Email forwarders copy incoming emails to another address. For instance, you can create a forwarder to copy all emails for firstname.lastname@example.org to a Gmail account. It is also possible to forward all emails for a domain to another domain.
Image: the Forwarders interface.
cPanel’s Forwarders page has four sections:
As said, you can create two types of forwarders:
Before I show how to create forwarders I should briefly discuss how they work. Lets first look at forwarders for email addresses, as they are the most common.
You can set up a forwarder for either an existing or a non-existing email address:
To give an example, let’s imagine you have a forwarder from email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org. If email@example.com exists then emails are delivered to both accounts. This is useful, as you effectively have a backup of your emails. An email that was rejected by Gmail will still be in your firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox.
If you instead want emails to be forwarded only then you can delete the email@example.com address. Emails sent to the address are still forwarded, even though it doesn’t exist. An advantage of this approach is that you don’t need any disk space for the email address. A disadvantage is that you won’t be able to send emails from the address.
Creating an email forwarder is easy enough. To start, click the Add Forwarder button. This takes you to the Add a New Forwarder page, which has three sections:
The below image shows a forwarder from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com.
Image: creating a forwarder from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com.
The example shows how you can use email forwarders to reduce spam. When you need to give a potential spammer an email address you don’t have to give them your private email address. Instead, you can give them an address such as firstname.lastname@example.org. This is an alternative to plus addressing.
You can take this one step further by creating a forwarder for each potential spammer. For instance, to register with Evil Corp you can create the forwarder email@example.com. This has a number of benefits:
To forward emails to multiple addresses you can simply create multiple forwarders. For instance, you can set up two forwarders for firstname.lastname@example.org so that emails are copied to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can discard rather than forward emails. The below example shows another forwarder for email@example.com. However, this time I selected the Discard option. Senders will receive a bounce email with a standard message (“No such person at this address”).
Image: discarding rather than forwarding emails for firstname.lastname@example.org.
Domain forwarders let you forward all incoming emails for a domain. For instance, a forwarder from example.net to example.com forwards emails for all users at example.net to corresponding users at example.com.
Image: adding a domain forwarder from example.net to example.com.
To illustrate how this works, the below screenshot shows an email in the email@example.com inbox. The email was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, because I set up a domain forwarder the email was delivered to email@example.com.
Image: an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in the inbox for email@example.com.
Domain forwarders are a little confusing. The main thing to be aware of is that emails are not forwarded if the original email address exists. For instance, lets imagine someone sends an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the address exist then a domain forwarder to example.com won’t work. Instead, the email is simply delivered to email@example.com.
Domain forwarders are mainly useful when you change you domain name. However, there is an easier way to achieve that. We can simply rename your cPanel account. Any existing email addresses will automatically use the new domain.
Forwarders you create are listed on the main Forwarders page. The Forward to column either shows the forwarding address or an action. For instance, for my firstname.lastname@example.org forwarder the column shows that emails are discarded with the message “No such person at this address”.
Image: existing email forwarders.
Forwarders can also be used as a catch-all solution. If you want all emails for a domain to be copied to a single mailbox then you can do so by creating forwarders.
As a simple example, if you want emails sent to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to be forwarded to email@example.com then you can do the following: