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.

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.

First, let’s add Do Not Disturb to the Control Center for easy management.

  1. Select Settings on your iPhone
  2. Then tap Control Center
  3. Next, tap on Customize Controls
  4. Tap the green icon next to Do Not Disturb While Driving to add it to Control Center

You will now be able to quickly turn Do Not Disturb While Driving on or off as needed. Next, we need to set up the message and reply settings.

Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone
  2. Tap Do Not Disturbdo not disturb while driving settings
  3. Set activate to Manually, When Connected to Car Bluetooth, or Automatically
  4. Then set Auto-reply To to All Contacts, Recents, Favorites, or No One
  5. You can customize your Auto-reply message or leave the default auto-reply:  “I’m driving with Do Not Disturb turned on. I’ll see your message when I get where I’m going.”

iPhone do not disturb

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.

Here’s how to configure your auto-reply settings to only send messages to certain people:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone
  2. Tap Do Not Disturb
  3. Scroll down and tap Auto-Reply To
  4. Choose who you want to Auto-Reply To from these choices: No One, Recents, Favorites, or All Contacts

Once configured, all you need to do is turn on Do Not Disturb 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 answer it.

Let’s set it up first:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone
  2. Tap the Phone app
  3. Tap Respond with TextiPhone respond with text

Of course, you can keep the default responses to ‘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 Call 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 Do Not Disturb function we have already used can help here. The iPhone has a specific setting for Do Not Disturb While Driving and we can use it here.

First, let’s add it to Control Center.

  1. Select Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Control Center
  3. Tap Customize Controls
  4. Select the green icon next to Do Not Disturb While Driving to add it to the Control Center

Then, when driving, swipe up to bring up the Control Center and select the car icon to initiate Do Not Disturb While Driving. When you’re in motion, the phone should detect it and stop pestering you with phone call alerts or text alerts.

Setting up 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.

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

Avatar 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”.
Avatar 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.
Avatar 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.
Avatar 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
Avatar 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.
Avatar 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!

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