I'm trying to set up an auto responder to only certain people in Gmail. I'm aware you can go to –SettingsGeneralVacation responder to set a global response, but I'm trying to setup almost a filter that says

IF EMAIL IS "john@example.com" SAY "Im not here at the moment, back next week" IF NOT "john@example.com" DO NOTHING

Is that possible in Gmail?


Yes, it's possible. Unfortunately, unlike the vacation autoresponder which only sends the message once to the sender, you'll end up sending the message every time you receive a message.

First, you need to turn on the Canned Responses lab and set one up.

(To create a canned response, start by composing a new message, then in the context menu of the compose window choose Canned responsesNew canned response….)

Once you've got your canned response, now you need a filter.

Create a filter with the trigger from:john@example.com and choose as the action Send canned response: and choose the canned response you just created. You may want to make the filter more specific and/or choose other things to do with the message. (There are lots of posts here that cover Gmail and filters. Look under the tag.)

Now, whenever a message matches your criteria, a response with your canned text will be sent immediately back. As I mentioned, however, this will happen with every message that trips your filter.

  • Thats great - Thanks, How did you input a tag in a post i havnt come across that before ?
    – sam
    Sep 5 '13 at 15:16
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    [tag:tag-name]. Of course, you can just hit the edit link and see the Markdown for yourself.
    – ale
    Sep 5 '13 at 15:17
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    Sorry that skipped my mind - one thing when you get a response back it comes from name+canned.response@gmail.com is there a way to stop it adding the canned.respinse part to your email address ?
    – sam
    Sep 5 '13 at 15:21

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