Recently I had a user whose Out of Office Reply was stuck on. I hadn’t encountered this and a simple Google search and the fix was allegedly as simple as choosing start, run, Outlook .exe /cleanrules. This didn’t work so I did option 2 which was logging in to Online Web Access (A silly name that seems redundant) and turning off the auto responder. It was fixed in a snap… until it resurfaced a day later.
Another odd feature of this bug was the fact that you couldn’t turn on/off the auto responder nor edit the auto responder via Outlook.
We are a Microsoft Exchange 2010 shop with users that use Outlook 2007 or for the majority OWA. Don’t Judge! It’s just part of the joys of being a grossly underfunded IT department. It appears via more Googling that this is a common problem amongst users of Exchange 2010 and Outlook. There were a lot of web pages advertising they could fix my problem but the solutions were varied and many I didn’t feel comfortable using.
I pondered… Could I fix this using Powershell?
I bet I can. In simple terms, Microsofts Powershell is a powerful command line utility that allows a system administrator to use simple commands, script command etc and give full access to local and remote computers including COM and WMI features. Microsoft’s TechNet website has complete documentation of available commands.
The first command I ran was Get-MailboxAutoreplyConfiguration username
It shows the mailbox out of office responder, state enabled or disabled.
The next command I ran was Set-MailboxAutoreplyConfiguration username –AutoReplyState DISABLED
This command disables the auto responder.
I logged into Outlook and now I could edit and change the auto responder.
Fun Fact of the Day:
Why is “out-of-office” abbreviated “OOF” in Microsoft documentation?
Because originally it was called Out of Facility.