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Out of office reply with thunderbird

Below you will find instructions for the newbie or the novice on how to set up an automatic “Out of Office” email auto reply or a “On Vacation” auto response if you use Mozilla Thunderbird as your email client in a POP3 or IMAP account.

Note: Your computer must be on and connected to the internet and thunderbird must also stay on for the auto-reply to work.

1. Creating the reply message

Thunderbird has its own text editor, and we will use it to create our out of office reply message.


This will open the Thunderbird text editor, and you can write your reply.


Then click on File, and Save As, Template

Important. The name of the template is the same as the subject. As you will notice in the picture above, we called it “Out of office reply”.

2. Creating the out of office rule

Click on Tools, and Message Filters


Then select new


The next step consists of setting up the rules.


Once you click on Reply with template in the left drop down menu, you will be able to select the Out of office reply from the second drop down menu and thats it 🙂

3 Turning the out of office rule on and off

We have to return to the Message filter by selecting Tools and then Message Filters in the opening page of Thunderbird.


If you can setup this on your server – you don’t have to run your pc 24/7 – This is manual as I was creating out of office reply for my client as he does not have option on his webhosting to do it on a server 😉

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