I've created a canned response. How can I use the filtration system for auto response in Gmail to reply to ALL incoming?

Granted, I would only care for the auto response to be sent only to humans. I just figure it's easier to just target all instead of being able to target the very broad majority with a trillion of filters.

Any tips or tricks?

  • 1
    What's wrong with the vacation auto-response? Just set the end date waaaay in the future.
    – ale
    Jan 7, 2013 at 20:30
  • 1
    Related (if not a duplicate) - webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/902
    – ChrisF
    Jan 7, 2013 at 21:08
  • @ChrisF Thanks for the advice. I will look into it.
    – Vitaliy G.
    Jan 7, 2013 at 22:55
  • @AlEverett Thanks for the advice. I will look into it.
    – Vitaliy G.
    Jan 7, 2013 at 22:55
  • I'd make an IFTTT recipe
    – user35263
    Sep 18, 2013 at 11:30

4 Answers 4


You can use vacation responder for this.

Go into your Gmail settings and looks for a section called "Vacation Responder"

screen shot of vacation responder settings

This will allow you to enter an auto-response for all incoming messages. Just uncheck the "Ends" box to make sure it will always be on.

Note: like it says in the help text in the image, if a contact sends you several messages, this automated reply will be sent at most once every 4 days.

  • This is perfect. However, it seems like Vacation responder sends replies in a separate email? Is there a way for this feature to respond to the person's email and not in a separate one?
    – Vitaliy G.
    Jan 9, 2013 at 18:42
  • 1
    Unfortunately no, there is no way to do this in Vacation Responder. The reason is that it doesn't know any info of the incoming message, so wouldn't be able to associate a response with that particular thread. Jan 9, 2013 at 18:48

One issue with the gmail autoresponder is that it only replies to those emails sent directly to the gmail account in question. This does not include accounts from other domains that are linked to the gmail account. You can get around this, and enable the use of better filtering, by using the following process:

  1. Create a new gmail account for the autoreply (e.g. [email protected])
  2. Create an account at https://ifttt.com/ and turn on the gmail channel with this newly created gmail account
  3. Add or replicate the following recipe: http://ifttt.com/recipes/69417
  4. Going back to your actual gmail account, set up a filter such that all the emails that you want to autoreply to are forwarded to your autoreply gmail account
  5. (optional) Create filters on both accounts so that you can send different replies for different conditions


  • You never have to check incoming mail for this account, so if spammers get at it it's not a big deal
  • Layman solution (could be more elegantly done in python, etc.)
  • Doesn't limit autoreplies to emails sent directly to your gmail address Very customize-able with filters


  • It's an email you never check, so if something goes wrong you won't necessarily know (I once had mine get into a "conversation" with another autoreply that went on for several thousand messages)
  • IFTTT checks in on things every 15 minutes, and then only takes up to Y new emails into account. If your incoming email density is greater than Y every 15 minutes then this solution may not be adequate (I can't remember what Y is...)

If you are comfortable coding, I would also suggest using Google Apps Script to rig something up. This way, it can actually respond directly to the email you are replying to (unlike the vacation responder).


You can also do this if you have a hosting account and this is where the pop3/imap account is coming from. Follow the steps as per user41790's answer above, but instead of using IFTTT, create an autoresponder with your shared hosting and have your Gmail account forward there.

This approach avoids having to create a new Gmail account & a new IFTTT account and leverages your hosting provider. With many hosting providers, you can also limit the response to say, every 96 hours so your responder is not too chatty.


If you don't have it already, download Outlook 6. Google search will give you several choices.

Connect Outlook 6 to gmail. How to Access Gmail with Outlook Express link: http://email.about.com/od/outlookexpressfreemail/qt/Access_Gmail_with_Outlook_Express.htm

After initial Sync of gmail account: Sync only the folders needed for your routine; Highlight "Local Folders" and create identical folders found in "imap.gmail.com"
needed for your routine, under "Local Folders";

Go to "Tools" under "Message Rules" click "Mail" and create the your rule(s). Highlight "Local Folders" and click "Send and Recieve" button. Check "Sent Items" under "imap.gmail.com" to see your results.

If you need it more automatice than that? Then you merly add a simple macro with timer.

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