange Server installed on-premises, or to Office 365. During the connection setup you will be asked to provide the global admin’s credentials.
The administrator’s credentials are required only once, during the initial configuration, when the server connection is defined and saved in the program’s settings. The person using the program won’t be prompted to provide them again in the future. Owing to that, you can install the program on any Windows machine, it doesn’t necessary have to be the admin’s PC provided that the admin can assist the user during the setup.
Setting autoreplies for users
Once you set up the connection, you will see the list of users and a calendar filled with Out of Officer items in the main window. The program displays autoreplies created by users, as well as those configured by the admin. It also marks the overlaying items so that you can easily identify them on the list.
To create a new Exchange autoreply for another user, simply select the desired date (or period) in the row next to the user’s name and press Add.
You will now see a window that resembles the Out of Office assistant in Microsoft Outlook. Press the Edit… button at the bottom of the window and enter the autoreply text. Note that the program lets you edit the autoreply message in a convenient HTML editor. This allows you to apply advanced HTML formatting and give the autoreply a more personal and pleasant feel.
If you don’t feel like writing your autoreply on your own, you can also use one of the pre-defined templates from the Library.
The template you create can be used not for just one person but for other users in the organization as well. This is possible by adding dynamic placeholders to the message body, which will be turned into users’ real Active Directory data on the fly, after the autoreply is sent.
And that’s it. You’re all set! You can now save your settings and the program will send them to the server.
Get a free trial
This is all it takes to create an autoreply for another user on Exchange, or Office 365. If you feel like testing this solution in your own environment, simply download a free 30-day trial of CodeTwo Out of Office Manager.