NOTE FOR Pre-September 2005 users

If your account was created before September 2005 and you have not been notified that your email has been migrated to the new mail system, you should consult the old documentation on setting up auto replies. ALL undergraduate and masters student accounts have been moved.

Setting up Email auto replies

This document provides information on how to setup an email auto reply for whilst you are away.

Important note: The email system no longer uses .forward files or the vacation program to control auto replies - auto replies are now managed via a web-based system

Enabling Auto Replies

To enable auto replies, you need to visit the email vacation administration page to disable the sending of messages. To access this page, you will be prompted to enter a username and password - this is the same username and password that would be used to login to Windows machines.

The auto reply system allows you to store up to four auto reply messages. To use an exisiting message, select the message number from the list and select "Load Message". You can then modify the message as nescessary. If you wish to create a new message, you can either load the "Active Message" or a specific stored message number.

To set the currently loaded or displayed message as the message to use for auto replies, simply set the vacation status to "Enabled" and select the "Save" option.

If you do not set the vacation status to "Enabled" and select the "Save" option, your auto reply will not be activated.

Whenever the "Vacation Status" is set to "Enabled" and you select "Save", the currently loaded message will be set at the active message to use for sending in the auto reply.

When you return from vacation, don't forget to disable auto replies for your account!

Note: All messages generated by the auto reply system have a standard message appended to the top indicating the recipient that the message has been generated automatically as a response to a message they have sent.

Who does the reply get sent to and how often?

An auto reply is only send if your email address appears in the "To:" or "Cc:" field. This is to help prevent auto reply messages from being sent to mailing lists. In addition to this auto replies are not sent when certain header fields are present, these include the "Bulk" or "List" fields, again this is to help prevent auto replies from being sent to mailing lists.

The auto reply system also has a database of people who have received your auto reply message. The system will not send a second auto reply message to same sender within a 14 day period. When you disable the auto reply system, this database is reset - this means that if you are away on vacation shortly after a previous vacation, then senders will be sent any new vacation message that you have created.

Disabling Auto Replies

When you return from vacation, you should visit the email vacation administration page to disable the sending of messages. To access this page, you will be prompted to enter a username and password - this is the same username and password that would be used to login to Windows machines.

To disable the auto reply, change the "Vacation Status" option to Disabled and select the "Save" option. When you disable auto replies, the database used to store who has received an auto reply is also reset - this means that if you are away on soon after a previous vacation, senders of messages will receive any new vacation message that has been configured.