Exchange Online: ancient auto-reply message hidden somewhere and gets sent alongside current one when auto-reply is enabled

Title says most of it. Have used Get-MailboxAutoReplyConfiguration in Exchange Online PowerShell and it only shows the current auto-reply message. But when auto-reply is enabled, one from a few years back gets sent simultaneously with the current one, causing confusion. There are no rules whatsoever showing in Outlook, and the message must be server side since it happens irrespective of what PC is on or being used. Looking at MessageTrace shows both emails sent with no discernable difference in source. The only other clue is that the current message is sent with a prefix in the title of Automatic reply: whereas the old message does not.

Server Fault Asked by timanderson on December 28, 2020

3 Answers

3 Answers

Thanks to both answers; both were helpful. I didn't need the Mapi utility in the end. The answer was to run Outlook as the user and to look at File - Automatic Replies. If you click this you see a Rules button and it is HERE that I could see a rule set. It was still not obvious; it referred to an automatic reply based on a template, and then by clicking the template I could see the ancient message. Deleted this rule and all is well.

This rule is NOT visible in the Manage Rules and Alerts option.


Correct answer by timanderson on December 28, 2020

Based on my research, this rule may be corrupted or hidden,so we cannot able to find it from exchange.To check the Inbox rule from OWA: login to OWA-> Click on setting wheel -> Mail-> Inbox and sweep rule-> verify there is no auto reply related rule is enabled.

Try starting Outlook with the /cleanrules switch (Start, Run, outlook.exe /cleanrules)

For more details: HELP! Outlook Auto-Responder Sends Two Emails and Auto reply is from 2014 and can't find rule or turn off

Answered by Joy Zhang on December 28, 2020

Is it possible the old "out-of-office" message is configured via an Rule and not via an Automatic Reply?

Microsoft Documentation about Rules:

Answered by eKKiM on December 28, 2020

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