Knowledgebase Banner Advert

How do mailboxes, forwarders and catch-all forwarders interact?

When an email is received the mail server goes through a series of checks to determine what should happen with the email. The following steps explain what happens if you have more complicated mail setups that involve mailboxes, forwarders and catch-all forwarders. 

- If there is a mailbox for the email address then the email will be delivered to the mailbox

- If there is a forwarder for the email address then the email will be forwarded. This happens even if the email has also been delivered to amailbox

- Only if there is no mailbox and no forwarder for the email address then the mail server looks for a catch-all forwarder. If there is one then the mail is forwarded. 

- If a forwarder or catch-all forwarder is set to forward the email to a different email address on the same domain name then the checks will be made again. This can result in emails being forwarded in a loop, in which case the email would just be rejected. 
  • 1 Users Found This Useful
Was this answer helpful?

Related Articles

I'm getting a 451 Message temporarily deferred message when sending to Yahoo or BT - What does this mean?

Yahoo have extremely strict criteria for accepting email and often defer e-mail if they...

Why is my mail client downloading duplicates of existing emails?

This issue will only occur when downloading mail via POP3. It is not something to...

How do I recover deleted mail in Exchange?

To recover mail that has been removed from the 'Deleted Items' folder in...

I can't send email, but I can receive it.

If you are having trouble sending mail but not receiving it, there is a possibility that...

Why does my email bounce with '550 relay not permitted'?

This usually happens because the nameservers on the affected domain have been...