Set Up Vacation Responses on Windows Live Mail Desktop Client

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Some readers have reported that this setting of Windows Live Writer sends vacation responses to all previous emails in the inbox too. We haven’t been able to verify this at our own end but you’ve been warned.

Windows Live Mail (WLM) is probably one of those desktop email clients which are simple yet effective to use. It carries the genes of MS Outlook and caters to all basic needs of organizing and managing emails, calendar, contacts, etc.

However, it misses on some important features like setting up automated vacation responses (as that on MS Outlook). When I say it lacks that feature, I want to tell you that there is no direct tool to support such a behavior. And hence, we will learn a simple workaround to emulate the same.

When we learnt about creating and applying message rules on WLM we told you that you can do anything you like if you master the process. That’s exactly what we are going to apply today.

Bonus Tip: Also learn how to set up vacation responses on Gmail, (Hotmail) and Yahoo Mail.

Steps to Set Up Vacation Responses on WLM

Step 1: Create an empty text file. Then, type in your vacation response message and save the file. Note its location.

Create Notepad Message

Step 2: Open Windows Live Mail desktop client interface and navigate to the Folders tab. Click on Message rules to begin with the setup.

Wlm Message Rules

Step 3: Switch to Email Rules tab and click on the button reading New. A dialog for New Mail Rule will be launched.

Wlm New Rule

Step 4: You will need to select and apply few conditions here. On the first section tick For all messages and on the second section tick Reply with message. Give the rule a name and click on the message link appearing in the third section.

Create Wlm Rule

Step 5: You will be prompted to choose the message file. Navigate to where you saved the file you created in Step 1. Make sure you have selected the *.txt format.

Select Response File E1346689279988

Note: Never delete this file or the rule will fail to work. However, you may modify it at any time.

Step 6: Back on the New Mail Rule dialog you will see that the link reading message has changed. Click on Save rule.

Save Rule With Location

Step 7: Now you will need to activate the rule whenever you need it. Check the rule for Vacation Responses and I recommend that you uncheck all others to avoid interference. Or at least move it to the top of the list. Then click on Apply Now.

Check Rule To Activate

Step 8: On the next window select your rule again, browse for the folder to apply rule to and hit on Apply Now.

Apply Rule

Close the windows that have been stacked in the process. That’s it, you have just set up and activated automated out of office responses on WLM client.

Note: The interface must be up and running in order for this rule to work and send replies. Also ensure the internet connectivity.


As we said before, there is lot of power and potential in customizing message rules. This is just one way to utilize it. You can think of countless combinations. And if something new strikes you, do not forget to share with us either.

Last updated on 02 February, 2022

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