An email forwarder copies incoming emails to another address. For instance, you can create a forwarder that copies emails for email@example.com to a Gmail account. It is also possible to forward all emails for a domain to another domain.
cPanel’s Forwarders page has four sections:
Image: the Forwarders interface.
As said, you can create two types of forwarders:
Before we show how to create forwarders we should briefly discuss how they work. We will first look at forwarders for an email address, 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 that you want to forward emails for firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com. If there is a mailbox for firstname.lastname@example.org then emails will be delivered to both mailboxes.
If you want emails to be forwarded only then you can delete the email@example.com mailbox. Email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will still be forwarded, even though the email address doesn’t exist. Of course, you wouldn’t be able to send emails from email@example.com.
Creating an email forwarder is easy enough. To start, click the Add Forwarder button. This will take 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 nospam@. This is effectively an alternative to plus aliasing.
You can take this one step further by creating a forwarder for each potential spammer. For instance, to register with Evil Corp you could create the forwarder firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com, so that emails sent to the address are copied to, say, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
You can choose to discard rather than forward emails. The below example shows another forwarder for firstname.lastname@example.org. However, this time we have 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 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 inbox for firstname.lastname@example.org. The header information shows that the email was sent to email@example.com. However, because we 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. There are two things to be aware of:
Domain forwarders are useful when you want to change a domain name. Often, though, there is an easier way to achieve this. If you are changing your domain from, say, example.net to example.com then we can simply rename your cPanel account. Any existing @example.net mailboxes are then automatically changed to @example.com.
The two forwarders we added are listed on the main Forwarders page. The Forward to column either shows the forwarding address or the action that will be taken. For instance, for our email@example.com forwarder the column shows that emails will be discarded (“:fail:”) with the message “No such person at this address”.
Image: existing email forwarders.
Forwarders can 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, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to be copied to email@example.com then you can do the following: