Allow per-user outbound gateways

A per-user outbound gateway is a mail server other than the Google Apps mail servers that delivers outgoing mail for a user in your domain.

Gmail offers users the option to associate additional email addresses with their accounts, to create custom From addresses. (Learn more about how the user does it.) For example, might also have an email account When the user sends or responds to a message from Gmail, he or she wants to be able to choose which email address appears in the From field.

By default, the Google Apps mail servers deliver the user's outgoing messages regardless of which email address he or she chooses to send from. However, the user might want the mail server for to deliver any message that uses the address In this situation, the user wants to use the mail server as an outbound gateway.

Why would a user use an outbound gateway?

Using an outbound gateway ensures that the same mail server delivers all messages from, regardless of whether he or she composes the message using Gmail or another email client application. Recipients can verify that the message is valid by confirming that it comes from the proper mail server for Also, the mail server has a record of the mail sent from its domain using Gmail. At the same time, the mail sent from the is not handled by the Google Apps mail servers or your domain's outbound gateway, which may be what you want.

Using an outbound gateway can also prevent the appearance of "on behalf of" addresses in the From field. When a user sends a message from an alternate From address through the Google Apps mail servers, some recipient mail applications display the name of the sender as " on behalf of".

Learn more about how the user configures an outbound gateway. The user has the option only if you allow the option from the Google Admin console, as described below.

Why not allow users to use an outbound gateway?

Messages delivered using an outbound gateway do not flow through any outbound gateway specified for your domain. If you need to ensure that all outgoing mail from your users passes through the outbound gateway, disable users' option to specify an outbound gateway.

How do I allow or disallow users to use an outbound gateway?

By default, users cannot use an outbound gateway; the Google Apps mail servers deliver all outgoing mail, including mail that uses alternate From addresses.

To allow users to use an outbound gateway:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. From the dashboard, click Apps, then click Google Apps > Gmail > User settings.
  3. In the Allow per-user outbound gateways section, select Allow users to send mail through an external SMTP server when configuring a "from" address hosted outside your email domains.

    When this check box is selected, users who associate additional email addresses with their accounts have the option to enter connection information for an alternate SMTP server. (Learn more about the required steps for the user.) When the check box is not selected, users cannot specify an SMTP server for the additional address.
  4. Click Save changes.

It can take up to an hour for the changes to propagate through Google systems.

Once this option is enabled, users can configure their alternate email addresses to use an outbound gateway. Each user must configure this option individually. Learn more about how the user does it.

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