How to Set Up a Gmail Autoresponder

How to Automate Gmail with Email Autoresponders

by | Feb 20, 2021 | Gmail

You can set up flexible autoresponders in Gmail that reply with custom messages to anybody emailing a specific alias email address. Find out here how to set up a Gmail autoresponder and automate (some of) your email.

First, Take a Small Pointy Stick

and cut open the vanilla flower. Carefully collect pollen and place it under a flap to pollinate the vanilla.

Without the melipona bee (native to Mexico but not to, say, Madagascar), this is the only way to get vanilla pods, and it has to be done within 12 hours of the bloom opening. Then, of course, the vanilla beans have to be treated by hand to become the delicious spice that makes just about everything taste better.

While there is nothing automatic about vanilla, there is little vanilla about Gmail autoresponders; they are automatic, and you can have them send just what you like:

How to Set Up a Gmail Autoresponder

Time needed: 15 minutes.

To automate Gmail and have it send particular information whenever somebody emails a particular alias address:

  1. Create a plus Gmail email alias address for the autoresponder.

    Note: You do this simply by using the address.
    Example: If your email address is “”, you could set up an autoresponder for people sending an email to “”.

  2. Make the alias known.

    Exaples: Post the plus alias on your website, hand it out at networking events or include it in your Gmail email signature with the note: “Learn to Write Headlines That Sell: Email”.

  3. Create a canned response in Gmail with the autoresponder text.

  4. Also in Gmail, click the Show search options triangle () at the end of the search field.

  5. Type the email address you use for the Gmail autoresponder under To.

    Important: Replace the “+” sign with “\+”.
    Example: For your headline-writing auto-responder, you want Gmail to reply automatically to all emails sent to “”; type “example\” under To.
    Option: You can add further criteria, of course, such as a specific Subject line, if you wish.

  6. Click Create filter.

  7. Under When a message arrives that matches this search:, check Send template:.

  8. Select the canned response you set up before from the Send template:… drop-down menu.

  9. Click Create filter.

    Option: Check Also apply filter to __ matching conversations to immediately send the canned response to senders of emails you already received at the Gmail autoresponder address; I would advise agains doing this unless specifically know this is what the senders wanted.
    How to Use Gmail Autoresponders to Automate Email

How to Create a Autoresponder for Certain Email Addresses Only

To set up autoresponders that reply to messages only from certain email addresses:

  1. Create a message template in Gmail that contains the auto-reply.
  2. Click in the Search mail field in Gmail.
  3. Type from:().
  4. In between the parentheses, list all email addresses that should receive the automatic response.
    Important: Separate the addresses with the pipe symbol (|).
    Tip: You can leave out parts of the address to broaden matches; type only a name, for example, to match it anywhere in the email address or sender name.
    Example: from:(||tschabitscher) will auto-respond to any email from
    – (and, of course, any other email with “tschabitscher” anywhere in the From: line).
  5. Hit Enter.
  6. Verify the search matches emails you would have wanted the autoresponder to answer automatically.
  7. Click Show search options.
  8. Now click Create filter.
  9. Check Send template:.
  10. Click Choose template under Send template:.
  11. Select the automated response.
  12. Click Create filter.

How to Set Up a Gmail Autoresponder: FAQ

Can i set up more than one autoresponder in Gmail?


You can set up as many Gmail autoresponders as you need — one canned response and Gmail alias for each.

Do be careful setting up filters, though:

  • Each rule should match exactly one alias address.
  • If you have a rule that auto-replies more broadly (and so received emails that would match more than one rule), do keep this in mind:
    Every email will rigger only one rule (and so generate just one Gmail autoresponder).

(How to set up a Gmail autoresponder tested in a desktop browser; updated February 2021)

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