How to: Use Mail for auto replies

Email may be a necessary evil. With so many messages being sent on a daily basis, it becomes very hard to get away from it all. But what if you really do need to maintain communication with people while you’re gone?

Setting up an auto reply is an easy way of notifying people that you’re gone, and when you’ll be returning. It can also be done in 3 main steps.

  1. Have the computer turn on on a regular basis.
  2. Have Mail open after startup.
  3. Configure Mail to send replies to emails you accept.

Have the computer power up

  1. Open System Preferences (either in the Dock or from the Apple menu).
  2. Choose Energy Saver.
  3. Find the tab or button that says Schedule.
  4. Fill in the information with the times you want the computer to be on (regular business hours would be best).
  5. Choose OK, then Show All in the top left.

Open Mail on startup

  1. While still in System Preferences, choose Accounts.
  2. Find your user name, then choose Login Items from the top panel.
  3. Press the + sign and find the Mail application (Application folder).
  4. Press Add and close System Preferences.

Configure Mail to send automatic replies

  1. Open Mail.
  2. Open Mail Preferences either by using Command + , or from the Mail file menu.
  3. Choose the Rule tab on the top right.
  4. Select Add Rule.
  5. Pick a descriptive name for your rule and fill in the information like the above picture.
  6. – Sender is in Address Book is important because it prevents your computer from sending responses to spam messages.

  7. Open Reply Message Text and type in your response. Something short and to the point is best.

    I am away from my desk enjoying the sunshine. Will return to civilization in 2 weeks.

  8. Choose OK until you return to the Mail window.
  9. You can now relax, knowing that your emails aren’t going unanswered.
    [tags]Mac OS X, Mail, Leopard, Panther, Tiger, email[/tags]