How to auto-reply to text messages on iPhone

How to auto-reply to text messages on iPhone

No country or jurisdiction recommends texting or calling while you drive. It is fatal, and to help, your iPhone has a handy feature called Do Not Disturb While Driving. What’s even better is that you can set up an auto-reply on your iPhone whenever you are in DND mode. This will automatically respond to incoming texts. Let’s dig in and learn how to do it.

How to send an auto-reply to text messages on iPhone

  1. Open iPhone Settings.
  2. Next, tap Do Not Disturb.

    Open Settings and Tap on Do Not Disturb on iPhone
  3. Tap Activate and choose one from Automatically, When Connected to Car Bluetooth, Manually.

    Tap on Activate and Set Preferred Option
  4. Now, go back and tap Auto-Reply To.
    You can select a few or All Contacts as per your preference. 

    Tap on Auto-Reply To and Select All Contacts on iPhone
  5. Go back and tap Auto-Reply and edit the message you want to send.

    Set Up Auto Reply to Text Messages on iPhone While Driving

That’s it! Whenever the selected contact texts you during DND while driving mode, they will receive this auto-reply text message.

If you select Manually for Activate, you can enable and disable this mode according to your choice. To enable this mode quickly, you can access the shortcut from the Control Center. Read along.

Add Do Not Disturb While Driving

  1. Open Settings and tap Control Center.
  2. Tap Customize Controls.

    Open Settings Tap on Control Center and Tap on Customize Controls
  3. Tap the green + icon beside Do Not Disturb While Driving.
  4. Hit <Back at the top left.

    Add Do Not Disturb While Driving in Control Center on iPhone and Then Tap on Back
  5. Now open Control Center, and you will see a car icon. Tap it to enable this mode.

    Add Do Not Disturb While Driving Shortcut to Control Center on iPhone

How to send auto-text on iPhone

  1. Open iPhone Settings.
  2. Now, tap Focus.
  3. Next, tap Focus Status and enable Auto-Reply.

    turn on auto reply iphone ios 15
  4. Tap Do Not Disturb, and make sure Share Focus Status is enabled.


Extra info: You can also use this trick to enable auto-replies not only while driving but even when you are on vacation or merely unplugging for some time. Make sure you enter your custom vacation text.

Now your contacts will be sent an auto-reply if you’re too busy to text, and have DND enabled on your iPhone.

I hope this quick guide on setting auto-reply to text messages on iPhone made your life a little easier. Have any related queries? Share in the comments below.

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  1. Is there away to auto reply to anyone that texts? Not necessarily just contacts or favorites. I see “recent” as an option. How far back in the all log does this go?

    1. You can choose among one of the four options: No One, Recents, Favorites, and All Contacts. There is no option to reply to unknown contacts automatically.

      And as far as all recent call log goes, in my iPhone, it seems to have a record of the last 15 days.

  2. Prior to IOS 15, and the whole new “focus” my husband’s iPhone would send an automatic text message and allow for notification on the motorcycle that someone was messaging. Now, he’s lost that ability. He doesn’t want that to happen when he’s driving the truck through. Any ideas on what has happened?

  3. I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you mean. Could you please elaborate about the motorcycle and truck and which notifications he isn’t getting?

  4. When I text him and he is driving the motorcycle, I used to get an automatic reply BUT he would see on the motorcycle screen that I had sent a text. TODAY if I text him, I get an automatic reply but he does NOT see that I am trying to text him. When I text him in the truck I SHOULD NOT get an automatic reply it should go through to the truck’s “car play” None of this is working the same now with the new FOCUS system in IOS15.

  5. oh, sorry to hear that. Yes, Focus has changed things. Sorry we could not find a solution for you right now. Maybe Apple will fix the problem in future iOS updates. For now, maybe you could avoid it by not using Focus mode at all when driving.

  6. I have set up a Personal focus when I’m busy and don’t want to be interrupted by text messages. But there doesn’t seem to be a way to send an automated response while using that focus. An automated response seems to only be a response while driving. What am I missing?

    1. You are correct; there is currently no way to send an automated response using the Personal focus on your iPhone. Auto-reply is only available for the Driving focus. However, there is a workaround that you can use. You can create custom automation to send an automated response when you receive a text message while the Personal focus is turned on.

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