How To Auto-Reply to Texts on the iPhone

If you’re driving and don’t want people to think you’re ignoring your texts, you might want to consider setting up the auto-reply feature on your iPhone. This feature makes it possible to reply to texts without endangering yourself or others by texting while driving.

How To Auto-Reply to Texts on the iPhone

In this article, we’ll show you how to set up auto-reply while driving and related features, such as how to turn off text alerts while driving.

How to Set Up Auto-Reply on iPhone

You need to set up an auto-reply in advance, so it doesn’t disturb you when you’re otherwise occupied. The function is built into iOS, so it takes less than a minute to configure auto-reply while driving on your iPhone.Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Focus.
  3. Select Driving(it should be there by default).
  4. Choose Auto-Reply.
  5. Then set Auto-reply To to All Contacts, Recents, Favorites, or No One.
  6. You can customize your Auto-reply message or leave the default auto-reply:  “I’m driving with Focus turned on. I’ll see your message when I get where I’m going.”

While these steps configure your iPhone to auto-reply while driving, you may want to set more specific parameters, such as setting your iPhone to only send auto-reply texts to people in your contacts, not people you don’t know, so change the AUTO-REPLY TO setting to whatever you prefer.

Once configured, all you need to do is turn on Focus whenever you get in the car.

Auto-Reply to Calls on Your iPhone

Did you know you can also auto-reply to calls on your iPhone?

It works in a very similar way to replying to messages. If you don’t want to let the phone ring or send the caller to voicemail, an auto-reply is a great option. It isn’t exactly automatic, as you need to select Message during the incoming call, but it’s better than having to type it.

Let’s set it up first:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone
  2. Tap the Phone app
  3. Tap Respond with Text

Of course, you can keep the default responses for Respond With Text, or you can write your own.

Then, when a call comes in, select Message above the Accept button on your iPhone to reply with the canned response you just configured. Just select the message in the popup window and confirm.

Stop iPhone Calls or Text Alerts When Driving or Busy

If you’re trying to navigate busy city streets, the last thing you want is to be disturbed by an incoming call or text.

The same Focus function we have already used can help here. The iPhone has a specific setting for Driving Focus, and we can use it here.

Next time you’re driving, swipe down from the top-right corner to bring up the Control Center. Press and hold the Crescent Moon button that says Focus. A pop-up will appear showing your different Focus versions; select the car icon to initiate the Driving Focus. When you’re in motion, the phone should detect it and stop pestering you with phone call alerts or text alerts.

Setting up an auto-reply to texts on iPhone is useful if you travel a lot or are often in situations when you don’t want, or cannot, answer a text or call.

6 thoughts on “How To Auto-Reply to Texts on the iPhone”

mpark says:
this is frustrating that the IPHONE does not have a way to set an auto resonder for text messages. i also use an iphone for business only (specific phone for work and one for personal) my job puts us on a mandatory PTO where we get locked out of our computers and phones but i can’t set an auto text responder notifying people i’m on vacation. people think i’m ignoring them…that isn’t good for business (i’m a mortgage consultant). i wish they would develop this capability.
Kieran says:
Is there any way to auto reply to everyone?
Lisa says:
Is there a way to send auto reply to ONLY ONE NUMBER? I’m trying to auto reply always, to one phone number with the word “yes”.
Sarah says:
You can do that now with the Shortcuts app. You just go to Automation > Create Personal Automation. Select Message. You choose the sender, and then you can set up a reply to always respond with.
facebook says:
Auto-reply settings in I phone is common, just to set the customize controls and do not disturb in your phone. It will automatically stop alerting you regarding your call.
Claire Fitzmaurice says:
The auto reply for text only works if calls/text are coming in whilst driving. Can this be set to any time ? Just turning on DND doesn’t work? Any help grateful received as I really NEED an auto text reply
Miriam Doherty says:
Claire Did you get a reply or solution for this?
I teach so I cant use my phone between 8 and 2pm .
I need a message to explain I’ll reply later.
Michelle says:
I also need to know this. I’m going on vacation and would like all texters to know I’m not available, but don’t want to set my phone to do not disturb and I won’t be driving most of the time.
Cmax says:
This is great, but I use my phone for business and not everyone who texts me is in my contact list. If I’m going away, there’s no way to auto reply to those not in the contact list. So new clients either get ignored or my vacation is spent responding to texts!
Brad says:
Thanks, I am here looking for how to set a custom auto rely for specific dates or times like you can do on email, ,such as vacation/out of office. I use phone for work and get many work interruptions from outside contractors etc, or people in my organization who do not know i am off, and it is impractical or impossible to try to notify ahead of time anyone who might call for work. I keep work phone nearby in case of true emergency but many interruptions can or will wait, yet takes time responding and explains each time or if I don’t then they think I am ignoring them when instead I might be swimming with my kids or something.

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