how to set auto-reply Messages

It happens to me all of the time. Someone calls me when I can’t answer the phone for some reason. It’s not that I don’t want to talk. It’s that I can’t talk. Maybe I am interviewing someone, or maybe I’m at a show and the music is too loud. Auto-reply is my savior for situations like that. I can quickly send a text message that will let my friends and family know that I am unable to answer their call, but am able to respond through text.

You can customize up to three different auto-reply messages at a time. Whether you are in a meeting, out to dinner, or in a no cell phone zone, you can let your caller know that you can’t talk at the moment.

We’ve got a basic how-to tutorial for those new iPhone users that haven’t yet figured out that they can send a customized auto-reply. For that matter, this tutorial is for users that didn’t even know there was an auto-reply feature.

First off, let me explain to our readers who are new to the iPhone how to use auto-reply. When someone calls you, take a quick look at the screen. You will see three buttons: Slide to Answer, Remind Me, and a Message icon. Tap on the Message icon to see the auto-reply feature. There are three default messages that you can choose from. If you don’t like the ones Apple gave you, customize your message by following these simple instructions.

How to set an auto-reply for phone calls on iPhone

Step 1: On your iPhone, go to Settings > Phone > Respond with Text.

Step 2: You will see 3 pre-formatted quick responses. These are the default ones offered by Apple. Tap on one of the default messages.

Step 3: Type in your own message. Repeat for all three.

set quick response to text

Step 4: Tap the “Phone” button at the top left of the screen to save the new messages.

I like customizing my auto-reply to say funny things, like “Can’t talk right now… I’m meditating,” or “Can’t talk right now… I’m practicing fire-breathing.” Of course, you should have at least one appropriate auto-reply message in case your mom or boss calls.

Using auto-reply when you receive a call

When you receive a phone call, simply tap on the Message icon showed on your Lock screen (see the screenshot at the top). Doing so will display your custom replies (or Apple’s default ones if you haven’t set them up yet). When you tap on one of the pre-filled replies, the person calling you will immediately receive a text message, without any further interaction from you.

Auto-reply for text messages?

Note that at this time, it is impossible to set automatic replies for text messages. We will update this post accordingly should Apple ever add this option.

  • ze_rusty

    So much free time :3

  • John Vijay Solomon

    Is this reply sent as an imessage? cos i always get an error when i use this.

    I am jailbroken and have bitesms installed.

    • gruhu13

      for me it works with imessage if the the calling number has iMessage – else its sms

      • John Vijay Solomon

        it tries to send as an iMessage even for users who do not have it. and it stays as a failed iMessage. Doesn’t try sending as an sms

  • RarestName

    I’m still looking for a tweak that automatically sends a message when I fail to pick up.

    • Mitchell Edward Allen

      That’s what I thought this article would be about. This is more manual and less automatic than the title suggests it would be.

    • Rick Benyola

      Is this possible now?

  • J™

    sometimes, people dont pick up not becos they cant talk but they dont want to talk

  • nice

  • but it does not work on my iPhone 4S

  • A Dempster

    This is *NOT* ‘AUTO-REPLY’ – this is MANUAL REPLY via two steps involving manual selection of a pre-entered message response. True Autoreply not even possible in IOS7 (widely criticized for this failure) – is only possible with iphone jailbreak and BiteSMS or similar (or Android phones – a favourite feature!) 🙂

  • Rick Benyola

    With all the safety ads on the freeway and android offering a true auto text reply, any idea why Apple or a 3rd party has not created this app? Now with iMessage games, isn’t this possible?