Gmail’s auto-responder can set an out-of-office message for when you’re on vacation or at home for the day. It’s easy to create an auto-responder on mobile or desktop or one of the best cheap Chromebooks. Here’s how.
How to set up a Gmail out-of-office message on mobile
Setting up a Gmail autoresponse is nearly identical on Android and iOS. Here’s how to do it:
- Launch Gmail on your device.
- Tap the Menu icon in the upper-left corner.
- Scroll down and tap Settings.
- Choose the account you want for the out-of-office reply if you have more than one.
- Scroll down and select Vacation Responder.
- Switch the Vacation Responder toggle to the On position.
- Add the desired date range.
- Write the subject and the message you want people to see.
- Tap Save.
- Tap the Done button.
Follow these steps to turn off the Gmail vacation responder on mobile:
- Go back to Settings.
- Tap Vacation Responder.
- Turn off the Vacation Responder toggle.
- Click Done.
How to set up a Gmail out-of-office email on a browser
You’ll find most of Gmail’s true power when you access its settings on the web. Setting up a Gmail automatic out-of-office email here isn’t complicated, although it’s not as straightforward as doing it from the mobile app. Here’s how you can set it up on a computer:
- Open Gmail from a web browser.
- Click the Settings gear icon in the upper-right corner.
- Click See all settings.
- Scroll to the bottom of the menu.
- Select Vacation responder on.
- Add the date for the auto-replies to begin in the First Day box.
- Select the Last Day option and add the end date. If you’d rather turn off your out-of-office message manually, do not select the Last day checkbox.
- Add an out-of-office message in the Message box.
- Select Only send a response to people in My Contacts if you only want people you know to receive your auto-replies. Leave this blank if you want everyone who emails you to receive your reply.
- Click Save Changes.
It’s a straightforward process to turn off your Gmail out-of-office reply. Go to Gmail on a web browser from your computer, and you’ll see a large banner across the top of the screen displaying the subject of your auto-reply. Click End Now to turn it off.
How to customize Gmail auto-replies
Sometimes, you don’t want your email account to auto-reply to everybody on your contact list, or you require different messages for different people. You could use third-party tools such as Zapier or IFTT to do this, but there is a way to set this up with Gmail, so long as you’re willing to jump through a few hoops.
You’ll need to do this from Gmail on the web, so begin by logging in on a computer. You’ll need to allow your Gmail to save and send templates. This is usually on by default for personal accounts, but your system admins may have turned it off if you’re part of a team for your work account. Follow this step-by-step tutorial to turn them on:
- Click Settings.
- Select See all settings.
- Select the Advanced tab.
- In the Templates section, choose Enable.
- Go back to the main Gmail screen.
- Click Compose and begin a new email.
- Type the customized message you want the auto-responder to send.
- Click the three vertical dots in the lower-right corner of the compose window.
- Click Templates, choose Save draft as template, and select Save new template.
- Add a name for this template.
Now, close the Compose window, and your message is saved as a template. Next, you’ll set up a Filter to trigger that message. Follow these steps:
- Click the Settings gear icon.
- Click See all settings.
- Click the Filters & Blocked addresses tab.
- Scroll down and select Create a new filter.
- Add the email addresses of the people who will receive this custom auto-reply.
- Click Create Filter.
- Check the Send Template box, and choose the new template from the drop-down menu.
- Click Create Filter.
When someone in your new filter emails you, they’ll receive the customized message you created. If you want to stop responding with customized messages, turn off each canned response you set up for customized messages. Do this by returning to the Filters & Blocked addresses tab in the Settings menu and deleting each customized filter you set up.
Things to remember when using Gmail’s autoresponder
It’s always good to keep your out-of-office auto-reply professional, friendly, and short. A couple of lines of basic information is best, and don’t forget to sign it with your signature.
These are a few other things to remember:
- Gmail’s automatic reply messages start at midnight on the date you set them to begin, and they end at 11:59 p.m. local time on the end date.
- People only receive your automatic response once every four days.
- People receive your email response a second time if you’ve made edits to your vacation response and they email you again.
- Spam senders and mailing lists don’t receive an out-of-office response unless you set up a canned response with a filter for them.
Out-of-office replies are simple in Gmail
Google has loaded Gmail with powerful tools to help you manage your digital life. In a few simple steps, you’ve let Gmail handle all your incoming emails, send personalized replies to important people, and automatically sort everything. Now you’re ready to get away from the office and live your best life!
It’s easy to forget about your business while you’re away. If you forget your password or the email address you use to access your Gmail account, you can recover it.