Gmail offers an easy mail forwarding option that lets you auto-forward incoming messages to another email address. You define a rule (or filter) and any incoming mail that matches your filter is automatically forwarded to another email address.
There are however some limitations in Gmail’s auto-forwarding feature:
- You cannot auto-forward old emails. For instance, 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.
- You cannot auto-forward to a non-verified email address. When you set up auto-forward in Gmail, it sends a verification message to the other email address before you can forward messages to that account. You thus cannot setup a rule to auto-forward message to an email address that you do not own.
Gmail Auto-Forward with Google Docs
If you would like to auto-forward Gmail messages (including the older emails) to any another email address in bulk, Google Docs with a simple Google Script can help you overcome that limitation very easily.
The idea is simple. We will set up a Google Script with will monitor one or more labels in our our Gmail Inbox (this list is configurable) and as soon as it finds an email message, it will auto-forward the mail to a designated email address. You just have to set the script once and it then runs in the background automatically.
Setting up Email Forwarding in Gmail – Step by Step
- Create a copy of this Google Sheet in your Google Docs and fill the columns A and B (see screenshot). You should put valid Gmail Label Names in column A and the corresponding auto-forward email address in column B.
- From the Gmail Forward menu in the Google Sheet, choose Initialize and grant the script access to your Gmail account.
- Go to Gmail Forward – Start to actually launch the auto-forward script. You can close your Google Docs sheet and it will magically auto-forward your Gmail messages that are in particular labels.
Once a message has been forwarded, a new label called forwarded will be applied to the Gmail thread to indicate that the message has been processed by the auto-forward script.
Also, if you ever wish to disable the forwarding script, open your Google Sheet and choose Uninstall from the Gmail Forward menu.
Related tutorial: Mail Merge with Gmail and Google Docs