Email forwarders copy incoming emails to another address. For instance, you can create a forwarder to copy emails for firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is a mailbox for email@example.com then emails will be delivered to both mailboxes.
If you want emails to be forwarded only then you can delete the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox. Email sent to email@example.com will still be forwarded, even though there is no mailbox. Of course, you won’t be able to send emails from firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: creating a forwarder from email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 addressing.
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 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 sent to the address are copied to, say, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can choose to discard rather than forward emails. The below example shows another forwarder for email@example.com. 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 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 inbox for email@example.com. The header information shows that the email was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, because we 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. 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 that. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to be copied to firstname.lastname@example.org then you can do the following: