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Exchange 2003 Auto Forward to External Address

go95 asked
Last Modified: 2010-11-25

How to I setup exchange to automatically forward specific email addresses on my domain to email addresses on another domain on a different email server?
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Something to watch - while it's a little more of a pain, we sometimes like to do this through Outlook and add a rule to forward or redirect all incoming emails (Your preference there.)  But we like to add an exclusion for words such as "error", "undeliverable" etc to the subject so we don't get into a loop if the receiving server has issues.
Good idea by dispersp.

The only problem with a rule is that usually outlook needs to be running for the rule to get processed.  And then it's only good for the one outlook account that is currently logged into.  That could be a pain if you want to do it for more than a few users.

Jared - certain rules are "server" based, others are "client" based.  If you do a redirect rule, it's actually server based so no need to have Outlook running.  Yes, it is more of a pain, but I'd rather not have a loop.
I didn't realize that it was server based automatically.  That's good to know.
Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

Forwarding rules to external addresses needs to be turned on in ESM. That will allow any users to setup any forward that they like and is therefore more risky. Doing a forward at the domain level will allow the administrator to keep control.

Thanks Sembee... more good info...


i added the new smtp address (user@gmail.com) and left the other smtp address there (user@localdomain.com).  I sent a test message and it didn't arrive at the gmail account.
You might need to set the gmail address as the default address.
Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

Where did you set the gmail address? On a contact or on the user account?
If you set it on the user account then it will not forward in that way.


Sembee and jared seem to have contradicting opinions. I too, reading jared's solution tried to add a yahoo account as an SMTP address in the user account, the emails never went there. i originally had contacts setup, but recently started to get bounced on the forwards.

Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

Automatic forwarding of any description will be impossible in a few years. The way that Exchange does it leaves the original headers alone. That basically means the email appears to be coming from a server not responsible for email for that domain. As antispam solutions get better at detecting spoofing it will stop it.

There are almost no reasons to do automatic forwarding apart from user laziness. With OWA providing most of the common Outlook features the user can just login there.


We currently have a user off work on maternity leave. All of her email needs to be forwarded to another member of staff to deal with in her absence.

Just one reason I need to do this =)
Just by the way, I had to create a contact and forward to the contact (ADUC->user properties->Exchange General->Delivery Options->Forwarding Address). This is also the same place that you can forward messages to other users in the domain.
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