How to Set up Out of Office Message in Gmail

Are you planning to go on a vacation and won’t be able to reply to your emails?

Or are you moving to a place without internet connectivity?

And thus you want your contacts who email you, know about when you will be back to respond?

This can be easily done with the help of a vacation responder.

In this article, you can learn how to set up Out Of Office message in Gmail. But are you aware that Gmail is not the best email service when it comes to privacy and security?

If you are concerned about your privacy and don’t want targeted-ads and don’t want to be spied on then you can check some of the best Gmail alternatives here.

how to set gmail auto reply

Gmail Auto-Responses is a great way to save time and energy by saving the effort put to right the same response over and over again.

Today we don’t have time to respond to every Email personally and it is also not required when we have a function such as Gmail Auto reply to make things easy for us.

But most of us are not making use of it.

The Gmail vacation responder function is an easy way to respond to your emails either you are using it for personal or professional use.

You can also create separate folders on Gmail to label it for personal or professional use.

This will help you keep everything organized if you have tons of emails arriving each day.

Click here to check how to create a new folder in Gmail easily.

Follow the Steps Below to Set up Out of Office in Gmail

Gmail Automatic Reply or Auto-responses is a convenient way to reply to the emails automatically. It is also known as vacation responder or out of office message.

But whatever you choose to call it, its purpose is the same. You can set it according to your preference and also edit it accordingly.

You can also set a start and end date to it so that when you are back you can manually reply to the emails and disable the function.

Steps to Set up Out of Office in Gmail from Computer

Below are the complete steps to set up an auto-responder in Gmail from your computer.

1. Log in to Gmail Account

Use your username/email address and your password to sign in to your Gmail account from your web browser from your computer.

log in to gmail account

2. Open “Settings”

Click on the Gear icon located near the top right corner of your Gmail account. A drop-down menu will appear. Click on “Settings”.

gmail setting

3. Choose “General”

In “Settings” by default “General” Page is opened. But in any case, if some other tab is opened you can manually click on the “General” tab located on the top-left side of the Gmail window under “Settings”.

general tab in Gmail Settings

4. Enable Vacation Responder

Scroll down to the last section and there you will find the “Vacation Responder” option.

Right next to the option you find two choices. The first one will be for “Vacation responder off” and the second one will be for “Vacation Responder on”.

Click on the “Vacation responder on” to enable this feature.

vacation responder on

5. Enter the “First Day” and “Last Day” for your auto-responder

Enter the data for your first day on which you want the auto-replies to be sent to any incoming emails.

Next, you need to enter an end date if any for which you want your auto-replies to stop. Choosing an End date is optional.

set date for auto responder

6. Fill in the “Subject” of the Gmail autoresponder

Write the Subject of your Gmail auto-reply. The Subject can be as simple as “Out of Office from Jan 01- Jan 12” or “Not available on mail from Jan 30-Feb 06”. You can write any subject which explains the main purpose of your message.

set up out of office in Gmail

6. Fill in the “Message” of the out of office message

Write a short message in the Message section of the vacation responder. It should include the dates when you will not be available.

It should also include the contact to reach in your absence. You can customize this section by changing the font, size, and style of the text. But you cannot add attachments to the vacation responders.

vacation responder gmail message

7. Tick/Untick “Only send a response to people in my contacts”

After filling all the necessary information you can choose to tick/untick the box below message section.

This box if checked will make sure that the automatic reply is sent only to people in your contacts when they email you.

If left unchecked then anyone who emails you will receive this automatic response from Gmail.

8. Save Changes

At the end click on “Save Changes” to save all your edits.

save changes to gmail

Important: If you have already added your Gmail signature to your Gmail account, it will be displayed at the end of the message text. To know more about how to add or change signature in Gmail click here.

Steps to Set up Out of Office in Gmail from Phone

Below are the complete steps to set up an auto-responder in Gmail from your phone.

1. Open “Gmail App” from phone

Click on the “Gmail App” icon on your phone to open it. Or go to “Play Store” for Android users and “App Store” for iOS users to download and open it.

gmail app

2. Go to Gmail “Menu”

Click on the three parallel lines located on the top left corner of the Gmail account. It is the “Menu”.

gmail menu

3. Open “Settings”

Scroll down in the menu and then click on “Settings” with a gear icon right next to it.

gmail app settings

4. Choose your email address

Choose among the email address you have registered on your Gmail app. Click on the email address you want to set the Gmail vacation responder for.

choose gmail address

5. Click on “Out of Office AutoReply” under General

Under the General section, you will find “Out of Office AutoReply”. Click on it.

out of office autoreply

6. Toggle “Out of Office AutoReply” to turn it on

Click on the button right next to “Out of Office AutoReply” to turn it to blue color from grey. It means it is turned on. As soon as it turns on a lot of options are shown below.

out of office AutoReply ON

7. Fill in the “First day” and the “Last day”

Choose the appropriate dates for which you want the Out of Office AutoReply to be enabled.

set date for out of office auto reply

8. Write the “Subject” for the Autoresponder

Fill in the Subject. You can write a short subject which defines when you will not be available. It can be written and set according to individual preference.

set subject

9. Fill in the “Message” section for the Out of Office AutoReply

Write a short message as the body of the email. You can write the details about the dates when you will not be available and also the person or contact that can be used in your absence in case of any emergency.

There is no set format for this. It depends completely upon the user based on what is the purpose of the autoreply.

set message body

10. Enable/Disable “Send to my contacts only”

You can click on the button right next to “Send to my contacts only” to enable this function if you want this auto-response to be sent to emails arriving from your contacts and no one else.

If you want the auto-reply to be applied for all the emails arriving then you can leave it off. When this option is off it looks grey and when on it turns to blue.

send to my contacts only

11. Click on “Save”

At last click on the “Save” option located on the top right corner of the same screen. This will make sure all the changes are saved.

save changes

In this way, you can easily set up Gmail Auto Reply and respond to your email automatically.

How to Turn off Gmail AutoResponder?

If you have returned back early from your vacation or are able to reply to your email manually now, you would want to turn off the auto-responder in Gmail. Turning this feature is quite easy.

Follow the steps below to Turn off Gmail Vacation Reply.

1. Log in to your Gmail

Sign in to your Gmail account and open it. On the top of the screen, you will find a yellow row. It will display the subject of your Gmail auto-responder and two options.

The first will be “End Now” and second will be “vacation settings”.

2. Click on “End Now”

Choose the “End Now” option to turn off the Gmail out of office feature. After this, any incoming email senders will not receive this message.

turn off gmail auto reply

Important Things to Note

There are some important things you must know before setting up your out of office message in Gmail. One of them is that all the emails that are directed to your spam inbox will not receive this auto-response.

This is because it is irrelevant to them. The other thing is that if you receive emails from a platform you have subscribed to and your auto-response is on then those emails will also not receive the auto-response generated by Gmail.


We hope you found this article useful on how to set up out of office message in Gmail. In this article, we have listed both ways through a computer and also through the Gmail app by using a phone to set up an auto-reply.

If you have any queries relating to the topic please let us know in the comment section below.

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