Configure advanced settings for Gmail

The Gmail advanced settings page enables you to configure email settings for your Google Apps domains. You can also configure settings for specific organizational units (OUs), or groups of users.

This article provides an overview of the Gmail advanced settings page, the features that are available, and instructions for how to use the various controls on this page. For additional guidelines, see Guidelines for configuring advanced settings for Gmail.

Before you begin:

  • Before you can customize your email settings for specific organizational units, you first need to add organizational units and create an organizational structure.
  • After you configure an email setting, it may take up to one hour for that configuration to propagate to individual user accounts.
  • In rare cases, some users may experience message delays if you configure a very large number of Gmail advanced settings. These delays would only affect messages with a very large number of recipients. The first recipient is always accepted no matter how many settings are configured.

To configure advanced settings for Gmail:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console
  2. Click Google Apps > Gmail > Advanced settings
  3. In the Organizations section, highlight the top-level org or the organizational unit (sub-org) for which you want to configure settings.
  4. Scroll down the page to the relevant sections to configure your settings. You can also use the Search settings text box to enter a search term to quickly find the Gmail setting that you need.
  5. After you make changes to your settings, click Save Changes to finalize the new/updated configuration.

See the sections below for instructions related to specific settings.

Email setting descriptions

The Gmail advanced settings General Settings page is divided into the following sections: Setup, End user settings, End user access, Spam, Compliance, and Routing. The settings contained within these sections are listed here.

Setup
  • Web address: (top-level org only) Change the URL for your users' Gmail login page.
  • MX records: (top-level org only) View your MX records.
  • User email uploads: (top-level org only) Allow users to upload mail using the Email Migration API.
  • Uninstall service: (top-level org only) For guidelines, see Disable your email service.
End user settings
  • Themes: Specify whether users can choose their own themes.
  • Email Read Receipts: Specify whether users can request or return read receipts (see Enable read receipts).
  • Mail delegation: Let users delegate access to their mailbox to others in the domain.
  • Emailing profiles: Specify whether users can send or receive emails via their Google+ profiles. Default is OFF.
    Note: This setting only appears if you have Google+ enabled for the domain.
  • Name format: Configure the name format for users, or allow your users to customize this setting.
  • Apps search: Include relevant Drive documents and Sites in Mail search results. The app search results appear below the mail search results.
End user access
  • POP and IMAP access: Disable POP and IMAP access for users (see IMAP and POP access).
  • Outlook & BlackBerry Support: Enable Google Apps Sync and Google Apps Connector for users.
  • Automatic forwarding: Specify whether users can automatically forward incoming email to another address (see Disable automatic forwarding).
  • Offline Gmail: Enable offline Gmail for users.
  • Allow per-user outbound gateways: Allow users to send mail through an external SMTP.
  • Image URL proxy whitelist: (top-level org only) Create and maintain a whitelist of internal URLs that bypasses proxy protection (see Image URL proxy whitelist setting).
Spam
  • Email whitelist: (top-level org only). Create an email whitelist—a list of IP addresses from which users expect to receive legitimate mail (see Email whitelist).
  • Inbound gateway: (top-level org only) Enter inbound mail gateways if you have them (see Inbound gateway).
  • Spam: Create an approved sender list to bypass the spam folder (see Spam setting).
  • Blocked senders: Block specific senders based on the email address or domain (see Blocked senders setting).
Compliance
  • Email retention: (top-level org only) Control the amount of mail that is stored for each user (see Email retention).
  • Append footer: Configure outbound messages with footer text for legal compliance, or for informational and promotional requirements (see Append footer setting).
  • Comprehensive mail storage: Ensure that a copy of all sent or received mail—including mail sent or received by non-Gmail mailboxes—is stored in the associated users' Gmail mailboxes (see Comprehensive mail storage settings).
  • Restrict delivery: Restrict the email addresses users can exchange mail with (see Restrict delivery).
  • Content compliance: Specify what action to perform for messages based on predefined sets of words, phrases, text patterns, or numerical patterns (see Content compliance setting).
  • Objectionable content: Specify what action to perform for messages based on word lists that you create (see Objectionable content setting).
  • Attachment compliance: Specify what action to perform for messages with attachments (see Attachment compliance setting).
  • Secure transport (TLS) compliance: Require mail to be transmitted via a secure connection when users correspond with specific domains and email addresses (see TLS setting).
Routing
  • Email routing: (top-level org only) A set of legacy routing controls for your domain. See Managing mail routing and delivery for guidelines and best practices before configuring your routing controls.
  • Outbound gateway: (top-level org only) Set an outbound mail gateway—a server through which all mail sent from your domain passes (see Outbound mail gateway).
  • Recipient address map: (top-level org only) Apply one-to-one mapping (aliases) to recipient addresses on messages received by your domain (see Recipient address map).
  • Receiving routing: Set up inbound and internal-receiving delivery options, such as dual delivery and split delivery (see Receiving routing setting).
  • Sending routing: Set up outbound and internal-sending delivery options (see Sending routing settings).
  • Vault settings for Exchange Journals: (top-level org only) Specify an email address in your domain that receives your Exchange journal messages. See Vault settings for Exchange journals.
  • Non-Gmail mailbox: Reroute messages to users' non-Gmail mailboxes, if your organization uses a non-Gmail mail service such as Microsoft Exhange or other non-Google SMTP service. You can also use this setting to configure quarantine summary reports for your non-Gmail users (see Non-Gmail mailbox routing and Quarantine Summary).
  • SMTP relay service: (top-level org only) Set options for routing outbound mail through Google (see SMTP relay service setting).
  • Alternate secure route: (top-level org only) Set an alternate secure route when secure transport (TLS) is required (see Alternate secure route).
How to use the controls on the Gmail advanced settings page

The controls on the Gmail advanced settings page vary depending on the type of setting you need to configure:

  • For the Setup, End User Settings, and End User Access sections, you can make changes directly within the Gmail advanced settings page using check boxes, options, and text boxes.
  • For many of the Spam, Compliance, and Routing settings, you must hover your mouse anywhere in the setting’s area on the page to access the controls. These hover controls—which appear on the right—let you add, edit, disable, delete, and perform other actions on a setting’s configuration.

Admin console - Advanced Gmail settings - hover controls 1

Admin console - Advanced gmail settings - hover controls 2

The settings that use hover controls are as follows:

Spam

  • Spam
  • Blocked senders

Compliance

  • Append footer
  • Restrict delivery
  • Content compliance
  • Objectionable content
  • Attachment compliance
  • Secure transport (TLS) compliance

Routing

  • Recipient address map
  • Receiving routing
  • Sending routing
  • Vault Settings for Exchange Journals
  • Non-Gmail mailbox
  • SMTP relay service
  • Alternate secure route

Admin console - Advanced Gmail settings

For settings in the Spam, Compliance, or Routing section that do not appear in this list, you configure the setting directly on the Gmail advanced settings page.

To configure settings directly on the Gmail advanced settings page (all settings in the Setup, End User, and End User Access sections, plus a few in the other sections):

  1. In the Organizations section, highlight the top-level org (or the sub-org) for which you want to configure settings.
  2. Scroll down the page to the relevant sections, or use the Search settings box to enter a search term or setting.
  3. Adjust these settings directly within the Gmail advanced settings page.
  4. Click Save changes.
Tip: When searching for a specific setting, you can type in a search term and then click a different organizational unit. This enables you to review how a particular setting is configured across organizational units.

To configure settings using the hover controls (most settings in the Spam, Compliance, and Routing sections):

  1. In the Organizations section, highlight the top-level org (or the sub-org) for which you want to configure settings.
  2. Scroll down the page to the relevant sections, or use the Search settings box to enter a search term or setting.
  3. Hover your mouse anywhere in the setting’s area on the page to access the controls.
    Note: For a few of the Spam, Compliance, and Routing settings, you can access the controls directly on the Gmail advanced settings page.
  4. Click the appropriate control:
    • When you click Configure, View, Edit, or Add another, a dialog box displays with the options for that setting.
    • When you click Copy to organization, a dialog box displaying, enabling you to select the target organization.
    • When you click Disable, Enable, or Delete, no dialog box displays.
  5. Click Save changes.
Tip: When searching for a specific setting, you can type in a search term and then click a different organizational unit. This enables you to review how a particular setting is configured across organizational units.

Hover controls

The following sections describe the various hover controls on the Gmail advanced settings page, and the situations in which you might use them:

Configure

This control displays only if you have not configured the setting yet. Click Configure to set options for the setting, and then click Add Setting.

For example, if you want to set up a new Content compliance setting, click Configure to set the options for this setting.

View

This control is available for inherited settings only. Use this control when you want to check the configuration of an inherited setting. 

Click View to see the options selected for that setting. (You can’t make any changes to the options.) If you need to change an inherited setting’s configuration, use the Add another control, described below, to create a new configuration. Click Close when you are done.

Edit

This control is available for locally applied settings only. For a setting you configured, click Edit to make changes to the setting’s configuration. Click Save when you're done.

For example, if your company name or web address changes, you may need to edit the Add footer setting to update the information in your email footer.

Disable/Enable

Disabling a setting does not impact the options you chose for the setting; it merely turns the setting off. To turn the setting back on, click Enable. These controls are available for both inherited and locally applied settings.

For example, if a setting’s configuration is not giving you the expected results, you can disable the setting temporarily to make adjustments, and then re-enable it later.

You can also make a copy of a setting, disable it, make adjustments, and then toggle the enabled states of the original and new settings for comparison.

Delete

This control is available for locally applied settings only. For a setting you configured, click Delete to both disable the setting and delete that setting’s configuration. To confirm the deletion, click Save Changes. To enable this setting again, you must click Configure and select new options for the setting.

For example, at a certain point you might want to clear your blocked senders list. Use this control to delete this setting’s configuration. You can then create a new configuration.

Add another

Use this control to replace an existing setting’s configuration with a new one add a new configuration for a given setting. Click Add setting when you're done. This control is available for both inherited and locally applied settings.

For example, your inherited Objectionable content setting might contain a list of objectionable words for your entire organization. For a specific organizational unit, you might want to include some additional words that apply to that unit only. You would use the Add another control to create that list of words for that organizational unit.

Copy to organization

Use this control to quickly copy a configured setting to a different organization. After you select the target organization, check the box to enable the setting for that organization. Click Apply when you're done.

For example, your domain might include 10 organizations, but a given Content compliance setting configuration might apply to only five of them. Configuring the setting in one organization and then copying it to the other four provides a fast way to configure the setting in multiple locations.

Inherited versus locally applied Gmail settings

On the Gmail advanced settings page, the controls available for a given setting might change depending on whether the setting is Inherited or Locally applied. A setting is labeled as Inherited if it was inherited from a higher-level organizational unit, or from a domain-level setting. A setting is labeled as Locally applied if it was configured at the same level from which you're viewing it. Settings that are not yet locally applied or inherited are labeled as Not configured yet.

See How to use the controls on the Gmail advanced settings page for more details about how inheritance works.

Settings that are only configurable at the top level

Some settings on the Gmail advanced settings page are only configurable at the top-level organizational unit, and not at the sub-org level. (See Email setting descriptions above for a list of settings that are only configurable at the top level.)

Note: If you configure a setting at the sub-org level, that setting applies to that OU and any sub-organizations only. If you configure a setting at the top level, the setting applies to all OUs.

Admin console - Advanced Gmail settings - organizations

Hosts tab

The Hosts tab enables you to set up multiple routes for your Google Apps domains, and you can later use these routes for dual delivery or split delivery when you configure your settings on the Gmail advanced settings page. You can then specify different routes for different organizational units.

Click Google Apps > Gmail > Advanced settings to access the Hosts tab. For instructions, see Add mail routes with the Hosts tab.

Default routing tab

The Default routing setting enables you to set up a routing policy for all of your Google Apps domains that includes one or more settings. The settings apply only to inbound messages.

To access the Default routing setting, click Google Apps > Gmail > Advanced settings, and then click the Default routing tab.

An important use for Default routing is for setting up split delivery to route unregistered Google Apps users to your on-premise mail server. This is useful when transitioning users from your legacy mail server to Google Apps. You can also use Default routing to designate an existing user account as a catch-all address to receive messages that are addressed to non-existent users in your Google Apps domains.

For instructions, see Default routing setting.