Forwarding Mail to an External Recipient

In this post, we will look at ways you can have a user with a corporate email address on your system and setup forwarding of mail to an external recipient. There are two easy ways you can configure things on the server side to automatically forward mail from an Exchange 2010 user to an external account. Before you do any of these, ask yourself if you really should. Many companies have security policies that expressly forbid forwarding corporate mail to external accounts. This is to help prevent information loss or leakage, to ensure that document retention and destruction policies are enforceable, and because they don’t want to have to deal with any discovery issues that might come about from this. Be sure that if you are going to do this, you have management approval.

 Exchange Management Shell

You can configure your Exchange server for forwarding mail to an external recipient using the Exchange Management Shell on your mailbox server. Suppose you have a corporate user named Joe User and you want to deliver mail to his mailbox and also to forward all his email On your Mailbox Server, open the Exchange Management Shell and run the following command:

set-mailbox –identity “Joe User” –forwardingaddress –delivertomailboxandforward $true


If you don’t want to keep a copy on their local mailbox, set –delivertomailboxandforward to $false (or just leave that option off completely).

 Exchange Management Console

You can also go GUI and do this in the EMC. Here’s how:

  1. Launch the EMC and navigate to Recipient Configuration, Mailbox.
  2. Right-click the mailbox you want to set up forwarding for and then click Properties.
  3. Select the Mail Flow Settings tab, click Delivery Options, and then click Properties.
  4. Select the “Forward to” check box, and then click Browse.
  5. Select the recipient to whom you want to forward messages, and then click OK.
  6. Check the “Deliver message to both forwarding address and mailbox” checkbox to deliver to the local mailbox and forward to the remote mailbox. Clear it if you only want the mail forwarded.Exchange-forward-email
  7. Click OK to return to <Mailbox> Properties.

Notice something about the EMS? There’s no free form entry for a remote email address. This is really only going to be useful if you are forwarding to another internal user, or you have a contact object already set up for the remote user mailbox.

That’s all there is to it. Again, make sure you have management approval before forwarding email offsite, and if you are not going to keep a copy in the local mailbox, make sure everyone understands this means you are not going to be able to back up or restore forwarded email. That’s a big risk, so you really ought to keep a copy in the local mailbox with the –delivertomailboxandforward set to $true.