Thursday, March 19, 2015

Add a forwarding alias with google mail

The goal was to create a special email alias to forward to a 3rd party. E.g. would be forwarded to This is easy when you host your own mail server (edit /etc/aliases) or even when your domain uses cPanel (find the forwarding icon under mail config). But my company email is hosted at google…

Well, here are easy 22-step instructions for adding a forwarding address to a company email account hosted by google. You will need a handkerchief, strong resolve and the co-operation of each of the people receiving the forwarded email.

  1. sign in to gmail
  2. Under the settings cog icon, choose “manage this domain” (do not choose “settings”!)
  3. Click users from the left menu
  4. Click the user
  5. The “Account” section is a button, click it to open it up.
  6. Scroll down to Aliases, and click “Add an alias”.
  7. Type in the alias name. Don’t be put off by the big “CANCEL” button, and the lack of a submit button. Just go down to the bottom and click SAVE CHANGES.
  8. Now, deep breath, go back to gmail, and this time you do want to choose “settings” from the settings cog.
  9. Choose filters from the blue menu along the top.
  10. Choose “Create a new filter”
  11. Put the new alias email address in the “To:” block. (Careful: this is not the “create new filter” page, but is a search page!!)
  12. Click the “create filter with this search” link in the bottom right.
  13. Click “add a forwarding address”.
  14. Do it again.
  15. Input the address.
  16. Check your email. Click the link in the email you get. If it is a 3rd party, wait for them to click it.
  17. Sob into your handkerchief. Then console yourself, as you are nearly there.
  18. Repeat 13 to 16 if more than one address.
  19. Now go back to do steps 10, 11 and 12 again. This time don’t click “add forwarding address”, but choose your target from the dropdown box.
  20. Click save, and I think you are done. Do a test, and see if it arrives! If it does not, give it more time. For me the email arrived in my main email immediately (when it shouldn’t have at all), but then turned up in the forwardee inbox 19 seconds later.
  21. I think if you want to forward it to more than one person you need to set up a whole new forwarding filter for each forwardee.
  22. Resolve never to moan about how clunky cPanel is, ever again.

(To be fair, I suspect steps 2 to 7 are not required, which may be why I am receiving a copy. And, of course, 10, 11 and 12 were a mistake the first time round. But the above took so long that I don’t have the time to do any more experimentation today.)

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