Automatic Email Forwarding


Updated: 13th February 2017

Automatic email forwarding or redirection is normally done by an email server e,g, Yahoo, Gmail etc.

In this type of forwarding all email sent to the old email address is forwarded to the new email address.
Email-Forwarding-Schematic-

It is used to:

  • Consolidate all email addresses into a single mailbox.
  • Send a copy of an email to someone else, or another mailbox.
  • Provide “lifetime email accounts“.
  • As a temporary measure when transferring email providers.

Example:

If you are moving from Yahoo Mail to Gmail you can configure automatic email forwarding from Yahoo Mail to your Gmail address.

 

How it Works

The schematic below shows the forwarding process and also the reply process.

auto-forward-diagram

Notes:

  1. Depending on how email forwarding has been setup on server 2 a copy of the email may be stored on server 2.
  2. The email recipient sees the email as coming from address A  and not from address B (server 2)

Setting up Email Forwarding

If you have an email account with Yahoo, Google or Outlook.com then email forwarding is part of your email options.

If your email account is part of a web hosting package,or email hosting package, then it is managed through the hosting control panel.

If the mailbox is on a corporate server (i.e. Exchange) then this is normally done for you by the email administrator.

The forwarding options you have depend on your email provider. Generally they are:

  • Forward and keep a copy.
  • Forward and don’t keep a copy.
  • Forward on conditions (i.e. selective forwarding).

Setting up Email Forwarding on Yahoo Mail

Login to Yahoo Mail and go to Options>Settings. Select your email account, and click edit.

Enable forward option and add the destination email address, and select the forwarding option from the list.

e.g enter your Gmail email address

Although the Yahoo text says that the mail will be forwarded, and not stored in your inbox, it will, if you select the store and forward option.

Yahoo-email-forwarding

Setting up Email Forwarding on Gmail

Gmail requires you to confirm ownership of the mailbox you are forwarding to before you can forward email.

Once you have verified ownership you can enable forwarding and select the forwarding option

Gmail-forwarding

Setting up Email Forwarding on Bluehost Web Hosting

Open C panel and go to forwarding. Select the address you want to forward and the enter the address you want to forward to.

email-forwarding-bluehost

Replying to Forwarded Messages

When email is forwarded at the server level then the final recipient sees the original sender as the email sender, and not the intermediate address.

This means that replies will be sent to the original sender.

In the example below forwarding has been set up to forward email addressed to a mailbox on my buildwebsites domain to my Gmail account:

Email-Forwarding-schematic

The screen shot below shows a message sent from YouTube  that has been forwarded to the Gmail account.

server-forwarded-email-message

Notice that the message comes from YouTube, and so replies will also go to YouTube.

Problems with Automatic Email Forwarding

The main problem is that it can cause confusion with the email sender as they send an email to address B but get a reply from address C.

This is the main reason why it is usually only used as a temporary measure.

However some email systems can be set up to send email from alternate addresses which overcomes this problem.

Email Forwarding Services

You will find many companies offering forwarding services. They usually work by connecting to your mailbox reading the email, and then sending it (forwarding it) onto a email address of your choice.

Because of this they can forward email from multiple email addresses/mailboxes to a single email address/mailbox.

Because they are connecting to your email mailboxes they will need to be configured with the account details (address, account name and password etc) just like a normal email client.

You can also usually choose a sampling period, which is basically how often they read your mailboxes to check for new emails.

Questions and Answers

Q- Can I forward my Yahoo email to Gmail or outlook.com or vice versa

A- Yes they all support email forwarding. However remember free accounts will expire if they aren’t used. I don’t think that forwarding email counts as using it as you haven’t logged in.


Q- If I forward email from Yahoo to Gmail Is my Email deleted from Yahoo?

A- It depends on how you set it up.


Q- Can I automatically forward only particular emails on Yahoo, Gmail or Outlook.com?

A- No- when you enable forwarding all emails to that address are forwarded.

Related Tutorials and Resources:

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