How Do I Forward Email To An Outside Address in Exchange Server 2003?
On old UNIX systems, it was wonderfully easy to forward all of a user's mail to an outside address: you just created a .forward file, put in the appropriate address and dropped it in the right location, and boom... you were all done.
You can configure a Microsoft Exchange server to do the same thing, but it's a little more cumbersome. Here are the steps you'd take on a server running Exchange Server 2003:
With Exchange 2003, your life will be a little easier if you take all these steps from the Exchange server. Although this task will be performed from the Active Directory Users and Computers management console, some of these steps require DLLs that are installed as part of the Exchange System Manager.
First, you'll need to create a mail-enabled contact:
- Open the "Active Directory Users and Computers" tool. Expand the organization, highlight the "Users" folder, and right-click; from the pop-up menu, select "New, Contact."
- In the "New Object - Contact" window, choose a name for the contact and click Next. It's a good idea to use a standard naming convention for all of these contacts; that makes them easier to identify at a glance. By using the same prefix for each alias, such as "ExternalALincoln" or "ExternalGWashington," they'll be grouped together within the ADUC snap-in. (See Figure 1, below.)
- At the next window, make sure the checkbox for "Create and Exchange e-mail address" is checked, and hit the "Modify..." button. Next, choose "SMTP Address" as the address type, then enter the appropriate email address and click "OK." Click "Next," and finally, "Finish." (See Figure 2.)
The contact has now been created; the next step is to configure mail forwarding.
- In the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in, double-click on the user whose mail you want to forward.
- Click the "Exchange General" tab, then click "Delivery Options."
- In the section for the forwarding address, check the "Forward To" radio button, then click the "Modify" button.
- Enter the alias of the mail-enabled contact you've created, and hit the "Check Names" button. If everything is working correctly, the name will appear underlined once the server has resolved it. (See Figure 3.) Sometimes you might need to wait a moment for the recipient service to update its list. If the name can't immediately be resolved, try again in a couple minutes. Also, you might need to modify the type of objects you want to find. (See Figure 4.)
- If you'd like, you can also check the box to "Deliver messages to both forwarding address and mailbox." Click "OK" on each of the screens, and you're done.
One other suggestion: you might not want the mail-enabled contact to appear in your organization's Exchange address books. To hide the address, open the contact within the Active Directory console and go the the "Exchange Advanced" tab. Check the box that says "Hide from Exchange address lists." (See Figure 5.)
There is also a method for configuring forwarding using only a contact object, without requiring the creation of a mailbox. In the early days of Exchange 2003, Microsoft's website included a disclaimer noting that the method was not officially supported. Now, however, the disclaimer is gone, so presumably it's all just peachy. Microsoft's page describing this method is in KB article 555187, "Configure mail forwarding by using only a Contact object."
The basic procedure is:
1. Create a contact.
2. Assign an alias. (These steps are the same as above.)
3. Add the external address as the primary email address.
4. Add the internal email address as the secondary email address. (You may need to wait a couple minutes for the recipient list to be updated before you can create the secondary address.)