How to Forward Email or Create an Alias Email Address

When you want to receive email sent to a different email address you have the option of setting up a forward or an alias.

Forward vs Alias: What is the difference?

A forward is used to send email from one mailbox to any other email address, including email addresses not at your domain. For example, you could have emails sent to contact@example.com forward on to example@gmail.com.

An alias is an alternate email for a single mailbox. Emails sent to an alias will go to the main mailbox. An alias must end with the same domain name. For example, if you had a main email of yourname@example.com and you then created the aliases contact@example.com, admin@example.com, and shop@example.com, emails for all of these addresses would be received the same as if they had been sent directly to yourname@example.com.

How to Create a Forward

Forwarding addresses make it possible to redirect mail from one or more of your domain’s email addresses to an external address. For example, you would use a forward if you want all email sent to contact@example.com to arrive in the mailbox for yourname@example.org.

Note

Mail forwarded will only appear in the final destination mailbox. In the above example, the mailbox for contact@example.com will end up empty while all of the email sent to that address will only be visible in the mailbox for yourname@example.org.

Before creating the forwarding address, verify that you are using Gandi’s MX servers. You can do this by visiting the DNS records for the domain and making sure that there is an MX record pointing to gandi.net.

Once you are sure that your domain is using our MX records, set up a forward using these steps:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Choose “Domains” from the left menu.
  3. Choose the domain that will have the new forwarding address from the list of domains.
  4. Click on the “Email” tab.
  5. Click on the “Forwarding addresses” option.
  6. Click “Create Your First Forwarding Address” if this is your first forward, or the green “Create” button if you have existing forwarding addresses.
  7. Enter the email address you wish to forward and the email address you wish to forward to.
  8. Click “Create” to finish the process.

Warning

Since SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is designed to verify that an email being received is truly coming from the listed sender, mail you forward may fail SPF checks since it is being sent from your email server and not from the original listed sender. This can result in email you receive being incorrectly labeled as spam or failing an SPF check. Please keep this in mind when setting up an email forward.

How to Ensure Delivery to a Gmail Address

Gmail has a tendency to consider forwarded email addresses as spam. This is especially true when you send an email from your Gmail that is then forwarded on to the same Gmail address. Because of this, users who are trying to test the forward sometimes have the impression that the forward is not working, when in reality the email was forwarded but then rejected by Gmail. To avoid this problem, make sure that you have an SPF record in place.

How to Create an Alias

While a forward moves email from an email address at one domain name to an email address at a different domain name, aliases do essentially the same thing for email addresses at the same domain name. You will receive email for every alias you create, as well as the original email address, in a single mailbox.

Warning

Do not create an alias address that is a duplicate of an address that already exists on your domain. For example, if someone has already set up david@example.com, and then another person using a different email address (let’s say mike@example.com) creates an alias of david@example.com that is going to mike@example.com’s mailbox, an error will occur. The email may be undeliverable or only go to one of the mailboxes.

To add an alias:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Choose “Domains” from the left menu.
  3. Choose the domain where you want to create the alias from the list.
  4. Click on the “Email” tab.
  5. In the “Email addresses” section, scroll down and click the green pen icon next to the email address you wish to create an alias address for.
  6. Click “Manage aliases.”
  7. Enter the aliases in the box. To enter multiple aliases type one name per line. Only type the section of the email that would appear before the “@.” For example, to add admin@example.com you would just type admin.
  8. Click “Update Aliases.”

Note

You can also use the wildcard character “*” to mean “everything”. For example if you put super* as the alias name, then emails sent to anything starting with “super” (supercat@, supercomputer@, etc.) will go to your mailbox. At this time Gandi does not support a bare wildcard - there must be at least two characters in addition to the wildcard for the alias to work.

When you are done, click “Submit” at the bottom of the page to submit your changes.