How To Setup Gmail SMS Alerts For Urgent Emails for Free

Aibek Esengulov 08-12-2008

Not so long ago we looked at how to send emails to cell phone as SMS for free How to Send Email to Any Cell Phone (for Free) Did you know that you can send email to phones for free? Try this with any SMS-capable feature phone and reap the benefits. Read More . Lots of people found the article quite useful. Today I wanted to extend it a bit further and show you how you can use the info from the previous post to setup SMS alerts for important emails that land in your Gmail account.


Gmail SMS

The whole thing is fairly simple. I am pretty sure some of you have been using it already.

First you need to get free email to SMS gateway for your mobile carrier How to Send Email to Any Cell Phone (for Free) Did you know that you can send email to phones for free? Try this with any SMS-capable feature phone and reap the benefits. Read More . If you didn’t get it last time you can easily do so now. The page lists email-to-sms gateways for 10 major US carrier and lots of international ones.

Once you have the email for your mobile number (say, simply login to your Gmail account and go straight to Settings -> Filters tab. Now, there are two ways to use this.

1- Get SMS Alerts for Emails from Specific Addresses

The first way is to setup SMS alerts for emails coming from certain people or places that you consider important. These can be emails from your employer, bank, hosting provider, site uptime tracker etc.


Create new filter and enter the email address for which you want to receive SMS alert.

Gmail SMS alert setup

In the next step, setup a Forward rule to your free email-to-sms number.

Gmail SMS alert

Click on “Create Filter” and you’re done. Next time you receive email from that address you’ll also get SMS message with about first 150 characters of the email. As simple as that.

2- Get SMS For Urgent Emails If You’re Away

Say you’re on holiday and don’t want to be bugged with regular work related emails. However at the same time you want to make sure that when it’s something really urgent people can reach you.

Here is what you can do. First create an auto-responder message (see in Setting -> General) that looks something like the one below.

Gmail SMS alert

Then go to ‘Filters’ tab and setup a forward filter for it. As you can see, in the above auto-responder message I provided sender with option to reach me by simply emailing me again using “urgent” in the subject line.

gmail sms notification

As soon as email hits my inbox I get texted to my mobile.

Are you using anything similar to that right now? Share with us in comments.

Related topics: Email Tips, Gmail, Notification, SMS.

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  1. j13P HzIyCCWNSNnM
    November 27, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    L qE05PIws6t5

  2. kirui steve
    November 26, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    I am in Kenya and using Safaricom mobile provider.
    i would like to know how to do this in this are please share the details

    kirui kenya

  3. eliena
    February 20, 2015 at 4:09 am

    How can I do this in Malaysia ?

  4. GD
    January 31, 2015 at 5:45 am

    How can i do this in Pakistan?

  5. sat
    February 11, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Is it possible to Srilanka

  6. Melbourne
    January 15, 2010 at 3:40 am

    This is great.....does anyone one the email address for the australian particular Telstra.

  7. Spanky
    December 8, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Anyone got any info on being able to set up this txt message alert from specified email - using a New Zealand Telecom mobile? This would be Awesome to use! would save a lot of time, and would generally be very cool -but I cant see any NZ listings to set up my phone to?

  8. vijay
    October 8, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    It is possible to get email to SMS in India.
    For Airtell that I use "forward to" option of gmail

  9. Satheesh
    August 27, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Hi friends

  10. John-Michael
    March 15, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Problem doing this with US Cellular -- it attempts to send the entire message of the email in packets of 160 characters, so a long email gets you multiple text messages, a big waste. Any way to just send the subject line or sender email?? Thanks.

    • Steve
      May 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm

      I'm not sure if this works for other carriers or not, but for large messages, i have it send it as though it were a picture message. I use cricket and instead of sending it to (mynum) i send it to (mynum) Notice the change from sms to mms. I use this for various things, like getting alerted for weather and that. As of the time this was written, cricket still didn't support various facebook apps and alerts from Various services will have an option of sending alerts and that to your email. is one example. To have it go to my phone, i put (mynum) and it sends the whole thing in one piece, not just 160 characters of it in multiple parts. In order for this to work, you have to have picture messages included in your plan.

  11. mitesh patel
    January 18, 2009 at 7:36 am

    i want just know about obama

  12. Mike
    January 12, 2009 at 7:34 am


    I'm from Portugal and a use Vodafone, can i get a gmail sms alert for free?

  13. rav
    January 7, 2009 at 3:04 am

    free SMS gateways URLs to many countries on

  14. bjhanifin
    December 15, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    I have forwarded replies to craigslist ads to my phone this way. It works great because the replies to ads are very time sensitive. :)

  15. Chris
    December 10, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Are you sure abot this? I have been using using with T-mobile here in UK and hasn’t received a single confirmation message yet.

    Yes, it does it with Verizon in the US. When I get an email, the sender gets a message delivery confirmation back from Verizon that contains my text address. As far as I know there is no way to disable it because it comes from the Verizon data network, not the handset.

    • Michael the Dumb Tech Geek
      December 10, 2008 at 1:05 pm

      For you Verizon guys, I may have thought of a solution. Or I simply added a layer of stupidity to it. I can't test it, because I'm an AT&T customer.
      Say your address is You get an email you want to go to your phone at that address. Create a rule that sends it to With gmail accounts, you can add +whatever to your username and it will still come to your account.
      Then, when an email comes in with a To address of, you forward THAT email to your phone. This either adds a link in the chain that goes back to the initial sender, or it started a new chain that will stop with your email.
      From there you can create a rule to auto-delete the response messages Verizon keeps sending, and you could also delete all messages To, since these are just duplicates anyway.
      Hope this solution works. If not, you go back to dealing with the annoyance and delete 2 filters. Pick your poison :-)

      • Aibek
        December 13, 2008 at 2:04 pm

        Thanks for sharing !

      • twl
        February 17, 2009 at 9:14 pm

        Michael was nearly dead on. Gmail won't allow you create a filter that forwards a message to your own Gmail account - even with a "+FWD" or whatever in the address line.

        The solution is to create another gmail account that you can forward to and let it alert your phone. It breaks the chain as he indicated.

        Worth noting that Gmail passes thru your original gmail account address on the forwarded email so just setup a filter to forward to your phone anything from your regular gmail account.


  16. Adrian
    December 9, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    You guys are godly!

  17. Mitchell McKenna
    December 9, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I love this feature! Here's a starter list of things to filter out tho so it doesn't get annoying
    -{ voxox utterli socialmedian deviantART cineplex}

  18. Eric
    December 9, 2008 at 9:54 am

    I cannot do it in Vietnam.

    Have you got any updates for us Vietnamese here yet?


    • Aibek
      December 13, 2008 at 2:01 pm

      Did you check earlier post for email to SMS gateways for Vietnam? I am sure there shoulf be one or two for Vietnam as well.

  19. Chris
    December 9, 2008 at 9:34 am

    I've tried using this before. Problem is it allows the stupid delivery message from your carrier to pass back to the original sender. Which contains the direct text address of your cell phone. That's fine for people I trust, but if someone emails me I don't like the thought of them getting a response like: "Your message to was delivered".

    Add to that the fact that it sends that reply the instant the text hits your phone, not when you read it, so people think you read the message when you may not have, and this just doesn't work too well.

    The part about filtering for just your boss or something urgent is a cool idea though.

    It would just be so much easier if gmail had integrated sms support. They already do with calendar notifications anyway...

    • Aibek
      December 9, 2008 at 9:39 am

      "I’ve tried using this before. Problem is it allows the stupid delivery message from your carrier to pass back to the original sender"

      Are you sure abot this? I have been using using with T-mobile here in UK and hasn't received a single confirmation message yet.

  20. Michael The Dumb Tech Geek
    December 9, 2008 at 8:40 am

    I don't have a data plan on my phone, and have done everything I can think of to hack my unlimited text plan to do everything I can possibly make it do. This includes Mosio, Google SMS, Facebook Mobile, Buxfer, and also the trick used above. With a method like this, I get updates every time a scheduled post goes up on my blog, and every time I have a comment that needs to be moderated. Every time my friend sends me an email, it's auto-forwarded to my phone as an SMS message, picture attachments typically included.
    When I get time in the future, I was considering trying to setup some AutoHotKey scripts that, when triggered by an email message (probably through Outlook), would set my computer to update or scan or whatever on remote command from my texting phone. Oh, to dream of such coolness!

    • Michael The Dumb Tech Geek
      December 9, 2008 at 8:46 am

      Oh! Forgot Google Calendar messages too. Luckily, it sent me a reminder :-)

    • Aibek
      December 13, 2008 at 1:59 pm

      Please let me know when you have set it up. :-) Or haow about sharing your current setup with other MUO users? :-)

  21. Ajay Pathak
    December 9, 2008 at 6:54 am

    hey thanks for sharing this real cool tip with us
    think will help users get sms alerts form specific email address
    is sms are free ?
    and is this service is available in india also ?

    • Aibek
      December 13, 2008 at 1:57 pm

      Yes, it works in India too. Just refer to the previous article to find the SMS gateway for your mobile carrier.

      If your mobile plan doesn't charge you for receiving SMS messages then it;sc ompletely free. Based on my experience with INdian mobile provides receiving SMS message is free. Thus using this service should be free.

    • Valentine Aaqil Mahmood
      February 22, 2009 at 9:53 am

      Fewer Mobile operators, Ask to your Network for email to sms address, I know some in India provides for free some have charges.