Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Email 48 48 people found this article helpful Redirect Email Messages Instead of Forwarding Them Not many email programs can redirect, but it's a useful tool nonetheless By Heinz Tschabitscher Writer A former freelance contributor who has reviewed hundreds of email programs and services since 1997. our editorial process Heinz Tschabitscher Updated July 27, 2019 Robin Heighway-Bury / Getty Images Email Yahoo! Mail Gmail Tweet Share Email Most people either reply to or forward emails, but a rarely-implemented redirect protocol helps to get a message from a sender to the right recipient by means of an intermediary recipient. This process is also sometimes known as remailing. What is an Email Redirection? A redirection is a special case of an email forward. Unlike a standard forward, in which the person forwarding the message appears to be the sender, in a redirection, the message appears to come from the original sender. For example, if firstname.lastname@example.org receives a message from email@example.com, and Bob forwards it to his colleague firstname.lastname@example.org, then when Fred opens the message, it'll appear as a forward from Bob. However, if Bob redirected Sally's message, then when Fred opened it, it'd appear as if it came from Sally directly. How Can I Redirect a Message? In most cases, you cannot redirect individual messages using modern email clients. A few older email clients geared toward a power-user audience, including TheBat, support per-message redirects, but the major email programs in use today do not support this capability. What Do You Know about the Bat! Email Program for Windows? One exception is Mozilla Thunderbird, which — while it doesn't support redirection natively — does offer support for add-ons that include this capability. But unlike TheBat, which merely inserts a redirect-from header, Thunderbird add-ons rewrite the sender line to indicate the redirecting sender, but "on behalf of" the original sender. This functionality mimics a pure redirection, but imperfectly. Can I Redirect All Messages? Some modern programs, however, do support rules-based redirection. For example, the desktop version of Microsoft Outlook supports custom rules that allow for mail meeting specific criteria to be automatically redirected to a different user. Although these rules apply without end-user intervention — meaning, you can't individually redirect messages — it's a great tool for redirecting classes of messages. For example, an Outlook rule can redirect messages from a generic inbound account to a specific user. Redirection is not the same as configuring your email account to automatically forward all emails (or all emails that meet a rule) to a different address. That process is still forwarding, even if the email program actually calls it redirection.