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. You can also 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. Let’s first look at forwarders for email addresses.
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. So, you get two copies of incoming emails.
If you instead want emails to be forwarded only then you can delete the firstname.lastname@example.org address. Emails sent to the address are still forwarded, even though it doesn’t exist. An advantage of this option is that the mailbox doesn’t use any disk space. It just forward emails to another email address. However, it also means that you can’t send email 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 email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: creating a forwarder from email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can use this to combat 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Creating lots of forwarders like these might seem daft but it has a number of benefits:
To forward emails to multiple addresses you simply create multiple forwarders. For instance, you can set up two forwarders for email@example.com so that emails are copied to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
It is possible to discard rather than forward emails. The below example shows another forwarder for firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
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 image shows an email in my firstname.lastname@example.org inbox. The email was sent to email@example.com. However, because I set up a domain forwarder the email was delivered to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: an email sent to email@example.com in the inbox for firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, let’s imagine someone sends an email to email@example.com. If that mailbox exist then a domain forwarder to example.com won’t work. Instead, the email is simply delivered to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Domain forwarders are mainly useful when you change your domain name. However, there is an easier way to achieve that. We can simply rename your cPanel account. Renaming a cPanel account automatically renames all email addresses as well.
Any forwarders you create are listed on the main page. The Forward to column either shows the forwarding address or an action. For instance, for my email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org then you can do the following: