As an administrator, you can customize how email is routed, delivered, and stored to meet your organization's needs. For example, you might have incoming messages sent to an unknown address routed to a specific mailbox. Or, you might want messages addressed to a specific person automatically also sent to another person. You can have some people get their messages in Gmail and other people get email from your on-premise email server.
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 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:
Before you set up routing
Routing settings apply to active users with Gmail turned on. Routing rules don’t apply to suspended users or users who have Gmail turned off. To set up email delivery for these users, visit Set up default routing or Forward Gmail emails to another user.
It can take up to 24 hours for rule changes to take effect. To reduce the time that it takes to update rules for your organization, follow our best practices for faster rules testing.
To deliver email to servers other than Gmail, first add the servers with the Add Route setting.
Routing rules apply to messages from outside Gmail that your domain authenticates with SPF or DKIM. If outgoing messages from your domain don't pass SPF or DKIM authentication checks, Gmail doesn't recognize the sender. Gmail treats the message as external, even if you have other rules in place. Learn more about SPF and DKIM at Help prevent spoofing, phishing, and spam.
Unless you change the options, the rules apply to all users in an organizational unit. You can disable in a child organization any rules they inherit from a parent organization. You can also add multiple rules to each organization.
When you set up multiple rules, what happens to a message depends on the conditions you set and which rule has precedence. For details, read How multiple settings affect message behavior.
To change the priority of your routing settings, change their order in the settings table:
Click Reorder next to the setting.
Enter a number to indicate the setting's priority and order. For example, enter 1 for the highest priority setting.
Repeat for all settings that you want to prioritize.
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 Routing setting.
In the Admin console, go to Menu AppsGoogle WorkspaceGmailRouting.
To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit.
On the Routing tab, click Configure or Add Another Rule.
In the Add setting box, take these steps:
Setting option What to do Setting name
Enter a descriptive name for the setting. If you don't enter a name, you can't save your setting.
Email messages to affect Check the boxes next to the messages that the setting will be applied to:
- Inbound—Incoming messages
- Outbound—Outgoing messages
- Internal-sending—Internal message with one of the domains or subdomains from your organization listed in the To field
- Internal-receiving—Internal message with one of your organization's domains or subdomains, listed in the From field
For split delivery, dual delivery, catch-all addresses, or more recipients, select Inbound, Internal-receiving, or both.
For the above type of messages, 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. Gmail automatically adds an SMTP rejection code, such as 550 5.7.1. This is a requirement of the SMTP standard and can't be deleted.
Quarantine message—Send the message to an admin quarantine, where you can review the message before you send or reject it. This option is only available for the Users account type. For details, go to Account types to affect. To recipients when their sent messages are quarantined, check the Notify sender when mail is quarantined (onward delivery only) box.
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: email@example.com.
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.
Also reroute spam—This option is available when you select Change the route. Blatant spam is dropped at delivery time. The Also reroute spam option routes all messages marked as spam. Leave the box unchecked to route legitimate messages, but not spam. Admin console email settings (for example, a list of preauthorized senders) override spam settings.
- Suppress bounces from this recipient—Prevent bounced messages from being rerouted to the configured mail route. For example, you might want to prevent bounced messages from being rerouted to an automated system. Leave this box unchecked to send bounce messages to the receiving server. Bounce messages let senders know their message wasn't delivered.
Normal routing—Route messages through your domain’s default mail server. This is the only available option under Change the route if you haven't added another mail server. To route messages through another mail server, first add the server by following the steps to 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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—Change just the domain of the recipient's email address and keep the username the same. After existing-username@, enter the domain, for example solarmora.com.
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
- Encryption (onward delivery only)—By default, Gmail tries to deliver messages using Transport Layer Security (TLS). If secure transport isn’t available, the message is delivered over a nonsecure connection. You can require that messages affected by this setting must be sent over TLS:
- Require secure transport (TLS)—Require all messages meeting the conditions in the setting to be sent over a secure connection. If TLS isn't available on the sending or receiving side, the message won't be sent.
- Encrypt message if not encrypted—Encrypts messages with S/MIME. If you have an Enterprise or Enterprise for Education account, you can also bounce messages or require that messages can only be sent if they are S/MIME encrypted. For details, go to Enhance message security with hosted S/MIME.
- To use address lists to manage the setting, select the Use address lists to bypass or control application of this setting checkbox.
- Select an option for how the setting uses the address list:
- Bypass this setting for specific addresses / domains—The setting isn't applied to messages from the addresses and domains in the address list that you select for the setting.
- Only apply this setting for specific addresses / domains—The setting is applied only to messages from the addresses and domains in the address list that you selected for the setting.
- Select an existing address list to use with the setting, or create a new address list.
- To create a new address list for this setting, click Create or edit list to open the Manage address lists tab.
- Learn how to Apply settings to specific senders or domains with address lists.
Account types to affect
Select one or more options for what types of account the setting is applied to:
- Users—The setting applies to provisioned users. For sending and outbound mail, the setting is triggered when your users send email. For receiving and inbound mail, the setting is triggered when your users receive email.
- Groups—The setting applies to groups set up in your organization. For sending and outbound mail, the setting is triggered when your groups forward email or summaries to members. For receiving and inbound mail, the setting is triggered when your groups receive email.
- Unrecognized/Catch-all—The setting is triggered when your organization receives email that doesn’t match one of your provisioned users. This selection only applies to received and inbound email.
Note: The Groups and Unrecognized/Catch-all account types don’t apply to these options:
- Add X-Gm-Spam and X-Gm-Phishy headers
- Bypass spam filter for this message
- Also reroute spam
- Select one or both of these options:
- Only affect specific envelope senders—Select this option, then enter the email addresses for the senders that you want to apply the setting to.
- Only affect specific envelope recipients—Select this option, then enter the email addresses for the recipients that you want to apply the setting to.
- Enter the affected users for your selected options:
- Single email address—Enter the complete email address for a user.
- Pattern match—Enter a regular expression to specify a set of senders or recipients in your domain. For example:
Read our Guidelines for using regular expressions.
- Group membership—Select one or more groups in the list. For envelope senders, this option only applies to sent mail. For envelope recipients, it only applies to received mail. This option affects group members, and members of child groups. For example, if Group B is a member of Group A, this option affects members of Group A and Group B.
- At the bottom of the Add Setting box, click Save.
New settings appear on the Routing page.