Using the NoReplyAll Add-in for Outlook

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If you've ever been buried by a storm of emails generated by well-meaning people replying to a company-wide distribution list, you'll wish the person who sent out the original communique had this installed on their machine.

If you are the person who frequently sends email to large distribution lists in your organization, this Add-In is a professional life (and image) saver.

It's free, works with all versions of Outlook starting with 2007, and doesn't require any installation on the recipients' side. it'll add a few buttons on your Outlook ribbon, and allow you to set default options for enabling or disabling Reply All functionality on messages that you send.

First, download the add-in from Microsoft. If your IT manages software installs, you may need to request that they perform this task, as well as the installation.

Second, configure your options.

Once it's installed, it'll add a "Disabled" group on your Outlook ribbon both in Outlook proper and in a new mail message, with three buttons:

The meaning is fairly clear:

  • Click on Reply All to disable reply-all functionality for a message
  • Click on Reply to disable the ability to reply to email (but will leave Reply All enabled)
  • Click on Forward to disable the ability to forward the message

Clicking the buttons on a selected message in your inbox, for example, will inhibit that action on the selected message. That's not as useful as setting the options on the message you're going to send, but I suppose it may be good for something at some point :).

You can set global options by going into the File backstage and selecting the NoReplyAll option:

One interesting use of the add-in, other than the obvious prevention of unintended responses to a message sent to a large distribution list is to disable "Reply", but leave "Reply All" enabled - very useful when communicating to a group of people and ensuring that responses will go to everyone in the group, rather than just to the sender of the message. Naturally, group members will have to have the add-in installed to set the options on their messages appropriately.

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