How to Create an Out of Office Reply in Gmail: A Step-by-Step Guide

Setting up an out of office reply in Gmail is a breeze. You can let people know you won’t be able to respond to their emails right away by creating a customized message that will automatically be sent to anyone who emails you while you’re away. In just a few steps, your Gmail will be set up to keep people in the loop even when you’re not at your desk.

Step by Step Tutorial: Creating an Out of Office Reply in Gmail

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what we’re doing here. We’re going to set up an automatic response that will be sent to anyone who emails you during a specified time period. This message will let them know that you are out of the office and when they can expect a response back.

Step 1: Open Gmail Settings

Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of your Gmail inbox and select ‘See all settings’.

Once you’re in the settings menu, you’ll find a bunch of different options. You’re looking for the “General” tab, which should be open by default.

Step 2: Scroll Down to ‘Vacation Responder’

Keep scrolling until you find the ‘Vacation responder’ section. This is where you’ll set up your out of office message.

It’s pretty far down, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see it right away. Just keep scrolling until you find the section labeled ‘Vacation responder’.

Step 3: Turn on Vacation Responder

Once you find the ‘Vacation responder’ section, you’ll see a button that says ‘Vacation responder off’. Click it to switch it on.

Now that it’s on, you’ll notice a few more options pop up. This is where you’ll customize your message and set the dates.

Step 4: Set the First Day

Click on the box under ‘First day’ and select the date you want your out of office reply to start.

This is important because it’s when your automatic replies will start going out. Make sure you pick the right date!

Step 5: Set the Last Day (Optional)

If you know when you’ll be back, click on the box under ‘Last day’ and choose your return date.

If you’re not sure when you’ll be back, you can leave this blank. Just remember to turn off your out of office reply when you return.

Step 6: Write Your Message

Type your out of office message in the box provided. This is what people will receive when they email you during the time you’re away.

Be sure to include any important information, like when you’ll be back or who they can contact in your absence.

Step 7: Save Changes

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click ‘Save Changes’. Congratulations! Your out of office reply is now set up.

Don’t forget this step, because if you don’t save, all your hard work will be for nothing!

Once you’ve saved your changes, your out of office reply is all set. Anyone who emails you during the time you specified will automatically receive your message, letting them know that you’re away and when to expect a response. It’s a simple but effective way to manage expectations and keep your email communications professional even when you’re not available.

Tips for Creating an Out of Office Reply in Gmail

  • Personalize your message to reflect your personality or company brand.
  • Keep the message brief and to the point; there’s no need for a long explanation.
  • Provide an alternative contact person or support email if applicable.
  • Review your message for typos or errors before saving.
  • Remember to turn off the vacation responder when you return or to set an end date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I set up an out of office reply for just one specific email address?

No, the out of office reply is sent to anyone who emails you during the time frame you’ve set.

Will my out of office reply be sent to every email I receive?

Your out of office reply will be sent to each person once every 4 days if they continue to email you.

Can I create different messages for different groups of people?

Gmail’s vacation responder only allows for one message, so it will be the same for everyone.

What if I forget to turn off my out of office reply?

If you’ve set an end date, it will turn off automatically. Otherwise, you’ll need to manually turn it off.

Can I set an out of office reply from my phone?

Yes, you can set up an out of office reply in the Gmail app on your smartphone.


  1. Open Gmail settings.
  2. Scroll down to ‘Vacation Responder’.
  3. Turn on Vacation Responder.
  4. Set the first day.
  5. Set the last day (optional).
  6. Write your message.
  7. Save changes.


And there you have it, setting up an out of office reply in Gmail really is as simple as that. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your email contacts are informed of your absence and know when to expect a response. It’s a professional courtesy that takes little effort but goes a long way in maintaining good communication. Remember, the key to a good out of office message is clarity and brevity. And don’t forget to turn it off when you get back—or set an end date to avoid any confusion. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be crafting perfect out of office replies in no time. Happy emailing!

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