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This post will explain how to configure e-mail auto response for any e-mail sent to a distribution group without using any third party tool. There is no such rule in transport in Exchange 2007 and 2010, hence many use third-party tools to achieve this.

Here is an article that explains how to achieve this without any extra cost.


Any e-mail sent to a particular distribution group needs to be addressed with the customized auto response.


  • Introduce a user mailbox with the name that you wish to send the auto response.
  • Make the mailbox member of the Distribution group.
  • Configure Outlook.
  • Create an Outlook rule.
  • In the Rules and Alerts, select the Start from a blank rule – Check messages when they arrive option and click Next.
  •  In the next screen choose the option Sent people in distribution group and click Next.
  •  Select the action Have server reply using a specific message. (You need to leave TO and CC blank) and create a customized message with an appropriate subject. Press Save and close option on the left-hand side top corner.
  • Now click Next and finish the task.
  • Now we need to enable the auto replies in the remote domain to make this to work.
  • Go to Exchange Server Organization configuration and highlight Hub transport.
  • Now in the middle pane, you have an option called Remote domains.
  • Now right-click Default underneath and go to properties where you need to go to the second tab with the name “Format of original message sent as attachment to journal report”.
  • Here you need to check “Allow automatic replies”.
  • Now finally go to the distribution group properties and under option “Advanced” there is an option called “Send out of office message to the originator” Please check this option.
  • Make sure hide the mailbox that you created for this task from GAL.

Please note: This is not like responding just once for a particular address. This actually sends responses any number of times it gets emails.

Now the task is achieved without any third party tool.