Forward Gmail Messages to Another Email Address Automatically

Read your Gmail messages in your favorite email client

Gmail's web interface offers excellent organization, archiving, and search capabilities. Still, some people prefer to read their messages in other apps or web interfaces that are more familiar or offer different features. For web-based services like Yahoo!, Gmail accomplishes this by allowing you to forward all the messages you receive to any other email address you choose. Using filters, you can even forward messages that meet certain criteria to external addresses, but the broad "forward-everything" approach is useful if you'd rather not take a piecemeal approach.

To use email clients such as Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail, you can set up a Gmail account and retrieve messages directly, without having to forward them.

Illustration of a person adding a forwarding address on a computer screen
Lifewire / Jame Knoth

How to Forward Gmail Messages to Another Email Client

  1. Click the Gear icon at the top right corner of the Gmail screen and select Settings from the drop-down menu that appears.

    A screenshot of Gmail with the Settings menu item highlighted
  2. Select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.

    A screenshot of Gmail settings with the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab highlighted
  3. In the Forwarding box, click Add a forwarding address.

    A screenshot of Gmail Settings with the "Add a forwarding address" command highlighted
  4. Enter the email address you want to forward future Gmail messages to.

    A screenshot of Gmail with the Add a forwarding address window highlighted
  5. Select Proceed in the pop-up window, then press OK. Gmail will send a confirmation email to the address you want to forward to. Open it and click the link to confirm the request.

  6. Alternatively, you can copy the confirmation code and paste it into the Confirmation code field in the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab in Gmail, then press the Verify button.

    A screenshot of Gmail settings with the Confirmation Code field highlighted
  7. Select Forward a copy of incoming mail and enter the email address you just set up. 

  8. Click the field next to When messages are accessed with POP to tell Gmail what to do with forwarded messages. Select one of the following options from the drop-down menu.

    • Keep Gmail's copy in the Inbox instructs Gmail to leave the original message in your Gmail inbox as new and unread.
    • Mark Gmail's copy as read leaves messages in the Gmail inbox but marks them as read.
    • Archive Gmail's copy is probably the most useful setting and it instructs Gmail to mark forwarded messages as read, remove them from the inbox, and keep them in the archive for later search and retrieval.
    • Delete Gmail's copy allows the messages to move to the Trash folder after they are forwarded. Trashed messages are deleted automatically after 30 days. This is not recommended, as keeping your messages in Gmail is an easy way to back it all up.

    Whichever option you choose, you'll receive a copy of the email at the address you selected in previous steps.

    A screenshot of Gmail Settings with the POP options highlighted
  9. Select Save Changes.

    A screenshot of Gmail settings with the Save Changes option highlighted

From now on, all the email messages that arrive at your Gmail account, minus the spam, is copied over to the other account.

How to Disable Gmail Forwarding

To turn off automatic forwarding, reverse the steps you took above.

  1. Click the Gear icon and select Settings.

    A screenshot of Gmail with the Settings menu item highlighted
  2. Under the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, select Disable forwarding.

  3. Select Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.