Forwarding to multiple addresses in Gmail

Gmail offers forwarding to one email at a time by default. Here’s how we got around it and set up forwarding to multiple addresses in Gmail, using filters.

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple email emoji (showing an 'E' on an envelope), in front of a bright green zig zag shape across the bottom

Producing Paradise is all about peering behind the magic curtain: we’re using this blog as a testing ground, and telling you how we make it work. I’m going to explain how we hacked our Gmail setup so we could share the main Producing Paradise email address, without having to log into a new account to check for new mail. Because who has time for that?

A free Gmail address suited us because we’re all familiar with the platform, and it means we can login from anywhere, on any device. It’s weareproducingparadise@gmail.com BTW, if you want to drop us a line 😉

We also didn’t need the email address to match our domain (like ‘hello@producingparadise.com’). This is a side hustle after all, and hosted email costs money.

Let’s take you through the steps

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Create a Gmail account — the one you want to forward from
2. Log in and click the cog icon to get to the settings page
3. Go to ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP’ and click ‘Add a forwarding address’

Screenshot of Gmail Settings page on the 'Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab' showing the button to 'Add a forwarding address'

4. Add each of the forwarding addresses here – the ones you want to forward to
5. You’ll also need to verify each forwarding address before they can be used, to prove you own them
6. Once verified, go back to the ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP’ page and make sure it looks like this:

Screenshot of Gmail Settings page on the 'Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab' showing the checkbox selected for 'Disable forwarding'

Noting:

  • Forwarding is disabled — because we’re going to make it work using ‘Filters’
  • POP and IMAP are disabled — because we don’t want anything we do in our personal email account to affect the original

7. Finally, go to ‘Filters and Blocked Addresses’ and click ‘Create a new filter’

8. Filters are a way to search through emails, but in this case we want the filter to apply to all emails, so we put “To: [main email address]” then “Create filter”

Screenshot of a Gmail filter creation form showing the 'To' field filled out with 'weareproducingparadise@gmail.com'

9. After that, you get to choose what happens to all filtered messages, so in this case: “Forward it” to the first forwarding address

Screenshot of the second step in Gmail filter creation, asking what to do with any email that is 'to:(weareproducingparadise@gmail.com)' with options for 'when a message arrive that matches this search' including one that says 'Forward it (add forwarding address)'

10. You’ll need to repeat this step and create a new filter for each of the forwarding addresses, until it looks something like this:

Screenshot of Gmail Settings page on the 'Filters and Blocked Addresses' tab saying 'The following filters are applied to all incoming mail:' then 'Matches: to:(weareproducingparadise@gmail.com) Do this: Forward to (Lilith's personal email address)'

Send an email to the original address to make sure it’s all doing what it’s supposed to.

The forwarded emails act as notifications, which can either be kept as a reminder of an action required (in your @Action folder, if you’re that way inclined) or deleted immediately (since they will still exist in the main Producing Paradise email account).

And that’s it! That’s how we setup forwarding to multiple addresses in Gmail

So far, this system is working for us. It took a bit of Googling and some annoying steps (like waiting for each person to verify their email address, since we weren’t altogether when setting it up) but now it’s in place we all get the Producing Paradise emails sent to our personal accounts so we’ll see them without having to log into a separate email account. And it made for another tidy little blog post, in the hope it may be helpful to someone in the future (…you, perhaps?).

Hold on, what about replying?

When one of these forwarded emails lands in our personal inbox and we need to reply, we tend to either:

a) Reply from our own email address, and BCC weareproducingparadise@gmail.com so everyone can see that it’s been dealt with; OR

b) Login to the dedicated Google account for weareproducingparadise@gmail.com, and reply from there (e.g. if we want to keep our personal email address private).

It depends on what it’s about / who we’re responding to.

Pro tip: If you don’t want to get logged out of your personal Google account, most browsers offer a Private browsing option (e.g. in Chrome go to File > New Incognito Window) which can be used if you need to quickly login to another account.

Another option: Set up the forwarding email as one you can “Send mail as” in the Gmail settings page of your personal email account (under Accounts and Import; and choose ‘Reply from the same address the message was sent to’). This will avoid having to log in and out of the shared account, and keep your personal email address private after you’ve setup forwarding to multiple addresses in Gmail. Nifty!

Pro-tips on email management

If these instructions were helpful, you might also be interested in:


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Comments to: Forwarding to multiple addresses in Gmail
  • February 10, 2020

    This is exactly what I was looking for 🙂 how does it work when you reply to an email?

    Someone sends you an e-mail to weareproducingparadise@gmail.com, all of you get it. However, one of your staff members replies to that email from their personal account (not weareproducingparadise@gmail.com… then what happens? Do all of you see the reply or just the original sender?

    Reply
    • February 10, 2020

      In our setup, we tend to either:

      a) Reply from our own email address, and BCC weareproducingparadise@gmail.com so everyone can see that it’s been dealt with; OR

      b) Login to the dedicated Google account for weareproducingparadise@gmail.com, and reply from there (if we want to keep our personal email address private).

      It depends on what it’s about / who we’re responding to.

      Pro tip: If you don’t want to get logged out of your personal Google account, most browsers offer a Private browsing option (e.g. in Chrome go to File > New Incognito Window) which can be used if you need to quickly login to another account.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
      • September 23, 2020

        You also have the option to “Send mail as:” weareproducingparadise@gmail.com from your personal account. That way you can avoid logging almost all together. That option is under Accounts and Import

        Reply
        • September 23, 2020

          Oh, that’s a great idea – I’m going to add this to my own setup now, and will update the post to include this suggestion at some point too.

          Reply
  • June 17, 2020

    Thank you so much for putting this guide together!

    Reply
    • June 17, 2020

      You’re welcome Kaycie! I hope it all makes enough sense to follow along. I guess I tried to write the post I wished existed when we set up ours 😉

      Reply
  • July 8, 2020

    Thank you! This was extremely helpful!

    Reply
    • July 10, 2020

      That’s so nice to hear, Mia! Thanks for taking the time to let us know 🙂

      I’ve been thinking about which other problems we’ve solved that might be helpful to write about, so hopefully there will be more to come!

      Reply
  • July 14, 2020

    Thanks, It’s really working

    Reply
    • July 16, 2020

      Woohoo! That’s great news, thanks for letting us know 🙂

      Reply
  • August 18, 2020

    Not working. Looks like Google plugged that hole.

    Reply
    • August 18, 2020

      NM. Working

      Reply
      • August 18, 2020

        Ah yeah, it can be slow to come through but as long as Gmail continues to offer forwarding and filtering, hopefully it keeps working!

        It would be even better if they offered forwarding to more than one address as an option in the regular forwarding feature 😬

        Reply
  • September 8, 2020

    Thanks for the information. Came just in time!

    Reply
    • September 12, 2020

      Phew! Glad it was helpful. Thanks for letting us know!

      Reply
  • September 23, 2020

    This was super helpful, thanks for sharing with the world!

    Reply
    • September 23, 2020

      You’re welcome Juan! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment 😊

      Reply
  • October 20, 2020

    Thank you so much. This was a great help

    Reply
    • October 23, 2020

      Glad to hear it, thanks for letting me know!

      Reply
  • June 29, 2021

    Thank you! This is exactly what I needed.

    Reply
    • March 22, 2022

      Fabulous! Hope it\’s still working out for you 🙂

      Reply
  • July 12, 2021

    Me sirvió de gran ayuda para un proyecto que estamos llevando a cabo entre dos personas. ¡Mil gracias!.

    Reply
    • March 22, 2022

      ¡Eso es genial! ¡Gracias por la nota!

      Reply
  • August 16, 2021

    This works great EXCEPT when the e-mail is sent to me as a BCC – then Gmail does not recognize my e-mail address in the \’To\’ field and does not forward it. Any tips here?

    Reply
    • March 22, 2022

      Sorry for the snail-paced reply, I’ve only just spotted this! You could try changing the filter so the “Has the words” field uses “deliveredto:(me@email.com)” — although perhaps you’ve figured this out by now? How did you go?

      Reply

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