How to Set up a Vacation Reply in Windows Live Hotmail

Use Windows Live Hotmail to answer emails when you can't

What to Know

  • In the Windows Live Hotmail toolbar, select Options > More Options.
  • Under Manage Your Account follow the Sending automated vacation replies link.
  • Select Send vacation replies to people who email me. Enter an out-of-office message and choose Save.

This article explains how to set up a vacation reply for Windows Live Hotmail using the Windows Live Hotmail tool bar.

Set Up a Vacation Reply in Windows Live Hotmail

Windows Live Hotmail was discontinued in 2011 by Microsoft. The Windows Live Hotmail program morphed into Microsoft Outlook in 2014.

When you cannot deal with incoming emails promptly (because you're traveling, on vacation, or working on a huge project due tomorrow), Windows Live Hotmail can let expecting senders know.

To make Windows Live Hotmail reply to incoming emails in your absence:

  1. Select Options > More options from the Windows Live Hotmail toolbar.

  2. Follow the Sending automated vacation replies link under Managing your account.

  3. Make sure Send vacation replies to people who email me is selected.

  4. Type your desired out-of-office message under Enter the message you'd like to send while you're away:

    • Possibly include approximate info on when you will be able to reply personally.
    • Who to contact in the meantime or an alternative way of reaching you might also be appropriate.
    • In general, keep the message simple. Something like "I'm currently unable to read my mail, sorry! Come February, I'll get back to you. In the meantime, you can..." shall do.
    • The subject Windows Live Hotmail uses for automatic replies is "Vacation reply", by the way.
  5. If you frequently get mail from people not yet in your Windows Live Hotmail address book, make sure Only reply to your contacts is not checked.

  6. Click Save.

    Windows Live Hotmail will now reply to all incoming emails (or just those from people already in your address book) — but only once for each four-day period per contact.

    Turn Off the Windows Live Hotmail Auto-Responder

    To disable your auto-reply when you return, follow the steps above but make sure Don't send any vacation replies is selected.

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