ME020126 - HOWTO: How to customize auto-response messages


How to customize a mailbox auto response message.


Current versions of MailEnable limit the content of auto-response messages to plain text. As such, to incorporate HTML or rich content into auto-response messages this needs to be done manually by editing the AUTORESPOND.CFG contents.


To place Rich content (HTML) in auto response messages requires manually editing the auto response configuration file and inserting the Rich content (HTML) content into that file.

Auto responses are stored in a file called AUTORESPOND.CFG. Each mailbox that enables the auto responder will have an AUTORESPOND.CFG file located within the following MailEnable installation path: Mail Enable\postoffice\(postoffice name)\MAILROOT\(mailbox name)

To modify the AUTORESPOND.CFG message content with some enhanced content (including attachments or HTML content) please follow steps below:

STEP 1: Generating MIME message contents in Rich content (HTML):

  1. Open Outlook Express and compose a new message.
  2. Under the "Format" menu in the top toolbar ensure that the option "Rich text (HTML)" is ticked.
  3. Next type in the contents within the message body that is going to be used as the auto responder message and set any specific fonts, attachments etc.
  4. Save the message as an ".eml" file using the "save as..." option in Outlook.
  5. Open the file in Windows notepad.
  6. Select and copy everything including and below the line "MIME-Version: 1.0".

STEP 2: Updating the AUTORESPOND.CFG File

  1. Ensure you have the auto responder option enabled for the mailbox.
  2. Open the AUTORESPOND.CFG using Windows notepad and paste/replace the contents under the Return-Path: line with the contents of the ".eml" message contents.
  3. Save the file.

Note: Any changes made to the AUTORESPOND.CFG file will be overwritten if the option is enabled or disabled within the administration console or using the web mail/web administration interfaces. When the mailbox auto responder is edited within the administration console it creates the headers and adds the email contents that have been entered, so any additional header contents created manually will be destroyed. (I.e. specifying the email as multipart for example).

NOTE: It is strongly recommended that a backup of the AUTORESPOND.CFG file containing any edited content is backed up.

How to modify the auto responder sender address:

The auto responder will always use the mailbox "Reply-to" address as the sender address. If this is not set then it will use the first available email address associated with the mailbox . If no email address is mapped to the mailbox then the SMTP system notification address will be used.

NOTE: Ensure that you set the mailbox "Reply-to" address within the mailbox properties window under the "addresses" tab before you edit the AUTORESPOND.CFG file. Reason being is if using an edited AUTORESPOND.CFG and the reply-to address is changed within the administration console or the web administration interface then any changes made to the file will be overwritten.

If the auto responder reply-to address needs to edited and you do not want to lose your AUTORESPOND.CFG customised configuration then you can alter the Reply-to address manually following the steps below:

STEP 1: Editing the mailbox ".sys" file contents:

  1. Navigate to the following MailEnable installation path: Mail Enable\Config\Postoffices\(postoffice name)\MAILBOXES\(mailbox name.sys)
  2. If a ".sys" file does not exist then one can be created manually using Windows notepad and saving the file as "(mailbox name.sys)".
  3. Add the "ReplyAddress" line as follows (under the General Section) or edit the mailbox address if required:
  4. Save the ".sys" file.

NOTE: If MailEnable is set to store configuration data within a database then the "Reply-to"  address located within the ".sys" needs to be edited within the respective database table. The MailEnable database table is the "Options" table.

Product:MailEnable (All Versions)
Keywords:Autoresponse MIME HTML Autoresponder auto response respond responder
Class:HOWTO: Product Instructions
Created:30/05/2003 11:02:00 PM
Revised:Wednesday, May 4, 2016