2 Ways to Reply Automatically in Gmail (Reply to All or Specific Emails)


If you are using Gmail for work, dealing with hundreds of emails every day isn’t uncommon. Thankfully Gmail has many features that can ease emailing. Some let you better organize emails and some let you complete tasks automatically like archiving emails or filtering them.

Talking about automation, you can reply automatically in Gmail using a canned response. This can be very useful when you need to send the same response to specific emails so you won’t have to go through the process of separately dealing with them.

Furthermore, it can also be useful when you won’t be available for a while to reply (like when on vacation). You can just set up an away message in Gmail and it will let everyone know that you aren’t available currently.

There are two ways to do this. You can set up an autoresponder to send a prewritten message to all emails or create a filter that will reply using a template message to specific users or email types. In this post, I’ll tell you how to do both.

Automatically Reply to All Emails Using Vacation Responder

The vacation responder is the easiest option when you won’t be available to reply to incoming emails and want to let everyone know that you aren’t available and when you’ll be back. Here’s how to set it up:

Click on the Gear icon at the top-right corner and select See all settings from it.

Here under the General tab, scroll down to the bottom where the Vacation responder option is and turn it on.

There is a box here where you can add the reply that should be automatically sent and you can select the responder’s starting and ending date (optional). By default, this will reply to all emails, but you can enable the Only send a response to people in my contacts option to limit it to your Gmail contacts.


Once all is set up, click on the Save Changes button to activate the autoresponder.

Create Filter to Auto Reply to Specific Emails

Gmail filtering option lets you do many tasks automatically like preventing emails from going to spam or bulk deleting emails. If you want to automate some of the repetitive replies or send the away message only to specific people, then creating a filter offers much more control.

All you have to do is create template messages and then create filters to send them to specific incoming emails. Let’s see how to do it:

Create Email Templates

First, you need to create a template that could be used later for filters. If you have never created a template before, then this feature will probably be disabled in your account. So let’s enable it first:

In the Gmail Settings, move to the Advanced tab and enable the Templates feature.


To create a template, compose a new email and write the reply in it that you want to automatically send to emails.

Afterward, click on the More options button (vertical dots) at the bottom and select Templates > Save draft as template > Save as new template.


This will save and make the drafted email usable.

Create Filter

To create a filter, click on the Show search options button at the end of the Search bar at the top.


Here you need to specify the type of email using different factors, including sender name, subject, specific words, attachments, etc. You can use the factors to specify exactly what type of emails you want to auto-reply to. After filling in these details, click on the Create filter.


Next, a bunch of actions will pop up that you can apply to those emails. One of them is the Send template. Choose the email template you created earlier here and click on Create Filter again.


That’s it, this will create a filter that will automatically send the chosen template to the specified email type.

You can edit or delete this filter later by going to Gmail Settings and editing it under the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab.

Final Words

A vacation responder is definitely the easier option if you need to let everyone know that you can’t reply currently. However, it doesn’t let you specify emails, so it’s not very good for automating repetitive emails. In my opinion, creating a filter is better for both automating repetitive emails and setting up an auto-responder when you are away since it gives full control over exactly who to reply to.

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