Redirect or forward Gmail messages 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.

As a Google Workspace admin, you can automatically redirect or forward incoming messages sent to one person in your organization, to one or more other recipients. Do this by creating address maps in your Admin console. 

On this page

Options and examples

  • Exclude original recipient (redirect)—Someone leaves your organization and you want to redirect their future messages to their replacement, or to an account set up for this purpose. Messages aren't delivered to the original recipient.
  • Include original recipient (forward)—Someone takes a leave of absence. During their leave, you want them to keep getting their email so they have it when they’re back. But you also want to forward their messages to the person who’s doing their work while they’re gone.
  • Map addresses in bulk—For example, you might need to map your organizations' old addresses to new addresses after an acquisition.

Tip: Learn more about forwarding vs. redirecting.

Redirect or forward one address at a time

Messages you redirect or forward appear to come directly from the original sender. The To: address in redirected messages includes the original recipient address only.  

  1. In your Google Admin console...
  2. Go to Menu and then Apps > Google Workspace Gmail > Routing (not "Default routing").
  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. At the top of the Add setting box, enter a descriptive name for the address map. 
  6. In step 1 of the Add setting box, click Add.
  7. In the Address field, enter the original recipient email address. In the Map to address field, enter the email address you want to forward messages to.

  8. Repeat this step to add more mappings. Or see below to map addresses in bulk.

  9. Under 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.
  10. Also route to original destination: Check this box to send the message to the original recipient, in addition to the new recipients.
  11. Add X-Gm-Original-To header: Check this box to keep the original recipient information in the message header. 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.
  12. At the bottom of the Add setting box, click Save.

    Your new address map appears as a row on the Routing page. Each row represents one address map.

Changes can take up to 24 hours but typically happen more quickly. Learn more

Redirect or forward addresses in bulk

You can more easily map a large number of address by entering them as comma-delimited entries, such as from spreadsheet. 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.

Follow the steps above to create an address map. Then in step 6, do the following:

  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 1-3 until you’ve added all addresses. 
  5. At the bottom of the bulk add box, click Add aliases.
  6. Continue with step 7 above.

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.

Watch a video

Forward messages with address maps

Alternatives to address maps

Depending on your goals, these options might be more effective than using address maps. Click each option to see the steps:

  • Let users automatically forward their own Gmail emails—If you turn on automatic forwarding, a user can forward messages from their account. They can temporarily forward their own messages to a colleague, or to another account they own.
  • Add an email alias for a user—An alias is an alternate email address where a user can receive email. Messages sent to the alias are automatically sent to the user's primary email account.
  • Let users delegate their Gmail account—Email delegation lets people give others access to their Gmail account. For example, an executive assistant with delegate access can read, send, and receive messages for the executive they support.

Forwarding limits

Your organization’s message forwarding limits are based on your overall sending practices. The maximum number of forwarding operations per organization are:

  • 30 million in a 24-hour period
  • 600k per 1-minute window

Forwarding also includes redirects. If you exceed these limits, your users might get an error when they try to send a message.

Depending on your email sending practices, we might reduce forwarding limits for your Google Workspace account. If we limit forwarding and redirecting, your account’s address maps might also be limited. We recommend you always follow these Email sender guidelines when sending mail to Gmail users.

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