How to Set Auto Forward Email in Gmail

BY Jaber Posted August 10, 2023 Update August 14, 2023
How to Set Auto Forward Email in Gmail

Mastering Email Efficiency: Learn How to Set Auto Forward Email in Gmail! Discover the step-by-step guide to automating email forwarding for ultimate productivity. Start streamlining your inbox today and take control of your communication with our user-friendly tutorial. Click now to optimize your Gmail experience!

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Have you ever wished you could automatically forward important emails from your Gmail account to another email address? With Gmail's Auto Forward feature, you can do just that! Auto Forward Email is a powerful tool that allows you to redirect specific emails to another account without manual intervention. In this article, we'll explore the steps to enable, disable, and troubleshoot auto forwarding in Gmail. Let's get started!

Enabling Auto Forward in Gmail

Setting up Auto Forward in Gmail is a breeze. Follow these simple steps, and you'll be forwarding emails in no time:

  1. Step 1: Access Gmail Settings To begin, log in to your Gmail account and click on the gear icon in the top-right corner. From the dropdown menu, select "See all settings."

  2. Step 2: Navigate to "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" Settings In the Settings menu, click on the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab.

  3. Step 3: Click on "Add a Forwarding Address" Under the "Forwarding" section, click on "Add a forwarding address."

  4. Step 4: Enter the Forwarding Email Address A popup window will appear, asking you to enter the email address where you want your emails forwarded. Type in the desired address and click "Next."

  5. Step 5: Verify the Forwarding Address Gmail will send a verification code to the forwarding email address. Check your other email account for the code and enter it in the verification box.

  6. Step 6: Choose Forwarding Options Once the address is verified, choose your forwarding options. You can forward incoming emails, outgoing emails, or both. You can also choose to keep a copy of forwarded emails in your Gmail inbox.

  7. Step 7: Save Changes Finally, click "Save Changes" to enable auto forwarding. Now, any new incoming emails will be automatically forwarded to the specified address.

Setting up Auto Forward to Multiple Addresses

In some cases, you may need to forward emails to multiple recipients. Luckily, Gmail allows you to set up auto forwarding to multiple addresses simultaneously:

  1. Step 1: Access Gmail Settings Start by accessing the Gmail Settings as described earlier.

  2. Step 2: Navigate to "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" Settings Click on the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab in the Settings menu.

  3. Step 3: Click on "Add a Forwarding Address" Under the "Forwarding" section, select "Add a forwarding address."

  4. Step 4: Enter the Forwarding Email Addresses Type in all the email addresses where you want your emails forwarded, separating them with commas.

  5. Step 5: Verify the Forwarding Addresses For each address, follow the verification process as described earlier.

  6. Step 6: Choose Forwarding Options Choose the forwarding options that suit your needs for each recipient.

  7. Step 7: Save Changes Save your changes, and Gmail will automatically forward emails to the specified multiple addresses.

Disabling Auto Forward in Gmail

If you ever need to stop auto forwarding, you can easily disable the feature by following these steps:

  1. Step 1: Access Gmail Settings Log in to your Gmail account and access the Settings.

  2. Step 2: Go to "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" Settings Click on the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab.

  3. Step 3: Click on "Disable Forwarding" In the "Forwarding" section, select "Disable forwarding."

  4. Step 4: Save Changes Save your settings, and auto forwarding will be turned off.

Troubleshooting Auto Forwarding Issues

Auto forwarding can be a real time-saver, but it's not without its potential problems. Here are some common issues you may encounter and how to resolve them:

Issue 1: Forwarding Not Working If your auto forwarding isn't functioning correctly, there are a few things you can check:

  • Ensure that you've correctly entered the forwarding email address.
  • Verify that the forwarding address is working and can receive emails.
  • Check your internet connection to ensure Gmail can process the forwarding request.

If the issue persists, try disabling and re-enabling auto forwarding or reach out to Gmail support for further assistance.

Issue 2: Emails Marked as Spam In some cases, forwarded emails may end up in the recipient's spam folder. To avoid this, follow these steps:

  • Ask the recipient to mark the forwarded emails as "Not Spam" to train their spam filter.
  • Avoid forwarding emails with suspicious attachments or links.
  • Encourage the recipient to add the forwarding address to their contacts list.

Issue 3: Forwarding Loop A forwarding loop occurs when emails are continuously forwarded between two accounts. To resolve this:

  • Double-check your forwarding settings to ensure there are no overlapping configurations.
  • Remove any unnecessary forwarding rules.

Issue 4: Incorrectly Forwarded Emails If certain emails are not forwarded or are forwarded with formatting issues, try the following:

  • Ensure the original email's format is compatible with the recipient's email client.
  • Check for any filters or rules that may be affecting the forwarding process.
  • Test the forwarding with different types of emails to identify the root cause.

Troubleshooting Steps for Each Issue

  • For each issue, try disabling auto forwarding, then re-enabling it after making necessary adjustments.
  • Clear your browser cache and cookies, then restart your browser before testing forwarding again.
  • If none of the above steps work, consider reaching out to Gmail support for further assistance.

Alternatives to Auto Forwarding

While auto forwarding is a powerful feature, there are other methods to manage your emails efficiently:

Email Filtering: Gmail's filtering feature allows you to automatically categorize, label, or archive emails based on specific criteria. This can help you organize your inbox without the need for forwarding.

Email Alias: Creating an email alias can be useful for managing different aspects of your life or work. Instead of forwarding emails, you can have separate addresses for specific purposes.

Best Practices for Auto Forwarding

To make the most of auto forwarding and avoid potential pitfalls, consider the following best practices:

Security Considerations: Be cautious when forwarding sensitive or confidential information. Ensure that the forwarding email address is secure and belongs to a trusted recipient.

Checking Forwarding Regularly: Regularly review your forwarding settings to ensure they are up-to-date and still relevant to your needs. Remove any outdated forwarding rules.

Keeping Backup Copies: Although auto forwarding can streamline your email management, consider keeping backup copies of critical emails in your Gmail account.

Uses of Auto Forwarding in Gmail

Auto forwarding can serve various purposes for both personal and professional use:

Personal Use:

  • Forward important emails to a personal email account for safekeeping.
  • Automatically send updates or newsletters to your family members.

Professional Use:

  • Forward work-related emails to a team's shared email address for collaboration.
  • Keep your manager informed by forwarding specific emails from clients or colleagues.

Before setting up auto forwarding, consider the following privacy and legal implications:

Compliance with Data Protection Laws: Ensure that auto forwarding complies with data protection regulations in your region, especially if forwarding sensitive or personal information.

Risks of Auto Forwarding: Auto forwarding introduces the risk of emails being intercepted or accessed by unauthorized individuals. Be mindful of this when forwarding sensitive data.

Auto Forwarding on Gmail Mobile App

Managing auto forwarding is not limited to desktop use; you can also set it up on the Gmail mobile app:

Enabling Auto Forward on Mobile: To enable auto forwarding on the Gmail app, follow the same steps outlined earlier for desktop use.

Managing Forwarding Settings: Access the Gmail app's settings to review or modify your forwarding rules.

Auto Forwarding vs. Email Redirection

It's important to understand the difference between auto forwarding and email redirection:

Differences between Auto Forwarding and Redirection:

  • Auto Forwarding: Forwards emails automatically to another email address.
  • Email Redirection: Redirects an email from one address to another without leaving a copy in the original mailbox.

Choosing the Right Option: Consider your specific needs when deciding between auto forwarding and redirection. For retaining a copy of emails, auto forwarding is the better choice.

Gmail's Forwarding Limits and Restrictions

While auto forwarding can be beneficial, Gmail has some limits and restrictions to be aware of:

Maximum Number of Forwarding Addresses: Gmail allows you to set up auto forwarding to a maximum of five email addresses.

Limitations on Forwarding Frequency: To prevent abuse, Gmail has a limit on the number of emails you can forward in a specific timeframe.

Automatic Response with Auto Forwarding

If you want to send automatic responses to emails that are forwarded, you can do so:

Setting Up Automatic Response: To set up automatic responses, access Gmail settings and navigate to the "Vacation responder" section.

Combining Auto Forwarding with Automatic Response: By using both features together, you can ensure senders receive your response even when their emails are forwarded.

Gmail's Forwarding History and Activity

To keep track of your forwarding activity, Gmail provides access to your forwarding history:

Checking Forwarding Activity: Access the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" settings to review your forwarding activity.

Reviewing Forwarding History: Take note of any unexpected or unauthorized forwarding activity to maintain the security of your emails.


Auto forwarding is a valuable feature that can save time and streamline email management in Gmail. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily set up auto forwarding to your preferred email address. However, always be mindful of security and privacy considerations when forwarding sensitive information. Use auto forwarding responsibly, and it will be a powerful tool in your email organization arsenal.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Can I forward emails from multiple Gmail accounts to a single email address? Yes, you can set up auto forwarding from multiple Gmail accounts to a single email address. Simply follow the same steps outlined in the article for each account.

  2. Can I forward emails with attachments using auto forwarding? Absolutely! Auto forwarding in Gmail includes attachments by default. Just ensure that the forwarding email address can handle the file size.

  3. Can I forward emails only from specific senders? Gmail's filtering feature can be used to forward emails from specific senders automatically. You can set up filters to match specific criteria and forward those emails accordingly.

  4. Is auto forwarding available for G Suite users? Yes, G Suite (now Google Workspace) users have access to auto forwarding features in their Gmail accounts.

  5. Can auto forwarding be used to migrate emails between accounts? Auto forwarding is not designed for email migration. For that purpose, Gmail offers other migration tools and services.