How to Auto Reply in Gmail

Use a template and filter to send messages automatically

What to Know

  • Enable automatic replies: Select Settings > See all settings and go to the Advanced tab. In the Templates section, choose Enable.
  • Make a template: Start a new email and select More options > Templates Save draft as template > Save as new template.
  • Create an Automatic Reply Filter: Set up the filter, then select the Send template check box and choose your template.

This article explains how to set up automatic replies in Gmail. The feature works by setting up a filter so that when certain conditions are met (such as when a specific person emails you), a message of your choosing is automatically sent back to that address.

Enable Templates for Automatic Email Replies in Gmail

To have Gmail automatically reply to emails using a template based on a set of criteria, you first have to enable templates in Gmail. Here's how:

  1. Select the Gear icon in the upper-right corner of the Gmail screen to open the Settings menu.

    Settings gear icon on Gmail
  2. Select See all settings near the top of the drop-down menu.

    See all settings location in Gmail
  3. Choose the Advanced tab.

    The Advanced Settings tab in Gmail
  4. In the Templates section, select Enable.

    Enable option for templates in Gmail
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select Save Changes.

    Save changes option for settings changes in Gmail

If you'd rather send vacation responses in Gmail, you enable a different setting for that.

Make a Template for Automatic Email Replies in Gmail

Now that you've enabled templates, set up a template to use as your automatic reply.

  1. Select Compose in Gmail and compose the template you want to use for automatic replies. You can include a signature, but you don't need to fill in the Subject or To fields.

    Compose button in Gmail
  2. Select the More options icon (the three dots) at the bottom of the email.

    More options icon (three dots) in Gmail
  3. Select Templates from the options menu.

    More options menu in Gmail
  4. Select Save draft as template and then Save as new template in the next two pop-up menus.

    Option to save an email as a new template in Gmail
  5. Give the template a name and select Save.

    New template naming screen in Gmail

Set Up an Automatic Reply Filter in Gmail

To apply the template you just made, you create a filter in Gmail that specifies the conditions under which you want your template to be sent automatically.

  1. Select the search options arrow in the search box at the top of the Gmail screen.

    Search options arrow in Gmail
  2. Define the criteria for the automatic reply filter. It can be a name, subject, or any of the other fields in the form. Then, select Create filter.

    filter criteria field in Gmail
  3. Place a check mark in front of Send template.

    Filter options in Gmail including Send Template
  4. Select the drop-down menu next to Send Template and choose the name you gave to your template for automatic replies. If you only made one template, there is only one option.

    Selection screen for filter template
  5. Select Create Filter.

    Create Filter screen in Gmail
  6. Go to Settings > Filters and Blocked Addresses, where the new filter is stored. Check it to apply it automatically to any incoming email that matches your criteria, then select Save Changes.

    Filters and Blocked Addresses in Gmail
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