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’ll be out.
Note: As of June 2022, the Out of Office feature is available to business, educational, and paid Google Workspace accounts.
Set an Out of Office in Google Calendar for Desktop
Visit the Google Calendar website and sign in. You can then create an Out of Office in two ways.
- Click “Create” on the top left of your calendar and choose “Out of Office.”
- Select the date and time on your calendar to open the new event pop-up window and pick “Out of Office.”
Using the pop-up window for the event, you can set up the time you’ll be away, the message, and more.
By default, the event name is Out of Office, but you can change that if you like.
Confirm or edit the date and time or set the event for All Day. You can also create a repeating event for your Out of Office by choosing Does Not Repeat and picking a frequency.
Because all event invitations you receive during your Out of Office time are automatically declined, you can choose Only New Meeting Invitations or New and Existing Meetings.
Below Message, you can use the default text or add your own. This is the note that accompanies the decline message to event organizers.
Optionally adjust your privacy setting and select “Save” when you finish setting up the event.
You’ll see a message display confirming that you want to decline events during your Out of Office timeframe. Select “Save & Decline.”
When someone sends you an event invitation during your Out of Office time, they’ll immediately receive the decline via email with your message.
Enable an Out of Office Reply in the Mobile App
You can also set up an Out of Office event in the Google Calendar mobile app with all of the same options as on the web.
Tap the plus sign in the bottom right corner and pick “Out of Office.”
Then, choose the date and time, make the event repeat, select which meetings to decline, and optionally change the decline message.
Select “Save” and then confirm you want to decline meetings during that timeframe by selecting “Save and Decline.”
If you plan to be out of the office, whether for a couple of hours or few days, you can make sure those who invite you to Google Calendar events will know you’re away.