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IT Solutions: Setting up out-of-office messages in Zimbra

Question: I would like to set up an Out-of-Office message in Zimbra to automatically reply to people who send me messages while I am on vacation or away for an extended period of time. However, I don’t want the auto-reply message to be sent to every email address. Is there a way to customize Auto-Reply with a filter to keep my vacation notice from being sent to certain senders such as LISTSERV(s)?

The auto-reply feature is designed to notify all senders that you have received their email but are unavailable to respond during a specified timeframe. The feature sends a message to each sender only once a week, no matter how many messages they email you during your designated away period. Unfortunately, with Zimbra, filters are not processed before the auto-reply feature, so filtering messages will not redirect messages away from your primary inbox before the out-of-office message is sent to your sender. For this reason, creating filters is not recommended as a solution.

If you still want to set up an auto-reply for out-of-office responses, just follow these easy steps:

1. In Zimbra webmail, click the Options tab.
2. In the left panel, click the blue triangle next to Options.
3. Click the yellow envelope next to Mail.
4. Scroll down to locate the Receiving Messages section, and click Send auto-reply message.

  • Complete the message box.
  • Click Start On: and choose a date.
  • Click End On: and choose a date.

5. Be sure to scroll back to the top and click the Save button that’s under the Mail tab.

More resources

  • If you have never created a filter before, see the step-by-step instructions on Creating Filters.
  • For a video demonstration of how to create an auto reply, go to: Away Message Demo

by Deborah Goins, IT Help Desk consultant