Set up Default routing for your organization

As a Google Workspace admin, use the Default routing to set up how incoming email from internal and external senders is delivered for your organization. With default routing, you specify recipient addresses and then specify the actions to take on messages intended for those recipients.

Default routing & Routing in Google Workspace

Google Workspace gives admins 2 main routing settings for managing email delivery: Default routing and Routing. Use Default routing to set up the default mail delivery for your organization. For example, if you want to send all or most of your organization's email to multiple inboxes, use Default routing to set up dual delivery for your entire organization. Then, use the Routing setting to create more specialized email delivery rules, or to override the Default routing behavior. For example, you can add a Routing rule that sends a copy of every message for your CEO to the CEO's executive assistant.

These 2 routing settings provide flexibility when setting up email delivery for your organization. For step-by-step instructions for using these 2 settings to meet specific email delivery needs for your organization, visit these articles:

Ordering default routing settings

You can create up to 1000 default routing settings. Default routing settings have a lower priority than other Gmail routing settings, including content and attachment compliance settings.

 To change the priority of your default routing settings, change their order in the settings table:

  1. Click Reorder next to the setting.
  2. Enter a number to indicate the setting's priority and order. For example, enter 1 for the highest priority setting.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Repeat for all settings that you want to prioritize.

Settings with a Reject action are always assigned the highest priority. This is true even when you've configured another setting with a higher priority.

Important: Google Workspace applies all routing settings to the affected inbound messages. If two settings conflict, Google Workspace applies the setting with the higher priority and ignores the lower priority, conflicting setting. Read detailed information about conflicting consequences and precedence exceptions for Gmail settings.

This article describes all the options available in the Default routing setting.

Set up default routing

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGmailand thenDefault Routing.
  3. Click Configure or Add another rule.
  4. In the Add setting box, take these steps:

    Setting option What to do
    Specify envelope recipients to match
    • Single recipient: Specify a single user by entering an email address, such as
    • Pattern match: Enter a regular expression to specify a set of recipients in your domain.
    • Group membership: Select from one or more groups in the list. Create your groups from the Groups tab. This option affects both direct and child group members. For example, if Group B is a member of Group A, users in Group B are child members of Group A.
    • All recipients: Specify all email addresses in your Google Workspace account. This option applies to both recognized and non-recognized email addresses.

      Non-recognized addresses: An non-recognized email address is an address for a suspended user, an address for a user whose Gmail access is turned off, or an address that contains one of your verified domains but that isn't associated with a user in your Google Workspace account.

    If the envelope recipient matches the above, do the following

    Select the main action to take on affected messages:

    • Modify message: Change affected messages. Specify messages are changed with the Modify message options, below.

    • Reject message: Reject the message before it's delivered to the recipient. You can add a message to notify the sender about why the message was rejected. With this option, no other routing or compliance rules are applied to affected messages. Routing settings with the Reject message option are always the highest priority routing settings. Learn more in Order your default routing settings. When messages are rejected, Gmail automatically adds an SMTP rejection code, for example 550 5.7.1. This is an SMTP standard requirement, and the codes can't be removed.

    Modify message

    When Modify message is selected for affected messages, select options to specify how messages are modified:

    • Add X-Gm-Original-To header: Add a header tag if the recipient is changed, so the receiving server knows the original envelope recipient. An example of the header tag format is X-Gm-Original-To:
    • Add X-Gm-Spam and X-GM-Phishy headers: Add headers that indicate message spam and phishing status. Administrators for a receiving servers use this information to set up rules for managing spam. For details, go to Add spam headers setting to all default routing rules.

    • Add custom headers: Add custom headers to messages affected by this setting. For example, you can add a header that matches the description you entered for the setting. Custom headers can help you troubleshoot routing settings and message delivery.

    • Prepend custom subject: Add custom text to the beginning of the subject line for specified messages. For example, enter Confidential for sensitive messages. If this setting is applied to a message with the subject Monthly report, the subject line is changed to: [Confidential] Monthly report.

    • Change the route: Change the message destination from the default Gmail server to a different mail server. Before you can change the route, you must add the server by following the steps in Add mail servers for Gmail email routing.

    • Change envelope recipient: The message bypasses the original recipient’s mailbox and goes to the new recipient. Change the envelope recipient in one of these ways:

      • Replace the recipient’s entire email address: After Replace recipient, enter the full email address, such as
      • Replace username: Change just the username of the recipient's email address and keep the domain the same, before @existing-domain. Enter the username only, without the @ or the domain name.
      • Replace domain: To change just the domain of the recipient's email address and keep the username the same, after existing-username@, enter the domain, such as
    • Bypass the spam filter for this message: Deliver incoming messages to recipients even if the spam filter identifies them as spam. This option applies only to incoming messages. You can’t bypass spam filters for outgoing messages. Note: This option is not available for the Groups account type. For details, go to Account types to affect.

    • Remove attachments from message: Remove attachments from affected messages. You can also add text to let recipients know that attachments were removed.

    • Add more recipients: Deliver affected messages to more recipients. To enter recipient addresses, click Add. In the Add setting box, select Advanced for these options:
      • Change route
      • Change envelope recipient
      • Do not deliver spam to this recipient
      • Suppress bounces from this recipient
      • Add X-Gm-Original-To header
      • Add X-Gm-Spam and X-Gm-Phishy headers
      • Add custom header
      • Prepend custom subject
      • Remove attachments from message

    Select an option to specify the email addresses this setting affects: 

    • Perform this action only on non-recognized addresses
    • Perform this action on non-recognized and recognized addresses

    Non-recognized addresses: An non-recognized email address is an address for a suspended user, an address for a user whose Gmail access is turned off, or an address that contains one of your verified domains but that isn't associated with a user in your Google Workspace account.Non-recognized addresses: An non-recognized email address is an address for a suspended user, an address for a user whose Gmail access is turned off, or an address that contains one of your verified domains but that isn't associated with a user in your Google Workspace account.

  5. At the bottom, click Save.

Changes can take up to 24 hours but typically happen more quickly. Learn more You can monitor changes in the Admin console audit log.

Related topics


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