Friday, September 19, 2008

What Happened to the Out of Office Warning in Outlook 2007?

The Out of Office message that warned us the Out of Office auto-replies was on in Outlook 2003, has moved and remains on the screen for only 15 seconds in Outlook 2007. In Outlook 2003, the warning appeared in the middle of the Outlook screen and stayed there until you dismissed it. It was kind of hard to miss, a very in-your-face reminder the Out of Office responder was on.

New location of Out of Office warning in Outlook 2007

Close-up of Out of Office warning

Now, in Outlook 2007, the reminder appears in the lower right corner of the Outlook window when you start it up and then disappears after 15 seconds. The same reminder appears when you first turn on the Out of Office Assistant. But this too disappears after 15 seconds. However, an Out of Office button remains in the right corner of the Task Bar.

Out of Office button on Task Bar

When the button is clicked, it will display a pop-up with two options. The first option, Out of Office Assistant... will pull up the Out of Office Assistant window. The second option, Turn off Out of Office auto-replies, does just that. When you turn off the Out of Office Assistant, the button disappears from the Task Bar.

Two options appear when Out of Office button is clicked

The Out of Office Assistant can also be turned off through the menu: Tools / Out of Office Assistant... select "I am currently In the Office" from the Out of Office Assistant window.

Tools menu in Outlook 2007

Select "I am currently In the Office" to turn off the Out of Office auto responder.


Noble said...

Great. Now Microsoft not only makes things more difficult to see, they virtually guarantee that someone who's busy will miss turning off their Out of Office. Plus, they've removed it completely from the non-Exchange users. Nothing like having "features" you can't use or see. Office 2007 fits well with Vista...they both suck.

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