The mail forwarding option in Gmail lets you auto-forward incoming email messages to another address. You define a rule, or filter in Gmail, and new incoming messages that match that filter are automatically forwarded to another email address.

Gmail does however impose some restrictions around auto-forwarding messages. For instance:

  1. You cannot auto-forward mails to a non-verified email address. When you set up auto-forward in Gmail, it sends a verification mail to the other email address and you can only forward messages to that account after clicking verification link. You thus cannot setup a rule in Gmail to auto-forward messages to an email address that you do not own.
  2. You cannot auto-forward your old email messages. If you have a bunch of old emails that you would like to send to your Evernote account for archiving, you’ll have to manually forward them one-by-one as auto-forward only works for new & incoming messages.

Gmail Auto-Forward with Google Scripts

If you would like to auto-forward your Gmail messages, including the older emails, to another email address without requiring verification, Google Script can help.

The idea is simple. You set up a Google Script that will monitor messages inside one or more labels in Gmail and as soon as it finds an email message, it will auto-forward that mail to another email address.

Gmail Auto Forward

The Google Script is available in free and premium editions – the latter includes more features and comes with support.

Features Free Premium
Supports Gmail & Google Apps Yes Yes
Include Meta-data in Forwarded Messages No Yes
Forwards file attachments and inline images No Yes
Maximum Number of Gmail Labels for Auto-forwarding 1 10
Installation Manual (PDF) included No Yes
Support options None Email
Choose Edition Forever Free Premium
Platinum includes all features of Premium plus one-on-one support over Skype, Google Hangouts and remote screen sharing Platinum
You may make payments through PayPal or your credit and debit cards. Refunds can only be requested within 12 hours of purchase.

How to Setup Email Forwarding in Gmail

  1. Click here to copy the auto-forward sheet in your Google Drive and fill-in the columns A and B. You should put valid Gmail Label names in column A and the corresponding auto-forward email addresses in column B.
  2. From the Gmail Forward menu in the Google Sheet, choose Initialize and allow the script access to your Gmail account.
  3. Go to the Gmail Forward menu again and choose the Start option to start the auto-forward script. You can now close your Google sheet and it will magically auto-forward your Gmail messages that are found inside those folders (or labels).

Once a message has been forwarded, a new label called forwarded is applied to the Gmail thread to indicate that the message has been processed by the auto-forward script.

Please do note that mails forwarded through Google Docs will still count towards your Gmail’s daily sending limit which is around 100 messages per day.

Also, if you wish to disable auto-forwarding anytime later, open the same Google Sheet in your Google Drive and choose Uninstall from the Gmail Forward menu.