This article is for Google Workspace administrators who want to set up email message forwarding for people in their organization. If you have a personal Gmail account, you can automatically forward Gmail messages to another account. Google Workspace users can also automatically forward Gmail messages to another account, when the admin allows it.
There might be times when you want to automatically forward incoming email messages to other users. In your Google Admin console, you can set up email forwarding for specific people in your organization. You can also optionally let people in your organization set up forwarding for their own Gmail accounts.
Although email forwarding and email redirecting are slightly different, sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. Learn about the differences between forwarding and redirecting.
Alternatives to forwarding: Email aliases and email delegation
Google Workspace offers several ways to collaborate using email, in addition to forwarding. Depending on how your organization works, these options might also be good solutions for you:
Email alias: An alias, also called an alternate email address, is an email address that you add to a user's primary email address. Messages sent to the alias are automatically sent to the user's primary email account. You can assign an alias to one user only. Learn how to add an alternate email address.Email delegation: Email delegation lets people give others access to their Gmail account. People with delegated access can read, send, and delete messages for the delegated account. For example, an executive assistant with delegate access can read, send, and receive messages for the executive they support. Learn how to let your users delegate their Gmail account.
Here are some common Gmail forwarding scenarios, and how to set them up in Google Workspace:
|Forwarding behavior||Description||Who sets it up||Go to...|
|Redirect messages to new recipients||Redirect messages so they’re delivered to another account or person. Redirected messages can optionally be sent only to the new recipients, and not to the original recipient. For example, when someone leaves your organization, you might want to deliver future messages for them to another person, or to an account set up for this purpose.||Admin||Forward messages with address maps|
|Send messages to additional recipients, and to the original recipient||Deliver messages to new, additional recipients that you specify, and also deliver to the original recipient. For example, when someone is on leave of absence, deliver their messages to them (so they get their email when they’re back), and to the person who’s doing their work during leave.||Admin||Forward messages with address maps|
|Automatically forward my Gmail to another account of mine||
People in your organization can forward their Gmail messages to another account in your organization, or to their personal email account. Admins control the setting that lets users do this, so be sure to check the setting in your Admin console.
|Admin and Gmail user||Forward messages with Gmail automatic forwarding|
As an admin, you can set up address maps to redirect incoming messages to other people or accounts. And, you can optionally also deliver redirected messages to the original recipient.
Here’s a video overview about forwarding with address maps:
Depending on your email sending practices, we may reduce the recipient address limit for your domain. This can affect recipient limits for your address maps. We recommend you follow our best practices for sending mail to Gmail users.
In the Admin console, go to Menu AppsGoogle WorkspaceGmailRouting.
- On the left, select the top-level organizational unit.
- Scroll down to Email forwarding using recipient address map, and click Configure or Add Another Rule.
- In the Add setting box, take these steps:
Setting option What to do Name
Enter a descriptive name for the address map. This name is displayed in the Email forwarding using recipient address map table.
To forward emails, map original recipient to new recipient
Messages sent to addresses added with this setting appear to come directly from the original sender. The To: address in redirected messages includes the original recipient address only.
Add one address map at a time:
- Click Add.
- In the Address field, enter the original recipient email address.
- In the Map to address field, enter the email address you want to forward to.
- Repeat Steps a to d until you’ve added all addresses. Each address map can include up to 5,000 recipient addresses.
Add multiple address maps at once:
- Click Bulk Add.
- Enter the original email address followed by a comma, then enter the new recipient address.
- Add a new line with the Return or Enter key.
- Repeat Steps a to c until you’ve added all addresses. Each address map can include up to 5,000 recipient addresses.
- At the bottom of the bulk add box, click Add aliases.
- Click Add.
Messages to affect
Choose an option:
- All incoming messages: Apply the forwarding setting to all messages received by your domain, including messages sent within your domain.
- Only external incoming messages: Apply the forwarding setting only to messages received from senders outside your domain.
Routing options (Optional) To send the message to the original recipient in addition to the new recipients, check the Also route to original destination box. Options (Optional) To keep the original recipient information in the message header, check the Add X-Gm-Original-To header box. You might want to do this if you manage any email based on message headers. Message header information can also be useful for troubleshooting email delivery.
- At the bottom of the Add setting box, click Save.
A new row is added to the Email forwarding using recipient address map settings table. Each row represents one address map.
Changes can take up to 24 hours but typically happen more quickly. Learn more
People in your organization might want to forward their incoming messages to another email account, including their personal email account. To allow this, make sure automatic forwarding is turned on in your Google Admin console.
Note: This forwarding option requires that the user have a Google Workspace license because the forwarded messages passes through their Gmail account.
Step 1: Admin turns on automatic forwarding for the organization
As an admin, you can choose to let people in your organization set up forwarding in their own Gmail account. You can turn this option on or off in your Google Admin console. It’s on by default. When this setting is off, the forwarding option isn't available in Gmail settings. Verify that forwarding is on for your organization.
Step 2: Gmail user sets up automatic forwarding in their Gmail account
When automatic forwarding is on, people in your organization can set up forwarding for their Gmail account in their own Gmail settings.