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Forward Gmail emails to another user

This article is for Google Workspace administrators.

To forward messages with your own personal, work, or school Gmail account, visit automatically forward Gmail messages to another account. If you use Gmail for work or school, your admin must turn on the setting that lets people forward Gmail messages.

There might be times when you want to automatically forward incoming email messages to users other than the original message recipients. As a Google Workspace admin, you can set up email forwarding for specific people in your organization with the address maps setting in your Google Admin console. Or, you can choose to let people in your organization set up automatic forwarding in their own Gmail accounts.

Alternatives to forwarding: Email aliases and email delegation

Google Workspace offers several ways to collaborate using email. Depending on how your organization uses email, these options might be effective than forwarding messages:

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.

These forwarding options can be used separately or together:

Change or add recipients with address maps (admin)

Create address maps to automatically forward messages in your organization. 

The maximum number of recipient addresses for all address maps is 5,000. For example, you can add 1 address map with 5,000 recipient addresses, 50 address maps with 100 recipients each, or 1,000 address maps with 5 recipients each.

Admins can use address maps to:

  • Forward (redirect) messages to another recipient, not to the original recipient in the message. 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.

    Tip: Although email forwarding and email redirecting are slightly different, sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. Learn more about forwarding and redirecting.

  • Send messages to new, additional recipients that you specify, in addition 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.

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.

Learn about forwarding with address maps (video)

 Here’s a video overview about forwarding with address maps:

Forward messages with address maps

Set up an address map for forwarding:

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGmailand thenRouting.
  3. On the left, select the top-level organizational unit.
  4. Scroll down to Email forwarding using recipient address map, and click Configure or Add Another Rule
  5. 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:

    1. Click Add.
    2. In the Address field, enter the original recipient email address.
    3. In the Map to address field, enter the email address you want to forward to.
    4. Repeat Steps a to d until you’ve added all addresses. 

    Add multiple address maps at once:

    1. Click Bulk Add.
    2. Enter the original email address followed by a comma, then enter the new recipient address.
    3. Add a new line with the Return or Enter key.
    4. Repeat Steps a to c until you’ve added all addresses.
    5. At the bottom of the bulk add box, click Add aliases.
    6. 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.
  6. 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

Automatic forwarding to new recipients (admin and users)

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.

To use this option, senders and recipients must have a Google Workspace license because the forwarded messages passes through their Gmail account.

To check messages forwarded by people in your organization, admins can use Email Log Search.

Step 1: Turn on automatic forwarding for the organization (admin)

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.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGmailand thenEnd User Access.
  3. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit.
  4. Click Automatic forwardingand thenuncheck the Allow users to automatically forward email to another address box.
  5. Click Save. If you configured a child organizational unit, you might be able to Inherit or Override a parent organizational unit's settings.

Step 2: Set up automatic forwarding in Gmail (user)

When automatic forwarding is on, people in your organization can set up forwarding for their Gmail account in their own Gmail settings. This method lets users control and change where their messages are forwarded. They can set up only one forwarding address.

When new messages are forwarded, messages from spam won't be included. To forward only certain types of messages, your users can create filters in their Gmail account

Forwarding email to another account.

 

  1. On your computer, open Gmail using the account you want to forward messages from. You can only forward messages for a single Gmail address, and not an email group or alias.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings and then See all settings. 
  3. Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  4. In the "Forwarding" section, click Add a forwarding address.
  5. Enter the email address you want to forward messages to.
  6. Click Next and then Proceed and then OK.
  7. A verification message will be sent to that address. Click the verification link in that message.
  8. Go back to the settings page for the Gmail account you want to forward messages from, and refresh your browser.
  9. Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  10. In the "Forwarding" section, select Forward a copy of incoming mail to.
  11. Choose what you want to happen with the Gmail copy of your emails. We recommend Keep Gmail's copy in the Inbox.
  12. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.

To turn off automatic forwarding:

  1. On your computer, open Gmail using the account you want to stop forwarding messages from.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings and then See all settings. 
  3. Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  4. In the "Forwarding" section, click Disable forwarding.
  5. At the bottom, click Save Changes.

Related topics

Let users delegate access to a Gmail account

Add or delete an alternate email address (email alias)

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