Auto Reply to Only Certain Addresses in Gmail

Consider a scenario – You are away on vacation and want to send out of office mail as an automatic reply from Gmail but only to specific contacts.

Gmail vacation responder replies to everyone be default

Gmail’s vacation auto responder will not work in such situation. It will automatically reply to all incoming mails or mails from your contacts, but fails to create filters. However, we can use canned responses to auto-reply only to selected few.

Canned responses are Gmail’s email template that you can quickly use anytime. Learn more about them here.

To set auto responder email template, we have to first activate the canned response feature:

1. Go to Gmail’s setting.

2. Select the “Lab” tab. Here you have list of available experimental Lab features.

3. Now look for “Choose Canned Response…”.Enable it by radio button.

4. Click on save changes at the bottom of the page.

Now, we can create any number of email templates. Go to Compose, write the content and from the bottom right corner drop down, select Canned Response > New Canned Response to save it.

Whenever you want to use this canned response, just click on the same drop down from Compose window > Canned response > Insert.

Now we will create a filter to send automatically replies as canned response to chosen addresses

Filters are the powerhouse of Gmail. They allow you to create custom rules, through which you can virtually do anything in your mailbox. We will create a filter to group users and to send our canned response automatically. Follow these steps:

1. Go to Gmail’s search drop down screen

2. In the search criteria, put your colleagues emails separated by OR. You can also use * wildcard in the search. For example: * OR OR * search will resuld mails from anyone from ABC company and John Doe and anyone whose email ends with

Gmail filter to send canned response only to selected people

3. Click on “Create filter with this search ”

4. Check the box “Send canned response” and select your canned response template from the drop down box. Click on “Create Filter”.

That’s all! You’ve successfully created an out of office automatic email reply for selected people.

Related: Bookmark Your Searches in Gmail

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Filed under Gmail Tricks. Posted by Abhishek and last updated on July 26, 2015.

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Thanks for the great information. One question – How do you modify or delete a filter?

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