I bought a domain without webspace and want to forward emails to that domain to my Gmail account. But I don't receive any emails which are send there, not even a return-to-sender-email. I also tried with another email provider and my company's email address.

My hoster supports email forwarding, thus I activated it with the "catch all" option and added my 3 email addresses as target. The domain is configured with www IN CNAME example.rhcloud.com. There is no other configuration yet.

Do I need to add MX entries? Or what else do I need to do?

P.S.: Don't migrate this question to serverfault. They said I'm not allowed to ask questions, because I'm not a sysadmin...

  • A "catch all" email account with forwarding should receive all incoming email and forward it to your target email addresses. If email service is included with your hosting package, the support team there should be able to view mailserver logs to see what's happening with your emails. If you comment or update the question with your domain, your DNS table records will provide some more info, and a test email can be sent to your mailserver to see what response code is received.
    – dan
    Jul 17 '13 at 4:00

I built a free, open-source, encrypted, and private solution at https://github.com/niftylettuce/forward-email. This service does not store logs, it is completely private and simply acts as a proxy. No email is ever stored on the server, it's all proxied in memory to the recipient's mail server (view the source on GitHub if you'd like to learn more about how it works!).

The documentation is hosted at http://forwardemail.net/ and you can configure it with the instructions below.

Replace niftylettuce@gmail.com with the email address you want to forward emails to below:

  1. Set the following DNS MX records on your domain name:
Name/Host/Alias     TTL     Record Type Priority    Value/Answer/Destination
@ or leave blank    3600    MX          10          mx1.forwardemail.net
@ or leave blank    3600    MX          20          mx2.forwardemail.net
  1. Set (and customize) the following DNS TXT records on your domain name:

If you are forwarding all emails from your domain to a specific address:

Name/Host/Alias     TTL     Record Type     Value/Answer/Destination
@ or leave blank    3600    TXT             forward-email=niftylettuce@gmail.com

If you just need to forward a single email address (e.g. hello@niftylettuce.com to niftylettuce@gmail.com; this will also forward hello+test@niftylettuce.com to niftylettuce+test@gmail.com automatically):

Name/Host/Alias     TTL     Record Type     Value/Answer/Destination
@ or leave blank    3600    TXT             forward-email=hello:niftylettuce@gmail.com

If you are forwarding multiple emails, then you'll want to separate them with a comma:

Name/Host/Alias     TTL     Record Type     Value/Answer/Destination
@ or leave blank    3600    TXT             forward-email=hello:niftylettuce@gmail.com,support:niftylettuce@gmail.com

Please note that if you have multiple TXT record lines for forward-email: the service will only read the FIRST listed - please ensure you only have one line.

  1. Set (and customize) the following TXT record for SPF verification for your domain name (this will allow SPF verification to pass):

If you're using a service like AWS Route 53, then edit your existing TXT record and add the following as a new line:

Name/Host/Alias     TTL     Record Type     Value/Answer/Destination
@ or leave blank    3600    TXT             v=spf1 a mx include:spf.forwardemail.net ~all

If you already have a similar line with v=spf1, then you'll need to append include:spf.forwardemail.net right before any existing include:host.com records and before the ~all in the same line (e.g. v=spf1 a mx include:spf.forwardemail.net include:host.com ~all).

  1. Send a test email to confirm it works. Note that it might take some time for your DNS records to propagate.

  2. If you have any issues please visit http://forwardemail.net/ and/or file an issue on GitHub at https://github.com/niftylettuce/forward-email.

  • 9
    It is important to note that all DNS records are public and by this approach, anyone can view your personal gmail address by inspecting your domain's dns records
    – balki
    Aug 13 '18 at 22:01
  • I am adding in support for encrypted TXT records and self-hosted TXT records if you have a lengthy alias list. Follow this GitHub issue github.com/niftylettuce/forward-email/issues/3 or email me at niftylettuce@gmail.com to get notified when it is available. Aug 14 '18 at 23:46
  • 3
    Just an update - encrypted TXT support has been added a few months ago. Apr 19 '20 at 4:59
  • I have just been through three stackexchange sites and multiple web searches and this is the first time anyone has actually spelled this out. my hats off you @niftylettuce !
    – shigeta
    Oct 15 '20 at 20:22
  • Really great project - got up and running in about 5 minutes. This was a big time saver in my case where my domain is on Namecheap but I run my site through CloudFlare - Namecheap's email forwarding only works with their default DNS and CloudFlare doesn't offer email forwarding, so Namecheap now uses CF DNS which uses ForwardEmail.net MX/TXT records and it works great. Thanks for making this! Nov 11 '20 at 12:52

You will need to add an MX record to your domains DNS. If you're using your Registrar to do the email forwarding, you'll add their e-mail servers for the MX records. Without an MX record, mail servers have no idea which servers to send the mail to.

  • +1 This is the right answer. Checking OP's DNS records it is clear that there are problems with the current MX settings. Jul 17 '13 at 8:47

Simple solution: Use http://improvmx.com/ and then set your MX records and you are done.

  • 4
    I am a bit worried about privacy there. There are no explanation or guarantees given on the improvmx.com website, even no contact address. I would be worried about what they do with all the mail streaming through their servers.
    – Vacilando
    Jan 21 '17 at 12:34
  • I've tested this option this week and it didn't work. Maybe the service is down?
    – Puck
    Dec 16 '17 at 9:08
  • @Vacilando You might want to try forwardemail.net instead, it's completely open-source, encrypted, and privacy-focused. Dec 28 '17 at 7:28
  • Looks like they were bought and re-launched in 2019: indiehackers.com/product/improvmx
    – dsturbid
    Feb 4 '20 at 16:26
  • Yes @dailysleaze and the new owners have a history of buying/selling services. Apr 19 '20 at 5:00

Email Forwarding works only if your First Email ID is working perfect. Then according to Setting, Email is Forwarded to Second Email ID.

To enable you Mail Service, you do not need Webspace or any hosting package. Just login to Domain Control Panel and then update some Name Records their.

Google, Microsoft and some other Mail Service Provider Free Email Services for Custom Domain. For Managing google does better task but it is paid. While Microsoft Handles Full Controls to User but is Free for 500 users and best service with All Microsoft Products without Limitations.

For Google Mail Service for your own Domain:

sign up here: https://www.google.com/a/signup/?enterprise_product=GOOGLE.EDU&hl=en&source=gafe-homepage-canvas-en This is education edition from Google which allow 10 users Free. You can choose other Paid also.

Then Login to your Domain Control Panel and update records as described in Support:http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=140034

For Microsoft Mail or Windows Live Mail Service:

sign up here: https://domains.live.com/Signup/SignupDomain.aspx

And change Records as shown in Domain Control Panel. Then you will find your Mail Working within 6-12 hours of span.

Good Luck.

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