The Email Signature Handbook
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How to Add a Signature in Exchange 2019, 2016 & 2013


By Exclaimer

Having an email signature that is centrally managed by Microsoft Exchange 2013, 2016 or 2019 lets you give all users the same template no matter which device they send mails from. Managing an Exchange email signature centrally also has the added benefit of not letting users modify the signature design you give them, vital for keeping control of your corporate brand.

So how do you do it? Read our guide below on how to add a signature in Exchange easily.

  1. Open your Exchange admin center. You’ll need to have Exchange Administration credentials to do so.

  2. On the left-hand side of your screen, choose mail flow from the admin options. This will open a new set of options in a tabbed list. Choose rules.

    The Exchange admin center.
  3. Click the Add (+) icon and select Apply disclaimers from the drop-down menu. You will now start creating the Transport Rule that will be used to apply your Exchange signature to messages sent from your organization.

    Set up a rule for your Exchange email signature.
  4. A new lightbox window will appear letting you specify the details of this new Transport Rule. First, give the rule a name that is easy to remember such as which department it is to be assigned to.

    Then, click on the drop-down menu for *Apply this rule if…, which will specify how the signature will be added to messages sent by your users. For example, you could set it so that the signature is applied to all emails sent internally or externally.

    Set up the details of your new Exchange signature rule.
  5. The Apply a disclaimer to the message option should already be selected, but you can confirm this by clicking on the drop-down menu for *Do the following…, choosing Apply the disclaimer to the message and then clicking the append a disclaimer option.

    Choose where the Exchange signature will appear on an email.
  6. Click on the link Enter text. This will let you copy and paste your Exchange 2013/2016/2019 signature template and/or disclaimer. This can be in either a plain-text or HTML format.

    Remember, if you want to include images in your email signature design, you will need to host these on an external location and add the relevant URLs. Exchange does not have an in-built HTML editor so you cannot embed images directly into a signature.

    If you want to ensure the contact details of each user are correct, you will want to use Active Directory attributes in your signature template. A full list of AD Attributes can be found in this Technet article. To add these to your signature, simply place the attribute in the relevant location and add two percentage symbols either side, i.e. %%DisplayName%% or %FirstName%.

    When you’re finished, click OK.

  7. You now need to specify what will happen if the signature cannot be added to an outgoing email. Click Select one… which will give you three options to choose from:

    • Wrap - the signature/disclaimer is appended to a new email with the original message attached.
    • Ignore - the message is sent without an email signature or disclaimer. We recommend you choose this option.
    • Reject - the email is not sent and an NDR is received by the sender.

  8. Click save and test the Transport Rule is working correctly. If you want to do more, you can click More options… which will let you add things like exceptions e.g. the signature is not applied to certain users in a group.

  9. If you're happy with everything, make sure that under Choose a mode for this rule, you have Enforce selected. Finally, click Save to confirm. There are also a number of Test… options available if you wish to log your Transport Rule’s actions but not interfere with any email content.

    Your new Exchange signature is ready to use.
  10. To enable/disable the Transport Rule, just click on the checkbox to turn it on or off. If you ever need to modify the configuration, highlight the rule and click on the pen icon, which can be found next to the Add (+) one.

    Click on the pen icon

Learning how to add a signature in Exchange is not a difficult process. However, there are some pretty big limitations to creating and managing email signatures and disclaimers using just Microsoft Exchange.

For more details on what you can and can’t do with Exchange email signatures, check out this article.

Using an Exclaimer email signature solution

If you use Microsoft Exchange to send emails, you need Exclaimer's email signature solution for Exchange. Our robust and powerful offering adds professional email signatures to any message processed by your Exchange server.

  • Control all email signatures via a web browser with nothing to install or download.
  • Use Azure AD data to give different email signatures to different departments, depending on the job role.
  • Use advanced rules to let you define which emails get an Exchange signature.
  • Apply signature updates in real-time allowing you to run dedicated email signature campaigns.
  • Pass control of email signature updates to your marketing team without giving them access to IT infrastructure.

Find out more about Exclaimer's email signature management solution for Exchange.

How Exclaimer Can Help:

If you're looking for an easy way to design and manage professional email signatures across your whole organization, we're here to help. Find out more or start your free trial today!

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Recommended reading

Limitations - Exchange 2013 signatures, Exchange 2016 signatures & Exchange 2019 signatures

Find out what you can and can’t do in Exchange 2013, 2016 & 2019

Create professional email signatures with Exclaimer Cloud Signatures for Exchange