I am trying to set up automatic forwarding of specific e-mails to an external address.


  • Company A (e.g. me) is responsible for a certain function at large company B.
  • One of the communication channels is an e-mail account at company B (service@b.com).
  • To enable a better service, we want to automatically forward certain e-mails from service@b.com to an issue-tracking tool at company A (issues@a.com)
  • Company B use Exchange 2007 as a mail-server
  • Handling of the mail-server is handled by company C
  • Due to security restrictions it is not allowed to create Outlook rules to forward e-mail from service@b.com directly to an external account (issues@a.com)
  • Due to security policies it is not allowed to forward all e-mails from service@b.com to issues@a.com (only certain types of e-mails should be forwarded)

Current attempts:

  • Create rules in Outlook for service@a.com failed due to security restrictions above. As far as I know, it is not possible to configure Exchange to allow external forwarding only for a selected account (it is not an option to enable this for all of company B)
  • We setup a server-side forward from a new e-mail account (service-issues@b.com) to issues@a.com. This works when manually sending/forwarding mails to service-issues@b.com, but it fails (silently not forwarding e-mails) for automatic forwarding from service@b.com (e.g. an Outlook rule forwards selected e-mails from service@b.com to service-issues@b.com, but for some reason those e-mails are not forwarded to issues@a.com)


  • Any idea why the server-side forward does not work when the e-mails are forwarded using rules on service@b.com?
  • Are there other options in how we could achieve a selective forwarding of e-mails from service@b.com to issues@a.com?
  • So you have set up a transport rule to forward the emails and it isn't working? Can you provide the rule details with Get-TransportRule <GUID or transport rule name> | Format-List ? – Jeremy May 30 '12 at 15:54
  • I suggested the following instructions for the server-side rule: msexchange.org/tutorials/mf015.html. I do not have access to the server myself, so I cannot execute the suggested command unfortunately. The forwarding works as set up, but only for e-mails sent manually to service-issues@b.com, not for e-mails auto-forwarded using Outlook-rules from service@b.com – erikxiv May 30 '12 at 17:55
  • Ah so what you did is a little different. I would recommend trying an Exchange Transport Rule. The CopyTo or RedirectMessage actions might accomplish what you are looking for. Intro to transport rules: msexchange.org/tutorials/… List of available transport rule actions: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998315.aspx – Jeremy May 30 '12 at 18:53
  • @Jeremy Could you formulate your thoughs as an answer, and explain how I could use Exchange Transport Rules to solve my problem? E.g. I guess that I could replace my "Outlook rules" to "Transport rules" on the Exchange server, in which case the restrictions on forwarding to external addresses does not apply? – erikxiv May 31 '12 at 21:15

You want to use Exchange transport rules on Company B's Exchange server to accomplish selective forwarding to your email address. There are a variety of conditions ("predicates") that can be used to selectively match the email (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd638183 for details), and there are several actions available - the RedirectMessage or CopyTo actions might be what you are looking for. The Exchange admin at Company B must implement this transport rule. It should bypass the policy that Outlook is not allowed to automatically forward externally, because this rule is created in Exchange, not in Outlook.

This article (http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/transport-rules-exchange-server-2007.html) gives a good overview on how to create these transport rules.

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Answer question 1:

The feature "allow automatic forward" must be enabled on the Exchange Server by the server administrator. So this is "probably" the problem.

Answer question 2:

Probably the best option you have is to contact Company C and work together with them for a solution. In any case do not try to circumvent your company restriction / security policies, people (will) get fired for that.

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  • :) The security people are part of the discussion, so we're not trying to circumvent the policies. We're trying to find a solution that satisfies both practical and security concerns. – erikxiv May 29 '12 at 16:23

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