How to Forward Emails in Gmail Automatically

Forward Emails Automatically in Gmail

Want to receive (or archive) emails at another email address beside Gmail? Looking to trigger notifications or actions with at a particular inbox? Find out here how to forward emails automatically in Gmail, either all incoming messages or specific emails using rules.

First, Look at the Sky and Count Your Fingers

Hold your open palm against the sky before your eyes with a comfortably outstretched arm. The earth’s rotation means it will take the sun about 12–15 minutes’ progress along its path to cover one of the fingers (and, consequently, perhaps an hour for the palm at the base of the thumb).

So, with a quick glance at the sky and your hand, extending the sun’s path and counting fingers or fists, you can get a rough idea of the time it will take before the sun reaches its zenith, for example, or estimate the hours of light left in the day.

Now, want Gmail to keep moving emails—night and day?

How to Forward Emails in Gmail Automatically

Have Gmail Forward All Incoming Emails

Time needed: 5 minutes

To set up Gmail to forward all emails you receive to a different email address:

  1. Click the Settings gear icon (⚙︎) in Gmail in a desktop browser.

  2. Select See all settings on the sheet that has appeared.

  3. Go to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.

    Gmail shortcut: You can navigate to to open the settings directly.

  4. Click Add a forwarding address.

    Known address: If you have already set up forwarding for an email address in the past, select Forward a copy of incoming mail to and pick the email address from the list.
    Start adding an email address for automatic forwarding in Gmail

  5. Type the email address to which you want to forward all your Gmail emails

  6. Click Next.

  7. Complete two-step authentication with Gmail if you are prompted.

  8. Click Proceed.

  9. Click OK under Add a forwarding address.

  10. Follow the confirmation link you received from Gmail Team at the email address you have just added.

  11. Click Confirm on the page that opens.

  12. Return to Gmail Forwarding and POP/IMAP settings.

  13. Select Forward a copy of incoming mail to with the desired address picked.

  14. Choose what happens to the email after it has been forwarded following and.

    Here’s how: See below for the choices and their meaning.
    Enable forwarding for all mail in Gmail and pick what happens to each email afterwards

  15. Click Save Changes.

Forward manually: How to Forward an Email Thread in Gmail

Forward Certain Emails Automatically with Filters in Gmail

To set up a rule that will automatically forward certain messages from Gmail:

  1. Click Show search options in the Gmail Search mail field.
  2. Use the various fields to set up the criteria for the messages you would like to be forwarded.
    Advanced forwarding: You can use the Has the words field to enter Gmail search operators for advanced criteria.
    All mail: You can match all incoming mail if you put . (a dot) under Has the words or From.
    Example: Type a sender’s email address under From to forward all messages from that particular sender.
  3. Click Create filter.
  4. Check Forward it to: as an action for the rule.
    More: You can combine this with other Gmail filtering action, of course.
  5. Select an email address previously set up for forwarding in Gmail using Choose an address….
    New address: For a new forwarding address, click Add forwarding address and follow the steps above to add the address; you need not enable the overall forwarding in Gmail to add the address.
  6. Click Create filter.

How to Forward Emails in Gmail Automatically: FAQ

What do the choices for dealing with Gmail’s copy when forwarding mean?

Gmail lets you pick from four things it can do with emails after forwarding them:

keep Gmail’s copy in the InboxDo nothing special and treat the email as any other incoming message.
Usually, the email will end up in the Inbox folder, but Gmail filters can also move it for example.
mark Gmail’s copy as readMark the message as read after forwarding.
The email will still go to the Inbox folder, but it will not appear unread unless you manually mark it unread.
archive Gmail’s copyArchive the message and mark it as read after forwarding.
The email will not show up in the Inbox folder at all but appear under All Mail and be marked as read.
delete Gmail’s copyMove the message to the Gmail Trash folder after forwarding.
The email will not show up in any Gmail folder other than Trash. You can restore select emails from there for 30 days our delete them permanently. Filters will still apply.

Can I have Gmail forward to multiple addresses?


Using a combination of overall forwarding and rules that forward, you can have Gmail forward incoming messages to more than one address.

Set up forwarding using the Forwarding and POP/IMAP settings, for instance, for all messages, and create a rule that also forwards particular emails to another address.

Can I set up forwarding in the Gmail App for Android or iOS?


The Gmail apps for iOS and Android do not let you create rules or set up automatic forwarding of all mail.

To set up forwarding on a mobile device:

  1. Open the full desktop version of Gmail in a mobile browser.
  2. Set up overall forwarding or forwarding filters as above.

(How to forward emails automatically in Gmail tested using a desktop browser; first published January 2024, last updated June 2024)

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