How-to Add No Reply All and No Forward to Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010

I used to have this really cushy job as the CTO of a hipster Web 2.0 social sustainable eco-fashion startup in Portland.  One fateful day it suddenly became a lot less comfortable after one simple mistake with the Reply All button in Outlook.  But, thanks to a new Outlook plugin, Reply All mistakes are truly a thing of the past.

Editor Update: Since the publishing of this article, Microsoft has removed access to its NoReplyAll outlook add-in. At this time, we’re not aware of another simple solution for Outlook users.

The Story – I Could Have Used This Plugin Years Ago

So about my cushy CTO job… The title didn’t mean much, since my entire job was to glean “inspiration” from video game wardrobes by playing them all day. Plus, I got all the non-GMO vegan gummy bears I could eat. But that all ended one fateful day when I received an email from my buddy in accounting. It was a mass email:

“All, Having big BBQ this wknd—pls RSVP by EOB. P.S. BYOB. Thx, J.”

I really didn’t feel like going because I knew my ex would be there, so I made up a random excuse and fired it off.

I think my exact words were: “So sorry—can’t make it. Sonic diarrhea. You’ll understand.”

Too late did I realize my fatal mistake. In my haste, I had hit Reply All. One by one, I heard the little dings notifying my coworkers that they had new emails. My ears turned beet red as I felt their eyes peeking over the cubicles to stare in horror in my general direction. I considered running into the bathroom to hide, but that would only confirm what my ghastly email had confessed. Mortified, I took the rest of the day off—didn’t even have to make up an excuse, since the boss had read the email about my galactic bowel troubles. It took years of therapy to put an end to the nightmares that kept me wide awake into the wee hours of the morning, sweltering in my invisible cocoon of shame. But I never got over my reputation as a “sonic diarrhea guy” at the office. I was socially ostracized. No one spoke to me at Christmas parties except this really creepy German guy named Hertzgüt. And when the recession hit, I was the first to go (some lame excuse about pre-existing conditions.)

Okay, that never happened to me. But it could happen to you. That is unless you install the NoReplyAll Outlook Add-In right now. This lightweight add-in for Microsoft Outlook 2010 and Microsoft Outlook 2007  adds two buttons to your Outlook ribbon. One lets you prevent recipients from forwarding your email. The other stops users from sending a reply to all recipients. It does some other things, too, and it has a few limitations, but that’s the main benefit of this free 0.29 MB download.  Let me show you how it works.

How To Disable Reply All And Forward In Outlook 2010 or 2007

Step 1

Download the NoReplyAll Outlook Add-inUnzip it and run setup.exe.

run the setup for noreplyall for outlook2010

Step 2

Accept the requisite EULA (end user license agreement) and review the usual security warnings, the setup is really simple and straightforward.  If necessary, restart your computer after installation is complete.

Disable Reply All in Outlook end use license

Installing NoReplyAll in Outlook 2010

Step 3

Open Outlook and begin composing a new email. You’ll notice your shiny new buttons in the top-right-hand corner of your ribbon in the “Reply Options” section.

Click here to disable reply all and forwarding

Step 4

Click the No Reply All and/or the No Forward button to enable the features. They’ll be lit up and depressed when activated—that is, when replying all and/or forwarding are disabled.

No Forward Activated

Step 5

Send the email as normal. Now, when your recipients open up the message, the Reply All and/or Forward buttons will be greyed out. (If they ask, “Hey, how’d you do that?”  send them here.)

Reply all and Forward Greyed out

Also, if they attempt to use the Quick Menu, they’ll be rejected by a terse alert message.

reply all not available

Now, about those perks and limitations I mentioned…

Bonus Features

Gavin Smyth, the Microsoft Research guy who put this add-in together, decided to throw in a few extra functionalities just for the heck of it. For Outlook 2007 users, he added a warning that alerts you if you’re sending an email without a subject (this feature is already built-in to Outlook 2010).

For both Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 users, he created a feature that alerts you if you forgot an attachment. It does so by allowing you to build a list of keywords that trigger the alert (i.e. “attached” or “attachment”). To prevent the missing attachment warning from being triggered erroneously (i.e. by a legal disclaimer in your signature), you can set up contexts where the keywords will be ignored. To change the contexts and keywords, Click Tools, choose Options and Click the NoReplyAll Options tab in Outlook 2007. In Office 2010, the NoReplyAll options tab shows up in the File menu.

forgot attachement plugin outlook 2010

Limitations and Considerations

So far, the NoReplyAll Outlook Add-in only works for English installations of Outlook. Plus, as you can imagine, it won’t stop those who aren’t using Microsoft Outlook from replying all or forwarding the message. For example, if you disabled forwarding and sent an email to a Hotmail or Gmail user, they could still reply-all and forward the message. And if someone was really determined to undermine you by forwarding your incriminating emails, they can still copy and paste them into a new email. But given that this feature is most critical in accident-prone intra-office communications (where everyone is likely to be using Outlook) such as the fictitious situation described in the beginning of this post, the NoReplyAll Outlook Add-in should prove to be very useful—especially since recipients don’t need to have the add-in installed for it to work.

Of course, the best practice for mass emails is to address the message to yourself and BCC recipients, instead of CCing them or putting them in the “To:” field.  BCC prevents all recipients from seeing who else the email was sent to and if you don’t use it, you should.



  1. Jordan Austin

    October 1, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Pretty sweet. But I wish that story was real.

    • MrGroove

      October 1, 2010 at 12:06 pm

      A nice bit of creative writing from Jack. We should have made it a Friday Fun Article for today heheheh

  2. johnl

    October 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I have tried to use this before but the installer fails every time. Error message reads:- The following Microsoft Office solution cannot be installed due to a general installer error. NoReplyAllAddin.vsto. 0x80131604.
    I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit and Office 2007. Have tried running as Admin but same result every time. Any idea how to get it to work ? Looking on Google lots of people are getting the same error which appear to relate to Visual Runtime. No one seems to have a fix though.

  3. James Brown

    September 20, 2011 at 7:47 am

    I install it, and it works too well, i.e. it won’t even let me reply!

  4. James Brown

    September 20, 2011 at 7:50 am

    My bad, hit the wrong button….

  5. Chris Rock

    March 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Nice article but there is another way to send emails to people without using the notorious and rude BCC. If you use Word to create an email mailing and type in your users in a list, the email will be sent to each recipient as separate emails thus sparing you and anyone else from Reply All because the only people in the email would be you and the recipient.

  6. Eddie

    April 18, 2013 at 3:39 am

    for auto deployment prespective, how to make “Reply All” disabled by default?
    in which registry manage this actually?
    Please advice.

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