How to prevent reply-all in your Outlook e-mails

While it's true that the reply-all function serves a need, it's just as true that is often used thoughtlessly. Microsoft provides a free add-in for Outlook that lets you prevent recipients of certain messages from replying-all or forwarding.

If you've never been a recipient of a mistaken reply-all, you're either very lucky or you don't use e-mail much.

It's a useful tool that is also one of the banes of our electronic lives, as well-meaning people blast dozens or hundreds of recipients with boring (or, worse, sensitive) replies that should be directed to one person. Microsoft has devised a free tool for Outlook that lets users create messages that keeps recipients on the same Exchange domain from using reply-all or forward. It's simple to use and doesn't require installation on the recipients' end. Here's how to use it.

  1. Download and install the NoReplyAll Outlook Add-In here.
    Step 1: Download NoReplyAll.
    Step 1: Download NoReplyAll. Screenshot by Rob Lightner
  2. Restart Outlook.
  3. Compose a new e-mail. You should see a few new buttons on the right side of the ribbon; these let you disable Reply-All, Forwarding, and even Reply to you. Click any one of them to disable that feature, but remember that it only works on recipients who are part of your Exchange domain.
    Step 3: Compose Email.
    Step 3: Compose e-mail. Screenshot by Rob Lightner
  4. The add-in also adds a new tab under Tools/Options. Use these to disable reply-all or forward on all new e-mails or to disable reply-all on messages you receive. If you feel sneaky, you could use that last feature on a reply-all recidivist's computer, but that might be more trouble than it's worth if you're not in the IT department.
    Step 4: Select NoReplyAll options.
    Step 4: Select NoReplyAll options. Screenshot by Rob Lightner

Thanks to Techie Buzz for the link!

About the author

    Rob Lightner is a tech and gaming writer based in Seattle. He has reviewed games, gadgets, and technical manuals, written copy for space travel gear, and composed horoscopes for cats.

     

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