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I sent an email to someone who uses Outlook and Exchange, but I got an out-of-office reply because they are on vacation at the moment. Does that mean my message has been delivered, or was it simply bounced?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The out of office reply is something that a user can set and Exchange will automatically deliver to the sender when a email is received to their mailbox.

It is possible that the recipient can set a server based rule to automatically forward and/or delete any message that comes in, in which case, they will probably say in their responder - however this is up to them and is not normally the case.

If you exclude the above, in a typical setup, the response is just a response and when they get back, they should see your email.

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You email was not bounced. The email was delivered. An out of office reply is a convience reply from the recipient to the sender (you). An out of office reply let's you know why someone may not be responding to your email for a bit.

As Wil noted, the recipient could create a rule to delete all their mail when they are away, but I have never heard of anyone doing this. I would expect any rules or filters they normally have in place would suffice while they were away.

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