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Exchange out of office not working externally

Posted on 2014-03-12
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Last Modified: 2014-03-20
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2 - 6.5.7638

Out of office used to work, now getting reports that roughly 6 months ago it stopped working for external emailers. So internally it works ok, but external incoming emails do not receive the automatic OOO reply.

The option is set in OWA by turning on the “I'm currently out of the office” feature in options menu.

This is happening to multiple users (not sure about all, but certainly the 3 I've tested).

Other mail flowing ok AFAIK.
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Question by:fred2k3
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
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First thing to check is that it is enabled in Exchange system manager. It may have got disabled.
If it is enabled in there, then use Message Tracking to see if the message is going back out again. It could be that it is being blocked upstream, AV, antispam etc.

Simon.
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by:fred2k3
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Thanks.. I didn't know where that setting was but I've found it:

To enable out-of-office reply messages to the Internet, follow these steps:
Start Exchange System Manager.
Double-click Global Settings, and then click Internet Message Formats.
In the details pane, right-click a domain name, and then click Properties.

Note By default, "*" is the SMTP domain.
In the Default Properties dialog box, click Advanced, and then click to select the Allow out of office responses check box.

This allows out-of-office reply messages to be sent under this SMTP policy.
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
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I didn't have immediate access to an Exchange 2003 server to check.
Has that resolved the issue?

Simon.
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by:fred2k3
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Sadly not.. Even with Allow out of office responses checked I'm still not receiving an OOO reply externally.

Had a look on mail tracker; I can see the incoming mail but nothing going out. Strangely since I checked this new setting I'm not even receiving internal OOO replies (and doubly strangely when I disabled the setting still nothing internally!)

..oh, and I've just checked that this account can still send mail normally and it can (internally and externally).
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Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
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If you aren't getting the message internally and you don't see anything in message tracking, then the OOTO isn't being generated.
The most common cause of this is that the rule is corrupt. The only way I know to resolve that is to reset the rules engine:

outlook.exe /cleanrules

It will flush out all rules in the mailbox though, so others would need to be backed up.

Simon.
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