What Does the Orange Clock Mean on Outlook

If you use Microsoft Office 365 suite products like Outlook and MS Teams, you might have noticed different colors of status icons for user profiles. It indicates the presence of the user on the other side. In this guide, we will discuss more about the Orange (or yellow) clock and its meaning. Also, we will briefly discuss the other color symbols you should be aware of.

As Outlook is a critical application for personal and professional email communication, we have already covered several useful topics here.

With features like a calendar, task manager, contact manager, note-taking, journal, and web browsing, Outlook is a one-stop solution for many office needs. It’s a versatile tool designed to enhance productivity in professional and personal tasks.


What Does the Orange Clock Mean on Outlook (Yellow too):

Now, let’s get to the crux of this article: the orange/yellow clock icon.

The orange clock in Outlook signifies that a user has set their status to “Away” or “Be Right Back”. Also, it indicates that the user is idle on the computer. It tells others that the user isn’t currently available but should return soon.

The Importance of the Status Icons

To make collaboration more efficient, Outlook has a system of status icons. These indicators show the status of users connected to the Outlook environment, making it easier to plan meetings, set tasks, or send emails.

How It Operates

When you’ve been inactive on your Outlook for a while, the orange clock icon appears automatically, signaling your temporary absence to your colleagues. However, you can also manually set this status.

When You Might See It

You’re most likely to see the orange clock icon during off-work hours or when a colleague is on a short break.

NOTE: You may only see the status icons for some users in your organization if Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams are integrated into your organization. Also, the users should be logged in to see the or send the status.

The Colors of Status in Outlook

  1. Green Square (Available): This icon indicates that you’re online and actively using your computer. It’s the status that shows when you’re ready to communicate with others.
  2. Yellow Triangle (Idle/Away): If you haven’t used your computer in a while, Outlook automatically changes your status to “Idle” or “Away. This tells others you’re not at your desk or you’re temporarily unavailable.
  3. Red Square (Busy/Do Not Disturb): This status appears when you’re in a meeting, or you’ve manually set your status to “Busy” or “Do Not Disturb”. It tells others that you don’t want to be interrupted.
  4. White Circle (Offline): The white circle means you’re not signed into Outlook, or your status can’t be determined. You might appear offline to others even though you’re online if your status settings are set to “Appear Offline”.
  5. Purple Asterisk (Out of Office): When you’re on vacation or not working for an extended period, you can set your status to “Out of Office”. This will show a purple asterisk next to your name.

How to Manage Orange Clock Status

Understanding is one thing, but knowing how to manage this status can further enhance your Outlook experience.

One way to control the orange clock status is by enabling or disabling automatic replies. When enabled, Outlook sends an automatic reply to incoming emails during your away time.

Similarly, you can control how your busy status is displayed to others, including deciding when the orange clock should appear.

The orange clock is more than a simple status icon. It has real-world implications in professional settings.

How to Remove Orage/Yellow Clock in Outlook or MS Teams

As we mentioned earlier, the status changes automatically when a user is away or idle from the computer. In another case, the user purposely changed the state of the corporation’s messaging app, like Mircosoft Teams.

Then how to remove it?

  • Be active on your computer or Teams application: The yellow/orange will change to green soon. So, the other users will come to know you are not away or idle anymore.
  • Change the status manually if you have accidentally or purposely changed it to orange. Click on the status icon and change it to green, as shown below.

Troubleshooting Common Orange Clock Issues

While helpful, the orange clock can sometimes present issues.

Outlook Not Updating Status

Outlook might sometimes fail to update your status, leading to confusion. This can be solved by checking your activity settings and making necessary adjustments.

Persistent Orange Clock Icon

On the other hand, your status might persist as ‘away’ even when you’re active. Resetting your status can help rectify this.

Microsoft Outlook’s orange clock is a powerful tool promoting better communication and productivity in professional settings. Like any tool, it’s not without problems; most are easily rectifiable. So the next time you spot that little orange clock, remember it’s more than just an icon—it’s a symbol of efficient digital workspace communication.

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