How to Set Up an Automatic Email Reply

By Nicole Martinez

Email providers such as Yahoo Mail or Gmail and email software such as Thunderbird allow you to create an automated reply message. Those who send a message to your address will receive this reply. This feature is useful when you are on vacation or if you have switched email addresses (you can include your new address in the reply message). Gmail and Thunderbird allow you to completely customize the message, while Yahoo's free mail service uses a vacation template to which you can add a short message.

Gmail

Step 1

Log in to your Gmail account.

Step 2

Click "Settings" at the top of the page.

Step 3

Click "Vacation responder" in the "General" tab.

Step 4

Type the subject and message you wish to use for your automated response. If you'd like, you can check the box next to "Only send a response to people in my Contacts" so that only your contacts will receive this message.

Step 5

Click "Save Changes."

Thunderbird

Step 1

Launch Thunderbird on your computer.

Step 2

Click "Write" to create a new email and type the response into the message body. Complete the subject as well.

Step 3

Open the "File" menu and select "Save As" and choose "Template." Close the message.

Step 4

Open the "Tools" menu from the main screen and select "Message Filters."

Step 5

Click "New" and type an appropriate filter name such as "Out of the Office."

Step 6

Click the radio field next to "Match all of the following" and select 'To:" from the first drop-down menu. Select "Is" from the next menu and type your email address into the third field.

Step 7

Select "Reply with template" from the first drop-down menu in the "Perform these actions" section. Choose your template from the second drop-down menu and click "Ok."

Yahoo Mail

Step 1

Log in to your Yahoo Mail account.

Step 2

Click "Options" from the upper right corner and choose "More Options."

Step 3

Choose "Vacation Response" from the list and check "Enable auto-response during your vacation."

Step 4

Choose the dates during which the automated email will run.

Step 5

Type in a message that users will see in the response; it can be up to 10 lines long.

Step 6

Click "Save Changes."

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure to select the correct account (if you have more than one) when creating the filter for Thunderbird.
  • You must leave your computer and Thunderbird running while you are away fro the automated reply to send.