If you’re going to be away for a few hours or on vacation for several days, you can set up an out of office message in Google Calendar. This automatically declines new meeting invitations and shows others that you’re out of the office.
Note: From June 2022 the away function is available for business, education, and paid Google Workspace accounts.
Visit the Google calendar website and log in. You can then create an absence in two ways.
- Click “Create” in the top left of your calendar and select “Out of Office”.
- Select the date and time on your calendar to open the new event pop-up and select Out of the Office.
Use the event pop-up to set the time you’ll be away, the message, and more.
By default, the appointment name is Out, but you can change this if you like.
Confirm or edit the date and time, or set the event to All Day. You can also create a recurring event for your absence by not recurring and choosing a frequency.
Because any event invitations you receive while you’re away will be automatically declined, you can choose “New meeting invitations only” or “New and existing meetings.”
Under Message, you can use the default text or add your own. This is the note that accompanies the rejection message to the event organizers.
Optionally, adjust your privacy settings and select “Save” when you’re done setting up the event.
You’ll see a message confirming that you want to decline events during your absence period. Select “Save & Reject”.
If someone sends you an event invitation while you’re away, they’ll immediately receive the refusal in an email with your message.
You can also set up an out of office appointment in the Google Calendar mobile app using the same options as on the web.
Tap the plus sign in the lower-right corner and select Away.
Then select the date and time, have the event repeat, choose which meetings to decline, and optionally change the decline message.
Select “Save” and then confirm that you want to decline meetings during this period by selecting “Save and Decline”.
If you plan to be away from the office for a few hours or a few days, you can make sure those you invite to Google Calendar events know you’re out.
For more work and education account features, see How to view your work hours and location or use focus time in Google Calendar.
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