How to set up an out-of-office message in mac mail

 (and not accidentally spam everyone you have ever emailed!)

I’m going to start from the end of the process so you don’t make the same blue I did and send multiple unsolicited out-of-office messages to your friends and clients (uber embarrassing…)

Once you have set up the message, (I will show you how), you will get this rather oblique message…

don't apply

DO NOT HIT APPLY. It will send a your out-of-office reply to every message in your inbox.

So here’s the method.

1. Open mail preferences.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 1.39.43 pm

2. Click the RULES tab on the far right and select ADD RULE.

add rule

3. Give the rule a name in the description box.

4. If you want it to go to every message you receive, select EVERY MESSAGE from drop down list. (See below if you want it to go to selected recipients.)

5. Select REPLY TO MESSAGE from the next drop down list.

6. Type in your reply message text then click ok.

every message

7. This box will pop up…click DON’T APPLY (trust me on this one).

don't apply

8. Your rule will be active immediately. Untick the box here if you don’t want it on at the moment. You can go back into preferences and activate it any time.


9. Activate your message when you are ready and have a lovely holiday.

NB. If you want your out of office to go to selected recipients, or to apply to selected accounts (e.g. if you have multiple addresses) use the different conditions options to select the right conditions for you. You can have multiple conditions.