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Canned Responses is a Gmail feature that lets you add snippets of text (including images, links, and text formatting) which can be reused in future emails. For example, you could use this to answer frequently asked questions, or to include a signature if you only use one occasionally.

After adding canned responses, they can be used in two ways

  • when composing a new email or replying to an email
  • as an automatic response sent by a filter - for example, you could look for a keyword and automatically respond with a list of frequently asked questions

PLEASE NOTE: If you use canned responses, do not select and delete all of your drafts. Although you can't see them when you click the Drafts folder, that's where canned responses are stored. If you accidentally did this, you can restore them within the next thirty days by looking for the canned responses in your trash.

How to Use Canned Responses in Gmail

If you need to send similar email responses out to a number of people, consider using a Google Lab feature called "Canned Responses." This feature allows you to save an email as a canned response and use it over and over again without needing to copy and paste into a new window.

Enable Canned Responses

Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of your Gmail.

Go to "Settings."

Click on the "Labs" tab.

Go to "Search for a lab," and type Canned Responses in the search bar.

Press the button for "Enable."

Press "Save Changes."

Create a Canned Response

Click on "Compose." This button is near the top of the left-hand bar in your Gmail window.

Create a response. To do this, either write the email you want to have as a canned response or copy and paste from a previous thread.

  • Consider bolding or highlighting anything that will have to be changed in future versions of the response, including names and dates.

Click the arrow next to the trash icon on the bottom right of the compose box.

Select "Canned response" on the menu that opens then click "New canned response" on the submenu.

Name your response. Call it something that will help you remember when to use your canned response, such as "email invitation" or "thank you for coming."

Use a Canned Response

Click on "Compose." This button is near the top of the left-hand bar in your Gmail window.

 Click on "Canned responses."


 Click on the name of the response you'd like to use. Your saved responses are located under the "Insert" heading.


 Change any information in the canned response that needs to be modified.

Send your canned response out.

Sample Canned Responses



  • If you need to modify a canned response for any reason, insert it into the composition box, change whatever needs to be changed, and then select the name of the canned response under "Save" in the "Canned responses" drop-down. Gmail will ask if you're sure you want to save over your canned response. If you are, press "OK."