How to automatically forward emails, the definitive 2019 guide

Do you need to automatically forward emails from your current mailbox to another one? Maybe not all emails but just some specific ones? Maybe you want to mass forward existing emails sitting to your mailbox, or maybe you only want to have the new emails forwarded as they come in. Or both! If you're looking on how to do that you've come to the right place, this is the definitive guide on how to automatically forward your emails!

how to automatically forward emails cover image

Why do you need to automatically forward emails?

There are many situations where you want need to forward emails to another address. The most common use cases are:

  • You have a new email address and you want to receive all emails sent to the old mailbox to the new one
  • You need to transfer emails from a specific work project or sender to somebody else that is taking over one of your tasks
  • Your boss asks you to copy incoming emails to another mailbox for auditing or archiving purposes
  • You want to extract information out of your emails and upload them into a spreadsheet, a database or directly into an application using an email parser

Manually forwarding emails is not an option as it is unnecessarily time-consuming and error prone. Fortunately you can automate email forwarding. The way of automating it depends on your email provider.

So let's see how to set up automatic forwarding of emails for the most common email providers on the market.

Automatically forward new emails from Gmail

In Gmail you can choose to either forward all incoming emails or only forward the ones that match a set of rules you define.

To set up automatic forward of emails in Gmail:

  1. Go to the Gmail account you want to forward messages from.
  2. In the top right, click Settings (the gear icon)
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  5. In the Forwarding section, click Add a forwarding address.
  6. Enter the email address you want to forward messages to.
  7. Click Next and then Proceed and then OK.
  8. A verification message will be sent to that address. Click the verification link in that message. If you are using Parseur, the verification message will appear in your document queue of your parser.

Then, if you want to forward all new incoming emails:

  1. Go back to the settings page for the Gmail account you want to forward messages from, and refresh your browser.
  2. Select Forward a copy of incoming mail to.
  3. Choose what you want to happen with the Gmail copy of your emails.
  4. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.

Or, if you want to forward specific new emails:

  1. In the search box in Gmail at the top, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  2. Enter your search criteria that will match the emails you want to forward. If you want to check that your search worked correctly, see what emails show up by clicking Search.** **
  3. At the bottom of the search window, click Create filter with this search.
  4. Tick the Forward it to box and select the forwarding email address from the list
  5. Click Create filter.

Reference: Automatically forward Gmail messages to another account

Once enabled, the automatic forward rule described above will only apply to new incoming emails. That means you cannot forward emails already sitting in your mailbox. That can be a real problem if, for instance, you're in the middle for a marketing lead campaign and have already received hundreds of emails.

Automatically forward existing backlog of emails from Gmail

If you want to mass forward existing emails already sitting in your Gmail mailbox, here are some options:

Option 1: install the Multi forward for Gmail Chrome extension (free)

The Multi Forward Chrome Extension will add a new action button that will allow you to select emails in your mailbox, enter a forwarding email address and individually forward each email to the given forwarding address. Head over to the Chrome Store to install the Multi Forward for Gmail extension and have a look at the supporting documentation.

The Multi Forward extension adds a new action button

The Multi Forward extension adds a new action button

Note that Gmail enforces a daily sending quota and may prevent you from sending all your emails at once:

  • For personal Gmail accounts, Google will limit you to sending 500 emails / day (reference)
  • For professional Gmail G Suite accounts, the limits are more generous. Google will limit you to sending 2000 emails / day (500 for trial accounts) and 10 000 auto forwards / day (reference). Using the Multi forward extension will count towards decreasing your sending limit, not your auto forward limit.

Option 2: Use Multi Email Forward solution (commercial)

Multi Email forward by cloudHQ

Multi Email forward by cloudHQ

If the extension above is not sufficient for the volume of emails you have to forward, use the Multi Email Forward solution by cloudHQ. Multi Email Forward will go around Gmail sending limits by working in the background forwarding the emails. This solution is not free, but it is one of the best choice if you have a large volume of emails to transfer. More info: https://www.multi-email-forward.com/

Automatically forward emails from a Google Suite for Business (GSuite) domain address (white label)

Use this option if you:

  1. want your customers to send emails to an email address coming from your own domain rather than the address you will redirect to (like a Parseur mailbox address)
  2. AND you use Google Suite for Business emails addresses,
  3. AND you have admin access to your GSuite account

With this option, you can use Parseur as a white label totally transparently.

To do so:

  1. Log into your Google Admin Console using your Administrator account
  2. Go to App > G Suite > Gmail > Advanced settings
  3. Make sure your top-level organization is highlighted at the top
  4. Scroll down to the Recipient address map section
  5. If it shows Not Configured yet, click Configure
  6. Enter a short description
  7. Under the Routing Options, select whether you want a copy of the redirected emails using the Also route to original destination checkbox
  8. Enter the address mapping. Each mapping must include two addresses on a single line, separated by a comma. Example:
  9. Click Add
  10. When finished, click Add setting or Save
  11. Click Save changes at the bottom of the "Email settings" page

Reference: Apply aliases to recipient addresses

Automatically forward emails from Yahoo Mail

Yahoo email forwarding is all or nothing and doesn't work with existing email sitting in your mailbox. If you want to automatically forward specific yahoo emails or existing ones, we recommend transferring your Yahoo Mail inbox to a Gmail one.

To turn on mail forwarding in Yahoo mail:

  1. Mouse over the Settings menu icon Image of the Settings icon and select Settings.
  2. Click Accounts.
  3. Click the primary Yahoo account.
  4. Go down and select Forward.
  5. Enter the forwarding address.
  6. Select Store and forward or Store and forward and mark as read.
  7. Click Verify. A verification email will be sent to that email address. Click the verification link in that message. If you are using Parseur, the verification message will appear in your document queue of your parser.
  8. Click Save.

Reference: Automatic email forwarding in Yahoo Mail

Automatically forward emails from Outlook Desktop

If you have many emails sitting in your Outlook Desktop app and need to forward them to another address?

Here is how you can do it:

  1. Create a new folder in Outlook, like "To Forward" for example
  2. Move or Copy all messages you want to forward to that folder
  3. Make sure the folder is open
  4. Make sure the Home ribbon is open
  5. Click Rules in the Move section
  6. Select Create Rule… from the menu
  7. Click Advanced Options
  8. Click Next > (leaving all conditions unchecked)
  9. To forward all messages, click Yes under This rule will apply to every message you receive
  10. Under Step 1, Select action(s): Check box "forward it to people or public group" (or "forward it to people or distribution list")
  11. Under Step 2, Edit the rule description: Click people or public group (or people or distribution list)
  12. Type the email address to which you want to forward under To ->
  13. Click OK
  14. Then, click Next > and Next > again
  15. Make sure Turn on this rule is NOT checked under Step 2: Setup rule options
  16. Select Run this rule now on messages already in "To Forward" (or whatever you named the forwarding folder)
  17. Click Finish

Once completed, you can delete the rule and the forward folder.

Automatically forward emails from Outlook Web App (Microsoft Exchange)

Instructions below apply to Outlook Web App for Office 365 for corporate accounts (using Microsoft Exchange). If you use desktop version of Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013 or 2016, refer to this article for more information.

If you use Office 365, you can set up up automatic forwarding rules using the Outlook Web App:

  1. In a web browser, sign in to Outlook Web App using the URL provided by the person who manages email for your organization. Enter your user name and password, and then click Sign in.
  2. At the top of the page, choose Outlook (or Mail). Or, choose the app launcher Office 365 app launcher icon > Mail.
  3. At the top of the page, select Settings > Options, and then select one of the following: Organize email > Inbox rules > New or Mail > Automatic processing > Inbox rules > New > Create a new rule for arriving messages
  4. Type a name for your rule.
  5. Under When the message arrives, select Apply to all messages or define specific filters.
  6. Under Do the following, select Forward, redirect, or send > Forward the message to.
  7. Enter the email address you want in the To box, or choose it from your list of contacts.
  8. Choose OK to save your selections, and OK or Save to create the rule.

Reference: Use rules in Outlook Web App to automatically forward messages to another account

Automatically forward emails from Hotmail, Microsoft Live or Outlook.com

Instructions below apply if you hold an email from Hotmail, Microsoft Live or Outlook.com.

If you want to forward all emails from your Microsoft account to another account:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account and then go to your Inbox page.
  2. Click on the gear icon located at the top part of your screen next to your username and then select More mail settings.
  3. Under Managing your account, click Email forwarding.
  4. Select the radio button for Forward your mail to another email account.
  5. Enter the email address that you want to forward the emails.
  6. If you want, check the box for Keep a copy of forwarded messages in your inbox.
  7. Click Save.

If you want to forward specific emails from your Microsoft account to another account:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account and then go to your Inbox page.
  2. Click on the gear iconn located at the top part of your screen next to your username and then select More mail settings.
  3. Under Customizing Outlook, click on Rules for sorting new messages.
  4. Click on New. Under Step 1: Which messages do you want this rule to apply to?, on the first box with drop down list, select Sender's address then on the second box, select is. Lastly, type in the email address.
  5.  Under Step 2: What action do you want to apply?, select Forward to and type in the email address where do you want the emails to be forwarded.
  6. Click on Save.

Automatically forward emails from Apple iCloud (iCloud.com, me.com, mac.com)

To enable automatic forward of all your email from your Apple iCloud mailbox:

  1. Log into your iCloud mailbox
  2. Click the Action pop-up menu in the sidebar, then choose Preferences.
  3. In the General pane, select Forward my email to then type the forwarding address in the text field.
  4. If you don’t want to store a copy of each forwarded message in iCloud, select Delete messages after forwarding.
  5. Click Done.

To forward only specific emails, see Filter email automatically.

Reference: iCloud: Forward all messages automatically

Last updated:

Parseur is the most powerful and easy-to-use mail parser.
Save hours of manual work and improve your data entry speed and quality.

Sign up now