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Setting Up Gmail to Autorespond to Emails While on Vacation

written by: rfreshour•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 2/11/2010

If you are going on vacation or will be unavailable to check your email, a Vacation Responder in Gmail will automatically send a message to anyone who sends you email letting them know that you will be out of communication and when you will return. Keep reading to find out how to create a Vacation-Responder.

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    Creating an Autoresponder Using Gmail's Vacation-Responder

    Sometimes you just can't get to your email messages. For those times, Gmail has a Vacation-Responder setting to automatically respond to emails that you receive while you are out of town on business, on vacation, or not answering incoming email for any other reason. The Gmail Vacation-Responder sends a message that you create to people you receive mail from . You can design that message to let them know that you are unavailable and when you will start returning messages.

    The Gmail Auto-Responder can be used for all incoming email to your Inbox, or only for incoming email from contacts in your contact list. If you receive more than one message from the same person, the Vacation-Responder will only send them a message back every four days, and then only if the person is sending you messages on the day the response is set to send. Messages in Spam or from a mailing list will not receive the vacation response.

    To create a Vacation-Responder in Gmail:

    1. Sign into your Gmail account.

    2. Click the Settings tab in the top right corner of any Gmail window.Autoresponder Settings in Gmail General Settings page 

    3. In General Settings, scroll down to the Vacation Responder section.

    4. Select Vacation Responder on.

    5. Enter the subject of your message in the Subject field.

    6. Enter the body of your message in the Message field (your email signature will automatically be included if it is enabled).

    7. Decide if you want only the contacts in your Contact List to receive the vacation message or if you want the response sent to all incoming messages.

    8. Click Save Changes to enable the Vacation-Responder.

    If you make any changes to the content in the Vacation-Responder while you are away or not accepting email, senders of the incoming messages receive both the original response and the edited response.

    Once the Vacation-Responder is enabled, a banner is displayed across the top of any open Gmail window while you are signed into your account. The banner displays the subject line you set for your vacation response. To end the response, click end now in the banner. The Vacation-Responder is then turned off. You can re-enable it at any time.