How to Create and Delete a Canned Response in Gmail

I had the fun job of reaching out to writers who earned a Q3 bonus at work this week. Our bonus system is based on pageviews, which you can review here if you’d like.

At the request of my out-of-town coworker, I jumped into her email to notify the writers … and swiftly overwrote the canned response message she had prepared. D’oh!

I found the standard reply in another email (and got it cleared), but then had to create a new canned response. If you’ve never done it, it can be a little tricky.

How to Add a New Canned Response in Gmail

Once you’ve enabled canned responses from Labs in Gmail, there are two ways you can create a new canned response.

Create a Canned Response, Method #1

Create a new message and follow steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 listed under Method #2.

I stumbled upon Method #2 first, which adds a couple of steps unnecessarily. But, hey: It still gets you what you want!

Create a Canned Response, Method #2

  1. Go to the down arrow in the bottom right corner of a new message
  2. Go to Canned responses
  3. Choose New canned response…


  1. Enter a name for your canned response
  2. Add a message
  3. When you’re ready to save, repeat steps 1 and 2. After step 2, click on the name of your canned response listed under Save (written in light gray in the middle).
  4. It will ask you if you want to overwrite the message. Hit OK to proceed, and then send or delete the message. Your canned message will be saved.

For this example, I created a new canned response called “new canned response.” (Clever!)


So, this is why I wrote canned responses can be tricky: At first glance, it looks like a bunch of redundant text under labels you can’t click. (When you’re trying to replace a canned message under a time crunch, this is especially true.)

Taking a step back … Insert is where you select a canned response to enter into a message, Save contains the saved responses you created and Delete is where you can click on a response to have it removed from your list. Which brings us to …

How to Delete a Canned Response in Gmail

Two minutes after creating “new canned response,” I’m already tired of the message. (Your reasons may vary.)

Time to delete it.


  1. Go back into the menu
  2. Scroll up to Canned responses
  3. Under Delete, choose “new canned response.” You will get this message:


  1. Hit OK, and you’re good to go!

Did that help you break down canned responses in Gmail? Let me know in the comments.

Featured image credit: Picjumbo

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