Forward Gmail Messages to Another Email Address Automatically

Read your Gmail messages in your favorite email client

If you prefer to read email in other apps or web interfaces, forward the Gmail messages you receive to any email address you choose. Using filters, you can forward only messages that meet certain criteria to external addresses. Still, the broad forward-everything approach is useful if you'd rather not take a piecemeal approach.

The instructions in this article apply to the web version of Gmail.

How to Forward Gmail Messages to Another Email Client

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 messages.

  1. Select the Gear icon in the upper-right corner of the Gmail screen.

    The Settings gear in Gmail
  2. Choose See all settings from the drop-down menu that appears.

    The See All Settings button in Gmail
  3. Go to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.

    The Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab in Gmail settings
  4. In the Forwarding section, select Add a forwarding address.

    The Add a forwarding address button
  5. Enter the email address you want to forward future Gmail messages to, then select Next.

    Add a forwarding address field
  6. Select Proceed in the pop-up window, then select OK.

    Confirm forwarding address pop-up
  7. Gmail sends a confirmation email to the address you want to forward to. Open it and select the link to confirm the request.

    Confirmation of mail forwarding request

    Alternatively, copy the confirmation code and paste it into the Confirmation code field in the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab in Gmail, then select Verify.

  8. Select Forward a copy of incoming mail to

    The Forward a copy of incoming mail to commands in Gmail
  9. Select 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 messages as read.
    • Archive Gmail's copy is probably the most useful setting. It instructs Gmail to mark forwarded messages as read, remove messages from the inbox, and keep messages in the archive for later search and retrieval.
    • Delete Gmail's copy allows the messages to move to the Trash folder after being 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 up.

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

    POP settings in Gmail
  10. Select Save Changes.

    The Save Changes button in Gmail

From now on, email messages that arrive at your Gmail account (minus any spam) are copied to the other account.

How to Disable Gmail Forwarding

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

  1. Select the Gear icon in the upper-right corner and choose See All Settings from the drop-down menu that appears.

    The See All Settings button in Gmail
  2. Go to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, then select Disable forwarding.

    The Disable Forwarding option in Gmail
  3. Select Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.

    The Save Changes button in Gmail