Last reviewed on October 27, 2014   —  28 Comments

Use this code to send a new message using the address the selected message was sent To as the send using From account.

See Using a Gmail Master Account: Reply using the Correct Account for instructions and a better set of macros to send using accounts linked to your Gmail account.

This code is for people who use an account such as Gmail or Hotmail to collect mail from other accounts and download only that account. Outlook will always reply using the account that downloaded the message, which is the Hotmail or Gmail account. You'll need to create an account in Outlook for the other addresses to use this code, but can set the accounts to never download email.

This code gets the address the message was sent to and looks for an existing account with the same display name and uses that account. If it can't find a matching account it uses the default account.

Update: I fixed the macro, it now checks for a specific string (an email address) in the To field. If it finds the address, the reply is from that address, otherwise the reply is from the default address. If you need to check for one of several accounts, you'll need to use an array.

To force the code to always use a specific non-default account, change this line:
objMsg.SendUsingAccount = olNS.Accounts.Item(1) to
objMsg.SendUsingAccount = olNS.Accounts.Item(2) where 2 is the placement of the account in the Account Settings list
or objMsg.SendUsingAccount = "Display name of desired account"

If you are using Exchange server and have Send as permission to the address a message was sent to (such as a distribution list), replace the For Each... Next block with:
objMsg.MailItem.Sender = oMail.To
objMsg.SentOnBehalfOfName = oMail.To

This may not work with Outlook 2013's "inline replies". Messages will be opened in a new Window.

Reply from the address a message was sent to

Public Sub AccountSelection()
Dim oAccount As Outlook.Account
Dim strAccount As String
Dim olNS As Outlook.NameSpace
Dim objMsg, oMail As MailItem
Set olNS = Application.GetNamespace("MAPI")
' For a reply all version, replace Reply with ReplyAll 
Set objMsg = ActiveExplorer.Selection.Item(1).Reply
If TypeName(ActiveExplorer.Selection.Item(1)) = "MailItem" Then
 Set oMail = ActiveExplorer.Selection.Item(1)
 On Error Resume Next
For Each Recipient In oMail.Recipients
 strRecip = Recipient.Address & ";" & strRecip
Next Recipient
If InStr(strRecip, "") = 1 Then
' StrAccount is the account name as shown in the Account Settings list
strAccount = ""
End If
 For Each oAccount In Application.Session.Accounts
  If oAccount.DisplayName = strAccount Then
     objMsg.SendUsingAccount = oAccount
     ' to reply using the account that downloaded the message
     ' leave the objMsg line commented
     ' remove comment to reply using default account
     ' objMsg.SendUsingAccount = olNS.Accounts.Item(1)
  End If
End If
Set objMsg = Nothing
Set olNS = Nothing
End Sub

How to use macros

First: You will need macro security set to low during testing.

To check your macro security in Outlook 2010 or 2013, go to File, Options, Trust Center and open Trust Center Settings, and change the Macro Settings. In Outlook 2007 and older, it’s at Tools, Macro Security.

After you test the macro and see that it works, you can either leave macro security set to low or sign the macro.

Open the VBA Editor by pressing Alt+F11 on your keyboard.

To put the code in a module:

  1. Right click on Project1 and choose Insert > Module
  2. Copy and paste the macro into the new module.
  3. Click Run to test the macro

When you're happy with the macro, create a ribbon or QAT button for the macro.

More information as well as screenshots are at How to use the VBA Editor


  1. Peauxboy says

    This is EXACTLY what I am looking for!!! I think. I'd like to use this so that customer service representatives always respond with my companies support email when responding to messages in a specific public folder instead of their own without requiring them to remember to change the From field. My only problem is how do I implement this? In other words, what do I need to do so that this is used?

    Thanks so much!

  2. Derik du Plessis says

    This is great as it is exactly what i needed. I also modified the macro to include a forward version. However the macros does not run when i press the Reply, Reply All or Forward buttons either on the ribbon or the "inline" buttons they do run successfully when i execute them from the developer pane or the macro pane. How can i get them to run automatically?

    Once again, thanks for this great macro!!

    • Diane Poremsky says

      You need to create a ribbon button for the macro - it doesn't watch for the buttons to be clicked.

  3. Derik du Plessis says

    As i do not like answering email or creating new ones in the actual reading pane, i changed the setting in options/mail/replies and forwards to always open in a new window (first check box) and now the macros run automatically and i am always presented with the correct mail account to use when answering emails. This works for both the ribbon as well as inline "Reply", "Reply All" and "Forward" buttons. Please do not ask me why, as MS is sometimes a black art.

    Any idea how i can get the same funcionality when creating a new meeting invitation?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      A lot of macros won't work on inline replies - it's how the inline replies are handled in the object model.

      I'm not sure I understand the meeting question.

  4. Derik du Plessis says

    Diane, i have just experiment more, the above indicated actually has nothing to do with the macros, instead by changing the option indicated this affected an add in that i have called SAM, and that activates the correct sending account. Sorry about the confusion.


    • Diane Poremsky says

      Yeah, I wasn't thinking either. I was trying to automate it last night so it would capture the Reply button and that will not work with inline replies (that is a limitation of the new feature) - but that macro would be totally different than this one (and it was not working as expected either).

  5. Ascar Omarov says

    Derik, may I ask you to share the modified code which includes the Forward function? Did you try to make the Reply All and Forward as Attachment functions to work as well?

  6. Fabio Quintal says

    I know this is an old post but I wanted to thank Diane for posting this macro.


    This worked perfectly for me, I tend to read most of my mail on the default reading pane (as opposed to opening the email completely -which doesn't work). I actually created three different Macros for REPLY, REPLY ALL, and FORWARD and replaced the buttons on the ribbon so I wouldn't click them by mistake. The only change (besides the obvious changes) I added a line "strRecip = LCase(strRecip)" because I noticed the Macro would not work correctly if the person used uppercase when typing the email address...for example if they typed it as it would work fine but if they typed it as or or even the domain itself it would NOT work. With this addition everything works!

    Ascar Omarov:

    In case you're still looking for the Forward...just replace the line:

    Set objMsg = ActiveExplorer.Selection.Item(1).Reply


    Set objMsg = ActiveExplorer.Selection.Item(1).Forward

    And everything should work for forwarding.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      It was tested in both 2010 and 2013. I'll retest it, it's possible an update changed something - another person is having problems using accounts in a macro too.

  7. Michael says

    Thanks so much!!! If there is anything I can do to provide data I will -- just shoot me an email and I can send screenshots or anything.

  8. Michael says

    Did you retest? I have now tried on three different computers with the most recent Outlook 2013 with all updates on Windows 8.1. None of them are working.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Change the last Dim line to this: Dim objMsg As MailItem, oMail As MailItem - the missing as Mailitem is the problem.

  9. Michael says

    Diane, Found one more weird thing. If the email is sent to me ONLY (example To: the macro works.

    However, if it is To:; then it does not work. As in, if my email is only one of multiple addresses it does not work.

    What would I need to modify to say if my email address is anywhere in the To: field then apply this rule?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      This: If InStr(strRecip, "") = 1 Then detects your address within the recipient string. Try > 0 instead of = 1

      Is the case the same each time? If not, use the lcase function to force it to lower case - InStr(lcase(strRecip), "")

  10. Fabio says

    To expand on this Macro, I wanted to include a specific Category every time I send from this Macro but I can't seem to do it. I thought it was simple as:

    .Category = "Sent from Reply Macro"

    Obviously the Category has already been created. I saw a few examples where a macro can display a list of categories to choose from but I can't seem to just set one without having to choose.

    I'm not an expert on vb, so that might be the problem ;-)


  11. Fabio says

    Duh!...thanks Diane...I'd probably still be typing ".Category"...for those of you who want to know. I added the following to this macro.

    ' Set Category
    objMsg.Categories = "Sent By Fabio"

    The reason I did it was due to the fact that my company is using Google Apps and because I'm using outlook in my office PC and my laptop, I have to use the "recent:" setting ( on both machines, so I can make sure I get emails in both machines. Google mail seems to ignore the POP setting to leave messages on the server so it can be retrieved by another machine and IMAP doesn't work too well. The problem is that you get a duplicate of every email you sent into your inbox and when you're responding to lots of emails from clients (along with other co-workers using the same email aliases --- we really need a ticketing system but the boss thinks it's unnecessary). Anyway, I needed to identify the messages I sent versus the messages my co-workers sent, so I couldn't filter via the incoming email address otherwise I might miss one of their responses. So assigning a category only to the messages I sent allows one of my rules to delete incoming messages with this category, after all I already have a copy of the message I sent in my sent items folder -- I don't need another copy!

    Now if, I could auto assign a category every time I click a NEW email so my rule would work for my own messages (not using one of the aliases) everything would be perfect. Still, I can at least filter messages coming from my own email in a separate rule, so it's not so bad.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      you can but need to use an inspector. i'll see if i can find a code sample, im sure i have something here. Or you could use a macro instead of the New button...

  12. Tim says

    This Macro works well in specifying the correct account - thank you, however it does not pick up the Signature for that account in the reply text.
    It still uses the default Signature.
    Any thoughts on how to change the macro so it selects the correct Signature ?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      You'll need to insert it using the macro - I don't have any code handy that does that though.

  13. Paolo says

    Hi Diane, I try to use this macro to set the from field with the distribution group address as you suggest using Outlook 2013 on Windows 7 pro 32 bit, (the formsadmin doesn't work well with it), but the field remains the same.
    Thanks for your time.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      in exchange, you need to use the exchange alias or x500 address here:
      If InStr(strRecip, "")

      This will get the sender's address from a selected item. I prefer using /cn=alias part instead of just alias, but it can include a long string of number, at least with office 365 mailboxes.

      Public Sub Getx500Address()
      Dim objMail As Object
      Set objMail = Application.ActiveExplorer.Selection.Item(1)
      MsgBox objMail.SenderEmailAddress
      Set objMail = Nothing
      End Sub

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