The holiday season is upon us once again, which means that for many people, it's also the time to take a break from work to relax or spend some quality time with family.

If you're planning to take a few days off, in addition to configuring automatic email replies, it's a good idea to update your Outlook calendar to make sure no one tries to drag you into meetings or projects during your time away.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to create an out-of-office calendar event to remind people that you'll be taking a few days of vacation using the Outlook 2016 app, Outlook.com, and even with the default Mail & Calendar app on Windows 10.

How to create an 'Out of Office' calendar event using Outlook app

If you're using Outlook 2016 on Windows 10, you can quickly create an event to let people in your circle know that you'll not be around for a number of days by creating an out-of-office calendar event.

  1. Open the Outlook app.
  2. Click the Calendar button in the bottom-left corner.

  3. Select the calendar you want to add the new event form the left pane. For example, your shared work calendar.
  4. Select a day in the calendar.
  5. In the "Home" tab, click the New Appointment button.

  6. In the "Subject" field, add a descriptive title for the event.
  7. Use the "Start time" picker to select the day you're planning to leave work.
  8. Use the "End time" picker to select the day you're planning to return to work.
  9. Check the All day event option.
  10. In the "Event" tab, use the "Show As" drop-down menu, and select the Out of Office option.

  11. Create a custom message for anyone who will see your event (optional).
  12. Click the Save & Close button.

Once you've completed the steps, people who also have access to the shared calendar will be able to see that you won't be available for a number of days.

How to create an 'Out of Office' calendar event using Outlook web

It's also possible to create an out-of-office calendar event when you're planning to take a vacation using Outlook on the web.

  1. Open Outlook.com on your web browser.
  2. Click the app launcher button in the top-left corner.
  3. Click on Calendar.

  4. Click the New button from the toolbar to create a new event.

  5. Under "Details," enter a descriptive title for the event.
  6. Use the Start date picker to select the day you're planning to leave work.
  7. Use the End date picker to select the day you're planning to return to work.
  8. Check the All day event option.
  9. Use the "Save to calendar" drop-down menu and select the calendar you want to add the new event. For example, your shared work calendar.
  10. Use the "Show as" drop-down menu and select Away, but anyone using an app will see the "Out of Office" label.

  11. Create a custom message for anyone who will see your event (optional).
  12. Click the Save button from the top-left corner.

After completing the steps, those who have access to the calendar, whether they use Outlook.com or a supported email client will see that you're taking a few days of vacation.

How to create an 'Out of Office' calendar event using Mail & Calendar app

In the case that you're using the default Mail & Calendar app on Windows 10. You can also create an out-of-office event to let family, friends, or colleagues that you'll be taking some days off during the holidays.

  1. Open the Mail app.
  2. Click the Calendar button in the bottom-left corner.

  3. Click the New event button in the top-left corner.

  4. Click the "Calendar" drop-down menu and select calendar that you want to add the new event. For example, your shared work calendar.
  5. Enter a descriptive name for the event.
  6. Use the "Start time" picker to select the day you're planning to leave work.
  7. Use the "End time" picker to select the day you're planning to return to work.

  8. Check the All day event option.
  9. In the "Home" tab, use the "Show As" drop-down menu, and select the Out of Office option.

  10. Create a custom message for anyone who will see your event (optional).
  11. Click the Save and Close button.

Once you've completed the steps, your time away schedule will appear to everyone who has access to the shared calendar.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources: