Configuring auto reply for Public Folder and preventing Mail Loops

Exchange 2010 SP2

Have a public folder which lets your clients know that their message is received and does not reply to NDR or other kinds of automatically generated messages, such as auto replies etc. to prevent mail loops.
Users will send mail to queries@domain.com

1. Create auto-reply public folder.
2. Mail enable it.
3. Create Mailbox user which will be responsible for configuring auto-reply on this public folder, you can also assign existing one. I will use a mailbox noreply@domain.com.
4. Grant your mailbox user "Send-as" permissions on auto-reply public folder.
5. Make noreply@domain.com mailbox user Owner of the public folder auto-reply.

6. Create public folder which will receive user mail - queries.
7. On public folder queries properties enable forwarding of mail copies to auto-reply public folder.
8. Using Folder Assistant create auto reply rule for auto-reply public folder which will auto reply to mails sent to queries@domain.com and then delete the messages.
9. While you're at it also add a rule to delete messages sent to auto-reply (this prevents the piling of useless messages sent automatically to your auto-reply public-folder in cases of NDR's or automatic replies from users).
10. To enable automatic replies for users outside your organization you will need to check the "Allow Automatic Replies" on Remote Domains "Message Format" tab for the Hub Transport role under Organization Configuration in Exchange Management Console.



  1. Nic Waller10.5.13

    Thanks, this is exactly what I needed! There's just one thing that could be stated more clearly:

    The forwarding from "queries" to "autoreply" should be set up via the Exchange Management Console, NOT via Folder Assistant in Outlook. That way, it preserves the original "to:" address, so the "autoreply" mailbox can filter appropriately based on the "to" address.

  2. Mike Busch27.7.13

    I found an easy work around for this that is far less complicated. We had the problem of a mail-enabled public folder that got caught in a loop. I researched and found a lot of suggestions like yours. But I was toying around with the send as and found an easy solutuion. Remove the "Automatically update email addresses based on email address policy". Then add a new SMTP email address but use a none routable domain. (ie publicfolder@noreply instead of publicfolder@domain.com). Then set that as the reply to address. Your message will successfully go out, they should pass SPF but when users reply they will send to publicfolder@noreply.domain.com. By default I believe Exchange will just drop a message to an unknown subdomain and not send an NDR. In my testing at least, that is what has happened.

  3. how does this help prevent internal mail loops? so if i have two internal addresses being used for send as, and they both have this setup, won't it just loop and loop and loop?

  4. Hi Gary,
    auto-reply folder only sends automatic replies if the mail was sent to address queries@domain.com and not to auto-reply@domain.com (as instructed in step 8), so if something comes back to autoreply message it is to different address not to auto-reply enabled one.

  5. thank you that makes sense. so if a mail is copied to no-reply (and thus has a different to: address) the no-reply box will not send an auto reply, got it...

  6. Thank you for posting some kind of information. It was really helpful since I am doing some research now.