How to Automatically Forward Email From Outlook

By Grant D. McKenzie

Microsoft Outlook is a powerful email, scheduling and contact management program used by many businesses. With the mobile technology available today, many people need to have access to their email in many locations. Microsoft Outlook has the capability to automatically forward email to a different address, when required. There is a lot of flexibility in this feature, so it takes effort to initially set it up. Once set up, it can be activated and deactivated by simply clicking a check box.

Step 1

Open Microsoft Outlook and go to the "Mail" window if it does not come up by default. Click "Tools" on the menu bar and select "Rules and Alerts..." Click the "New Rule..." button.

Step 2

Click the "Start from a blank rule" radio button. Highlight "Check messages when they arrive" if it is not highlighted by default and click "Next."

Step 3

Select the criteria for the messages you wish to forward from the "Step 1" box. If you wish to forward all incoming messages, select "where my name is in the To or Cc box." The items you select will be copied to the "Step 2" box. If the criteria you select has a term underlined and in blue text, click that term in the "Step 2" box to edit the criteria to your specific situation. Click "Next."

Step 4

Select the action you wish to take on the emails filtered by the previous step. If you wish to forward them to another email address, select "forward it to people or distribution list." In the "Step 2" box, click the blue highlighted text and enter the forwarding email address in the "Specify whom to forward messages to:" dialog box or select existing names from your address book. Separate multiple entries with a semicolon. Click "OK" and then "Next."

Step 5

Select any exceptions that should be applied to your situation and edit them appropriately as before in the "Step 2" box. These will be more rare, but can be useful under some circumstances. They are unnecessary to simply automatically forward all incoming email to a different address. Click "Next."

Step 6

Give the new rule a name, such as "Auto-Forward," in the "Step 1" dialog box. If you do not wish to activate this rule immediately upon creation, deselect the "Turn on this rule" check box in "Step 2." Click "Finish" and then click "OK."

Step 7

Activate or deactivate the auto-forward rule by clicking "Tools" on the menu bar and selecting "Rules and Alerts..." and then either selecting or deselecting the check box associated with the rule.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have created and activated multiple rules, they will be applied in the order they appear. They can be reordered if necessary using the arrow buttons in the "Rules and Alerts" window.