How to set up an out-of-office reply in Google Calendar

How to set up an out-of-office reply in Google Calendar

If you’re away for a few hours or on vacation for several days, you can set up an out-of-office message in Google Calendar. This automatically declines new meeting invites and shows others that you will be out.

Observation: As of June 2022, the Out of Office feature is available for Google Workspace business, education and paid accounts.

Set an out of office in Google Calendar for desktop

Visit the Google Calendar website and sign in. You can create an out of office in two ways.

  • Click “Create” in the upper left corner of your calendar and choose “Out of Office”.
  • Select the date and time on your calendar to open the new event pop-up window and choose “Out of Office”.

Out of Office in the Create menu

Using the event pop-up window, you can configure your absence time, message and more.

By default, the event name is Out of Office, but you can change it if you wish.

Confirm or edit the date and time or set the event to full day. You can also create a repeating event for your temporary absence by choosing Do not repeat and choosing a frequency.

Event name, date, time and repeat options

Since all event invitations you receive during your out of office period are automatically declined, you can choose New Meeting Invitations Only or New and Existing Meetings.

Under Message, you can use the default text or add your own. This is the note that accompanies the refusal message to the event organizers.

Meetings to decline and the optional message

Optionally adjust your privacy setting and select “Save” when you are done configuring the event.

save the event

You will see a message display confirming that you want to decline events during the out of office period. Select “Save and Decline”.

Save and decline confirmation message

When someone sends you an invitation to an event during your out-of-office period, you will immediately receive a decline via email with your message.

Meeting email declined

Enable an out of office reply in the mobile app

You can also set up an Out of Office event in the Google Calendar mobile app with all the same options on the web.

Tap the plus sign in the bottom right corner and choose “Out of Office”.

Out of the office in the Create menu on mobile

Then choose the date and time, repeat the event, select which meetings to decline, and optionally change the opt-out message.

Out of Office settings on mobile

Select “Save” and confirm that you want to decline meetings during this period by selecting “Save and decline”.

Save and decline message on mobile

If you plan on being out of the office, whether it’s for a few hours or a few days, make sure those who invite you to Google Calendar events know you’re away.

For more business and education account resources, see how to show your work hours and location or how to use Focus Time in Google Calendar.

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