How can I auto-forward a copy of all email (incoming and outbound) to my gmail account?
October 13, 2005 9:53 PM   Subscribe

How do I auto- forward a copy of all emails received and sent to gmail? I use Windows XP with Outlook Express and I have discovered it doesn't seem to have this function available. I would be willing to switch apps if one could automatically forward a copy of everything I send out to my gmail account and also copy and forward all incoming mail to my gmail. I want to still primarily use a pop3 email client, but send a copy to gmail for archiving purposes. Any ideas on the best way to get this done?
posted by Independent Scholarship to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
I'm a little confused by your comment. Where are you actually storing your mail? Are you trying to store it both locally AND on gmail? I'm confused about what your actual goal is. You seem to be asking 'how do I make this process work', but I can't parse why you're trying to use that particular process, so I have no idea why it's not working.

If you can take one step back and more completely describe how you want your mail to work, that'll let us approach it other possible angles as well. There's usually about twelve ways to do most things, especially with mail. :)
posted by Malor at 10:07 PM on October 13, 2005

This is all a piece of piss with Outlook. Go Tools->Rules Wizard, and follow the prompts.

I suppose that means I'm recommending Outlook. Ick. This is only because that's the app in front of me now... I'm sure most other non-stripped-down email apps will do the same.
posted by pompomtom at 10:20 PM on October 13, 2005

Your post is confusing. At first I thought you were looking for a way to forward emails sent to your gmail account to another account but it seems the opposite is the case.

If you own your own domain and want emails sent to to also be forwarded to, the easiest way to do this is to do it on your web/email host. For instance, I use dreamhost and I can just tell it, send copies of all emails sent to X to Y.

But, as Malor says, more details about what you have (where's the email address from?) and want would be useful.
posted by dobbs at 10:21 PM on October 13, 2005

pompomtom is right on. heh.
posted by AllesKlar at 10:26 PM on October 13, 2005

Best answer: I don't find your description of your problem confusing. You have an email account. You want all mail sent to that account to be copied to Gmail. Additionally, you want all mail sent from that account to be copied to Gmail. Right?

pompomtom is correct. The easiest way to accomplish this is through rules/filters in the email application on your desktop. If you don't like Outlook's rules, Thunderbird or Eudora both have this capability.

However, this has the drawback that mail doesn't get sent to Gmail until your desktop app downloads it from the POP3 server and runs the rule/filter. If you were to go on vacation and leave your computer off, you couldn't check Gmail to see your new mail. To do that, you'd need to forward on the server side or get Gmail to download mail from your POP3 server (which doesn't appear to be an option yet).

If you want that, you could talk to the sysadmin/ISP for the machine with the POP3 account about a procmail rule like:

:0 c

or a .forward file that does the same thing. Or maybe they have some easy solution already in place.

But, that would only forward mail *to* the account. To forward mail *from* the account, you'd still need to set up a rule/filter in your mail client or set it up to bcc yourself on all outgoing mail (which is what I do).
posted by aneel at 10:50 PM on October 13, 2005

I don't think there's any way to do this easily in Outlook Express.

I use OE and like to save copies of messages I send to my boyfriend in the mail folder where his mail to me is filtered.

The only way I've found to do this is to set up a message rule which says:

'where the 'From' line contains [my address] and the 'To' line contains [his address] move it to the [his name] folder'

Then, every couple of days, I apply the rule manually by going into the Mail Rules, clicking 'apply now', browsing to the 'sent' folder, and applying it to that folder so all my mail/replies to him are transferred to 'his' folder.

So you could set up a rule which says 'where the 'From' line contains [you] Forward it to [your gmail address] and apply it manually from the 'sent' items folder.

There's no way I've found in OE of automatically populating the bcc box with my address. If there is a way of doing that, I'd love to hear it.

And, really, it's not helpful to suggest using Outlook. Not everyone can afford to buy Outlook. I have it on my machine, but it is so big and cumbersome that it slows my email traffic to a crawl. The question was specifically about using Outlook Express.
posted by essexjan at 12:34 AM on October 14, 2005

For those who are confused, this recent bOING bOING post might clear things up for you. It's been making the internet rounds the last week or so.
posted by Captaintripps at 3:50 AM on October 14, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers. Sorry if the question wasn't very clear. I see now that there are two ways of doing this automatically; meaning, sending a copy of all of my received and sent mail from my regular email account to gmail for archiving purposes. (Yes, Captaintripps, the bOING, bOING thing is exactly what I want to do - thanks for that.) I can either set up rules in an application other than Outlook Express (since it doesn't support this particular action) - or - I can set up rules server-side at my web host who also handles my email. I'll be looking into which makes more sense for me. Thanks, again, for all the replies -- very helpful!

posted by Independent Scholarship at 7:47 AM on October 14, 2005

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