How to Set an Out-Of-Office Autoresponder in Gmail

Vacation Responder Gmail Featured Image

Are you going to be away from work and unable to respond to emails sent to you? Turn on the vacation responder on your Gmail account to notify senders about your availability. Gmail’s autoresponder can be turned on in the Web and mobile app versions.

How to Turn on Vacation Responder in Gmail for Desktop

You can turn on your Gmail account’s out-of-office autoresponder from your computer’s web browser using the steps below.

  1. In your Gmail account, click on the gear icon at the top right of the page.
Vacation Responder Gmail Inbox
  1. Click on “See all settings” in the pop-up menu.
Vacation Responder Gmail Quick Settings
  1. Scroll down to “Vacation responder” in the “General” tab.
Vacation Responder Gmail Settings General
  1. Click on the radio button beside “Vacation responder on.”
  2. Fill in the start date, end date (optional), email subject, and email body fields, and format the message. Choose whether you want to send the automated reply only to your Gmail contacts.
Vacation Responder On
  1. Click on the “Save Changes” button when you’re done.
Vacation Responder Save Changes
  1. You can turn off or change the settings for your vacation responder from the banner at the top of your Gmail inbox.
Vacation Responder Banner

Tip: if you prefer desktop apps over web apps, consider turning Gmail into a desktop app.

How to Turn on Vacation Responder in Gmail for Mobile

If you don’t have the Gmail app on your phone, you can use the web version to set an out-of-office autoresponder. Follow these steps:

  1. In the Gmail web, tap on the burger icon at the top left.
Gmail Mobile Inbox
  1. Tap on the gear icon at the top right.
Gmail Mobile Burger Icon
  1. Toggle “Vacation Responder” on.
Gmail Mobile Settings
  1. Add a start date, end date (optional), email subject, and email body. Choose whether you want to send the automated reply only to your Gmail contacts.
Gmail Mobile Vacation Responder 1
  1. Tap on the “Apply” button when you’re done.

How to Turn on Vacation Responder in the Gmail App

  1. Launch the Gmail app on your phone.
  2. Tap on the burger icon at the top left next to the search bar.
Gmail Mobile App
  1. Scroll down the fly-out sidebar and tap “Settings.”
Gmail Mobile App Burger Icon
  1. Tap on “Vacation responder” under “Compose and Reply.”
Gmail Mobile App Settings
  1. Tap on the toggle.
Gmail Mobile App Vacation Responder
  1. Add a start date, end date, email subject, and email body. You can choose to send the automated email only to your Gmail contacts.
Gmail Mobile App Vacation Responder Set Up
  1. Tap on the “Save” button when you’re done.
Gmail Mobile App Vacation Responder Save

Tip: another useful tweak, both from the Web and mobile versions of Gmail is changing your Gmail name.

How to Add a Vacation Responder With Inbox Pause

You can use a third-party app like Inbox Pause to pause your Gmail inbox and send an automated reply. When your Gmail inbox is paused, you’ll still receive incoming emails. However, they won’t appear in your inbox until the date you set for the inbox pause to end.

Follow the steps below to set up Inbox Pause in your Gmail account.

  1. Go to the Inbox Pause product page, scroll down, and click on “Add Inbox Pause to Gmail or Google Workspace.”
Boomerang For Gmail
  1. Add the Boomerang for Gmail extension to your web browser.
Boomerang For Gmail Add To Chrome
  1. Sign in to your Gmail account.
  2. You should see a “Pause Inbox” button in your Gmail inbox. Click on it.
Boomerang For Gmail Added
  1. Choose whether you want to turn on autoresponder, make delivery exceptions, hide email labels, and bring emails to your inbox on a schedule.
  2. Hit the Pause button to pause your inbox with the rules you set.
Boomerang For Gmail Inbox Pause

Alternatives to Inbox Pause

If you want to try other third-party browser extensions to pause your Gmail inbox, look at these options:

Tip: be sure to check your login history after you’re back from vacation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there character limits for the autoresponder email body?

There are no character limits for the vacation responder email’s body in Gmail web or the Gmail app.

How long can I leave my vacation responder on?

You can leave your Gmail account’s vacation responder turned on indefinitely by removing the end date or not setting it in the first place.

Does Outlook have inbox pause?

Yes! Boomerang’s Inbox Pause has an Outlook version.

Image credit: Pixabay. All screenshots by Natalie dela Vega.

Natalie dela Vega
Natalie dela Vega

Natalie is a writer specializing in tech how-tos and gaming. When she's not writing, she plays PC games and travels. Here at MakeTechEasier, you will see her write about guides, tips, and solutions for Windows and iOS.

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