How to Set Up Auto-Replies in Focus Mode on iPhone (iOS 15)

Send a personalized, automatic text explaining that you're unavailable while Focus mode is enabled.

iOS 15's Focus mode lets you set up notification filters so you can work, drive, sleep, and more without being disturbed. It also lets you customize automatic text replies to send to friends and family explaining that you're unable to respond right now, but in a friendly way without relying on cold, scripted replies. Let's dive into how to set up a Focus mode auto-reply text on your iPhone!

Related: How to Know If Someone Blocked Your Number on iPhone

Why You'll Love This Tip

  • Set an auto-reply message on your iPhone so you never have to worry about leaving someone hanging when they text you while you're busy.
  • Apple's scripted auto-reply messages can sound terse, but with Focus mode auto-replies you can personalize your message to sound more like you!

How to Use iPhone Focus Mode Auto-Reply Messages

Important: Since this Focus mode tip is specific to iOS 15, if you have an earlier software version you will need to update to iOS 15 before using these steps. To learn more about what's new in iOS 15, sign up for our Tip of the Day newsletter!

Here's how to use Focus on iPhone to send auto-reply messages:

  1. Open Settings.

    Open Settings app
     
  2. Tap on Focus.

    Tap Focus
     
  3. Tap on the Focus mode filter for which you want to enable auto-replies. For this example, we'll use Driving.

    Tap Driving
     
  4. Don't see the Focus filter you want? You may need to create a custom Focus filter first, then come back to these steps.
  5. Next, tap Auto-Reply.

    Tap Auto-Reply
     
  6. Choose who will receive your auto-replies: No One, Recents, Favorites, or All Contacts.

    List of options
     
  7. If you select No One, Auto-Reply will be disabled.

    Select No One
     
  8. If you select Recents, contacts you've responded to within the last day will receive an auto-reply text when Focus is enabled.

    Select  Recents
     
  9. If you select Favorites, contacts in your Favorites list will receive an auto-reply text.

    Select Favorites
     
  10. If you select All Contacts, all of your contacts will receive an auto-reply text.

    Select All Contacts
     
  11. Edit the Auto-Reply Message to say whatever you would like it to say.

    Edit Auto-Reply message

Now you can exit Settings, and whenever you turn on Focus mode for this filter, the group of your contacts you selected will receive your personalized auto-reply message when they try to contact you.

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Author Details

Elisabeth Garry's picture

Author Details

Elisabeth Garry

Elisabeth Garry is a Feature Web Writer for iPhone Life. Formerly of Gartner and Software Advice, she has four years’ experience writing about technology for everyday users. As a former college writing instructor, she is passionate about effective, accessible communication, which is perhaps why she loves helping people make the best use of the strongest communication tools they have available: their iPhones. She has a degree in Russian Literature and Language from Reed College.

When she’s not writing for iPhone Life, she’s probably either reading (19th-century Russian literature or fantasy novels), writing fiction, or spending time with her adorable dog, Moosh.