Redirect Exchange E-mail to Gmail?
May 5, 2007 9:28 AM   Subscribe

I use Outlook at work since my company uses Exchange Server. They only give us 35MB of e-mail storage. I would love to use my Gmail account to manage all my e-mail however I would need to have my work e-mail forwarded to my Gmail account. I can access my Exchange account via Exchange or IMAP. Are there any automated ways to redirect incoming mail to anothter address?
posted by honorguy7 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are redirectors that work on Outlook to forward mail out. Also, the Exchange server can be configured to run IMAP and even be outward facing to the net.

However, most administrators will not want to do this. Mianly for security and document retention purposes.

Lastly, Gmail will only retrieve mail from POP accounts and currently doesn't work with IMAP. You can either leave your messages on the server, which causes a problem since Gmail won't delete any mail on the server, filling it up quickly. Or pulling the messages completely off the server and into Gmail, at which point none of your work email is actually at work, which may have it's own consequences.

Optimally, Gmail will one day offer an IMAP service where they can manage the server and reflect changes. That would allow (with the Exchange manager's approval) the use of Gmail or any other email program as an interface to Exchange. That however does not solve the 35MB problem you face.

Sorry, no great answers. It's a tough issue.
posted by Argyle at 10:01 AM on May 5, 2007

As Argyle touched on, be sure before you send your work email to any outside account, that this will not piss off your company. This is outside any security your company has set up, is outside any system they have for backups, and allows google to dig through your work email however they please. There are all sorts of ways this might seem unpleasant to your boss or IT manager.
posted by putril at 11:04 AM on May 5, 2007

Can't you just ask for a storage increase? 35mb is quite low by todays standards. Tell your manager/boss about your storage concerns and maybe it will raise the profile enough to either get it increased, or to get more resources pumped into your IT infrastructure.

Most companies would probably prefer to go that direction instead of employees storing it in public email systems (for the reasons mentioned above). Your company may even have policies explicitly stating it.
posted by purephase at 11:20 AM on May 5, 2007

Couple of thoughts (aside from asking the admin for more space - I'd probably try that first):

1. Are Outlook "Rules and Actions" not enough here to set up a rule such as "When an email addressed to me arrives, forward email to account"? Or has the admin removed the ability to do this? Note: Doing this will be fairly obvious and easy to identify if the admin ever checks.

2. Are Outlook Personal or Archive folders not an option here? They store your email on your local drive, rather then online at the Exchange server (so shouldn't make you go over your quota). They don't show up in Outlook Web Access however.

3. If this is a smallish company and Outlook/Exchange is a hassle for them, then Google hosted Gmail for business may be an option you could suggest for them.

4. As others have mentioned a lot of organizations (for very good security reasons!) have a no forwarding policy to prevent staff trying to do exactly what you want to do. If you still decide to do this (even if it is against policy), can I suggest you follow a set of self-imposed security controls (for your own sanity and protection):
- Have a really good Gmail password. Change it periodically inline with your organization's policy. Don't use your work password or username as gmail credentials.
- Create a dedicated Gmail account just for this purpose, so you don't mix and match personal and private email.
- Allows make sure you are hitting rather then (after logging in over HTTPS, Google seems to default to HTTP - at least for me)
- Never use the "store my password" feature in your browser - especially if you login via shared machines (like a home computer)
- Clear your browser cache and history after each session (again especially if using a shared machine)
- Never login to the account from any suspect machines (like at Internet cafes, public kiosks etc.)
- Once you leave the organization - delete all the work email and never log back into the account again (i.e. protect yourself from claims that you were still accessing company email after your employment ended)
posted by inflatablekiwi at 12:05 PM on May 5, 2007

Any folder you create between Outlook Today and Tasks is likely counting against your space allotment. Use a local .pst file and manage your mail there. Once you drag the mail/folders there, it should be off the server. If you have some personal network home drive space and you're not using a laptop, put the .pst file there so it will be backed up. If you are using a laptop, keep the .pst local and back it up monthy at the very least, and absolutley before you go to an airport (theft is more likely than hard drive failure, in my experience.)

/Fully aware that there are Exchange/Outlook implementations that can nullify everything I just said.

//I'd hang you by your toes if I found out you were forwarding your mail to Gmail like you want to do, FWIW.

///Sent items can also count against your space allotment, depending on how your company does things. A lot of people don't think about that.
posted by Cyrano at 10:42 AM on May 6, 2007

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