How to Forward an Email: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Forward an Email: A Step-by-Step Guide

Email forwarding is the action of re-sending an email to one or multiple recipients. It’s also one of the most useful features for ensuring a steady flow of information when working in a group.

This article will explore how to forward email messages using multiple platforms – Gmail, Outlook, and Hostinger’s hPanel. We’ll also discuss situations when email forwarding may be most beneficial and share several tips on how to forward emails correctly.

Reasons to Forward an Email

Forwarding is one of the most basic and widely used email features. It can make various communication processes much more smoother and organized. 

Let’s look at several cases where forwarding an email can be the best course of action.

You want a new recipient to know or act upon the content in the original email. 

Usually, you would forward an email to someone who wasn’t included in the original email chain. This way, you can inform them about the content or ask them to perform an action. 

Of course, you have the option of composing a new email and echoing the content from the original mail chain instead, but that adds an extra step. Forwarding is a more straightforward and faster method.

You want to include attachments from the original email. 

The forwarding feature is also handy for people who wish to share attachment files from an email they received.

When you forward the message to another person, the attachment files will be sent along with the message. This skips the hassle of saving the files to your computer, composing a new email, and re-uploading files.

You want to comment on an original email while also providing the context. 

When you forward an email, you have the option to add your message above the original email. 

Including the complete original message thread will provide the recipient with context on what you’re commenting on, which lowers the risks of a misunderstanding.

You have moved to a new email address

Setting up automatic forwarding is helpful when you switch to a new email address. Even if people send emails to your old email address, you will still receive them in your new mailbox.

Method 1: Using Gmail

Gmail lets you forward mail manually or by setting up automated forwarding. 

In the following steps, we’ll demonstrate how to forward emails manually with Gmail. While we will be using a computer, the steps are very similar on mobile apps as well. 

  1. Log into your Gmail account and navigate the menu to your inbox. 
  2. Find and open the email you want to forward to someone.
  3. Click the Forward button. Screenshot of Gmail's forward button
  4. Enter the forwarding address of the recipient in the To field.  If you want to add more than one address, you can separate them with commas. 

You also have the option to add Cc (carbon copy) and Bcc (blind carbon copy) recipients. While both To and Cc recipients can see all email addresses attached to the mail you forward, Bcc recipients can only see one address – their own.

  1. If you need to add a message above the forwarded email, do so above the Forwarded message text in the body of the email, below the recipient’s address box.Screenshot of Gmail's forwarded message text
  2. Click the Send button.

If you’d like to set up your Gmail account to automatically forward all mail to another account, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Gmail inbox and select the Settings gear icon located on the page’s top right corner. Screenshot of Gmail's settings icon
  2. Select See all settings.
  3. Navigate to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  4. In the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, click Add Forwarding Address. Screenshot of where to add forwarding addresses on Gmail
  5. Enter the forwarding email address and click Next. Screenshot of how to add a forwarding address in Gmail
  6. A new window will pop up. Make sure that the forwarding address is correct and click Proceed.
  7. Find the verification email in your inbox folder and enter the code as requested.

Now, Gmail will automatically forward all your new emails to the address you have provided. If you want to stop the forwarding, select Disable forwarding.

You can also forward specific mail by using filters:

  1. Go to Settings -> Filters and Blocked Addresses.
  2. Select Create a new filter.
  3. Fill the fields with the criteria of the emails you want to forward and select Create filter.Screenshot of where to find the create a filter button in Gmail
  4. The emails that fit the criteria you entered will appear. Next to the search bar, click the upside-down triangle-shaped icon to show more options.
  5. Tick Forward it to and choose your desired email address or Add forwarding address.Screenshot of where to click forwarding email in Gmail
  6. Select Create filter to finalize the setting. Note that this will only apply to new emails.

Method 2: Using Outlook

Outlook allows manual and automated email forwarding as well. 

Here’s how to forward an email manually:

  1. Log into your account on the web app and go to your inbox folder.
  2. Find and open the message you wish to forward to someone.
  3. The reading pane will appear with the content of the email. Continue by selecting the Forward button. Screenshot of where to find the forward email button in Outlook
  4. Enter the email address of the recipient at the top. Use commas to enter multiple addresses in the To, Cc, and Bcc sections.
  5. You have the option to add a message on top of the content of the original email, which can help to avoid confusion.Screenshot of how to add text to a forwarded message in Outlook
  6. Click the paper plane-shaped Send button.

To set up automatic mail forwarding, follow these steps:

  1. Open your inbox and select the Settings gear icon on the top right corner of the page. Screenshot of Outlook's settings icon
  2. Select View all Outlook settings.
  3. Navigate to Mail -> Rules and Add new rule. Screenshot of the add new rule button in Outlook
  4. Name the rule whatever you want. For example, “Automatic forwarding.” 
  5. For the Add a condition drop-down menu, select Apply to all messages.
  6. For the Add an action drop-down menu, select Forward to.
  7. A new field will appear. Simply fill in the forwarding address.Screenshot of the forwarding email field in Outlook
  8. Click Save.

Note that you can adjust the condition and action to fit your purpose. 

For example, if you only want to forward specific emails, you can change the condition from Apply to all messages to another value you see fit.

Method 3: Using Hostinger hPanel

If you have a Hostinger email account, you can take advantage of the Email Forwarders feature built into hPanel to automatically forward emails. Here’s how:

  1. Open the hPanel and go to Emails -> Email Forwarders. Screenshot of hPanel's email forwarding button
  2. For the Custom Email address field, type in the email address attached to your hosting account. 
  3. For the Forward to email field, enter the address you want to forward your emails to.Screenshot of hPanel's email forwarding page
  4. Click Create to save changes.

Tips When Forwarding Emails

Now that you’ve learned how to forward emails to people using three different platforms, you might wonder if there’s a set of rules you have to follow.

While there are no official guidelines, here are some general tips to help you along:

  • Make sure that forwarding the email is the right move. Before you forward the message, make sure that including the original content in its entirety will be seen as appropriate and valuable.
  • Add a comment. A forwarded email with no additional message can be confusing. Always include a message to the recipient explaining why they’re receiving this email and what the person should do with the information.
  • Delete unnecessary and sensitive information. Be careful when forwarding a long email thread. These threads can encompass many topics that aren’t relevant or include sensitive data that the receiver shouldn’t see.
  • Take advantage of Bcc. The Bcc recipients won’t be able to view the email addresses of other people in a forwarded email. This feature makes the email cleaner and protects the privacy of everyone involved in the thread.
  • Fix the subject line. You might notice that your email client will add abbreviations like “Fw” or “Fwd” into the subject lines of forwarded emails. As the sender, you have the option to delete them or change the subject entirely to make it look more professional.


In this guide, we’ve learned how to forward emails using Gmail, Outlook, and hPanel. We’ve also learned when mail forwarding can be beneficial and how to do it properly.

Remember, when you’re forwarding an email message, always include additional information explaining why the recipient is receiving it. Also, make sure there is no sensitive data or other information that the person on the receiving end shouldn’t see.

We hope that this article has helped you understand how email forwarding works and what general best practices you can apply to make the process smoother and more professional.

Make sure to share your thoughts and give feedback in the comments below.

The author


Hasna is a content writer at Hostinger. She's passionate about tech, digital media, and sharing her knowledge with others. In her free time, she likes to lose herself in fictional worlds.