Automatically forward my messages to another e-mail account

By using a rule (rule: One or more automatic actions taken on e-mail messages and meeting requests that meet certain conditions, along with any exceptions to those conditions. Rules are also referred to as filters.), any received e-mail messages that match conditions specified in the rule can be forwarded or redirected to another e-mail account (e-mail account: The server name, user name, password, and e-mail address used by Outlook to connect to an e-mail service. You create the e-mail account in Outlook by using information provided by your administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).). For example, all e-mail messages from a sender or with a subject that you specify can be forwarded or redirected. To learn about the differences between forwarding and redirection, see the section Learn about e-mail message forwarding and redirection.

 Note   Redirection requires you to use a Microsoft Exchange Server account.

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Learn about e-mail message forwarding and redirection

The differences — and similarities — between automatically forwarding and redirecting an incoming message are as follows:

  • Message forwarding     When a rule automatically forwards a message that you receive, the rule adds the designation "FW:" to the beginning of the Subject line, changes the message formatting, and forwards the message to the account specified by the rule. The recipient represented by the account sees that the message came from you. A copy of the message you received is left in your Inbox or in the folder to which the message was originally delivered.
  • Message redirection     When a rule automatically redirects a message that you receive, the rule sends the message, unchanged, to the account specified by the rule. To the recipient, the message appears as though it came directly from the original sender. There is no indication that the message was delivered by way of your account. A copy of the message you received is left in your Inbox or in the folder to which the message was originally delivered.

Suppose that Pia, a sales representative for Contoso Pharmaceuticals, is transferring several accounts to Jonas, a colleague who manages accounts in an adjacent sales district. Instead of having to inform each client affected by the transfer, Pia creates a rule that redirects all messages from those clients to Jonas. Without the slightest miscommunication, Jonas picks up where Pia left off with her former clients.

In another scenario, Bobby might be working with an assistant on a project. For each e-mail Bobby receives about the project, he can use a rule to forward those messages to his assistant. Using message forwarding assures that Bobby's assistant receives all of the project messages automatically.

You can forward or redirect any message that you receive — unless the sender used Information Rights Management (IRM) to prevent recipients from sharing the contents of the message with other people. Only the original sender can remove the restricted permission on a message. Messages with IRM are clearly identified with a message on the InfoBar.

For some organizations, forwarding messages to an external address violates their policy on network and computer use. After the messages leave the protection of a corporate network, there is the potential that the messages can be diverted or intercepted by unintended recipients. An e-mail address that is outside your organization usually contains the "@" symbol and a domain — the part after the "@" symbol — that differs from the domain of your own e-mail address. For example, "pat@contoso.com" is a different organization than "bobby@fourthcoffee.com."

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Automatically forward incoming messages to another e-mail account

Use this method if you want to forward a copy of messages to someone else. The recipient will see that the message was forwarded from a message originally delivered to your e-mail account.

 Note   The following steps explain how to create and apply a rule to your Inbox or one of your private folders. To create a rule for a public folder, you must do so from the folder's Properties dialog box.

  1. Click Mail in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes panes such as Shortcuts or Mail and the shortcuts or folders within each pane. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.).
  2. On the Tools menu, click Rules and Alerts.
  3. If you have more than one e-mail account in your Outlook e-mail profile, then in the Apply changes to this folder list, click the Inbox to which you want the new rule to apply.
  4. Click New Rule.
  5. Under Start from a blank rule, click Check messages when they arrive, and then click Next.
  6. Under Step 1: Select condition(s), select the check box next to each condition that you want the incoming message to match.
  7. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click the underlined value that corresponds to the condition, and then select or type the necessary information for the condition.

ShowExample: Forward every message you receive from Katarina Larsson

  1. Under Step 1: Select condition(s), select the from people or distribution list check box.
  2. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click people or distribution list.
  3. In one of the address lists, double-click Katarina's name, and then click OK.
  1. Click Next.
  2. Under Step 1: Select action(s), select the forward it to people or distribution list check box.
  3. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click people or distribution list.
  4. In one of the address lists, double-click the name or distribution list to which you want to forward the messages, and then click OK.
  5. Click Next twice.
  6. Under Step 1: Specify a name for this rule, type a name.

To run this rule on the messages that are already in your folders, select the Run this rule now on messages already in "folder" check box.

To apply this rule to all your e-mail accounts and inboxes, select the Create this rule on all accounts check box. This option is grayed out if you do not have more than one e-mail account or Inbox.

  1. Click Finish.

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Automatically redirect incoming messages to another e-mail account

This feature requires a Microsoft Exchange 2000, 2003, or 2007 account. Most home and personal accounts do not use Exchange.

Use this method if you don't want recipients of the redirected messages to know that the messages were delivered by way of your e-mail account.

 Note   The following steps explain how to create and apply a rule to your Inbox or one of your private folders. To create a rule for a public folder, you must do so from the folder's Properties dialog box.

  1. Click Mail in the Navigation Pane.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Rules and Alerts.
  3. If you have more than one e-mail account in your Outlook e-mail profile, then in the Apply changes to this folder list, click the Inbox to which you want the new rule to apply.
  4. Click New Rule.
  5. Under Start from a blank rule, click Check messages when they arrive, and then click Next.
  6. Under Step 1: Select condition(s), select the check box next to each condition that you want the incoming message to match.
  7. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click the underlined value that corresponds to the condition, and then select or type the necessary information for the condition.

ShowExample: Redirect each incoming message whose subject contains the words "Contoso Pharmaceuticals"

  1. Under Step 1: Select condition(s), select the with specific words in the subject check box.
  2. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click specific words.
  3. In the Search Text dialog box, type Contoso Pharmaceuticals in the Specify words box, click Add, and then click OK.
  1. Click Next.
  2. Under Step 1: Select action(s), select the redirect it to people or distribution list check box.
  3. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click people or distribution list.
  4. In one of the address lists, double-click the name or distribution list to which you want to redirect the messages, and then click OK.
  5. Click Next twice.
  6. Under Step 1: Specify a name for this rule, type a name.

To run this rule on the messages that are already in your folders, select the Run this rule now on messages already in "folder" check box.

To apply this rule to all your e-mail accounts and inboxes, select the Create this rule on all accounts check box. This option is grayed out if you do not have more than one e-mail account or Inbox.

  1. Click Finish.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2007