How to Enable External Forwarding in Microsoft 365

How to Enable External Forwarding in Microsoft 365

A few weeks ago, I was experiencing problems with my helpdesk and I didn’t even know it.

Apparently, Microsoft enabled this on every tenant. That’s why if you need mail to be forwarded, you have to enable external forwarding first in Microsoft 365.

This setting was placed by default since most companies have restrictions over automatically forwarded messages to recipients outside the organization. Email forwarding is helpful.

But as you may know already, it also poses a security risk as you might disclose confidential information. However, if you need to enable external forwarding, it’s actually super easy.

Here’s how:

Enable automatic forwarding for all mailboxes

To start, visit your Security and Compliance portal for Microsoft 365.

Once there, head over to “Threat management” and then to “Policy”.

On the Policy page, scroll down a little bit and click on “Anti-spam”.

How to enable automatic forwarding for all mailboxes

Then, expand the “Outbound spam filter policy” options by clicking the down arrow and click on the “Edit policy” box.

How to edit outbound spam filter policy

Lastly, expand the options for “Automatic forwarding” and change the option to “On – Forwarding is enabled”.

How to enable the automatic forwarding option

Don’t forget to click “Save” after you made the changes.

Enable automatic forwarding for individual mailboxes

You can also enable automatic external forwarding for individual mailboxes.

To do so, simply go back to the “Anti-spam settings”. But this time, click on the “Create an outbound policy” box.

How to create a new outbound policy

Then, give your new filter policy a name (and a description, if you like).

Let’s name this new policy “Allow external forwarding for individual mailboxes”.

Then, same as before, expand the “Automatic forwarding” setting and click on the “On – Forwarding is enabled” option.

How to add a new outbound spam filter policy

Right after that, expand the “Applied to” setting. Then, click on the “Add a condition” box.

On the left side, select “Sender is” and then, add a tag (email addresses) that you want to apply the new policy on. If you click on the tag form, the system will provide you with the registered email addresses.

How to enable email forwarding on select mailboxes

Don’t forget to click “Save” once you’re done.

What to do if it doesn’t work

There may be instances that enabling the external forwarding settings will not work. This may be due to other rules or spam policies in your Microsoft 365 tenant designed to further enhance your outbound spam filtering.

If this is the case, you should reach out to your Microsoft 365 support and ask for assistance in finding out the root cause on why your email forwarding is being blocked.

About Ryan

As the Principal Solutions Architect at Mr. SharePoint, I help companies of all sizes better leverage the Modern Workplace and Digital Process Automation investments.

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