Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Email 53 53 people found this article helpful Redirecting vs. Forwarding Email 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 on July 21, 2020 Email Yahoo! Mail Gmail Tweet Share Email Most people either reply to or forward emails. However, a rarely implemented redirect protocol gets a message from a sender to the right recipient through an intermediary recipient. Redirecting is also known as remailing. Lifewire What Is an Email Redirection? Redirection is a special case of an email forward. In a standard forward, 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 email@example.com receives a message from firstname.lastname@example.org, and Bob forwards it to his colleague email@example.com, it appears to Fred as a forward from Bob. However, if Bob redirects Sally's message, it looks as if it came from Sally directly. Most modern email clients don't support per-message redirection. The exceptions include The Bat! and Thunderbird. How Can I Redirect a Message? Email One exception is Mozilla Thunderbird. It doesn't support redirection natively. However, it supports add-ons that include this capability. But unlike The Bat!, which 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 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 an 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 calls it redirection.