How to Forward an Email in Gmail: A Step-by-Step Guide

Forwarding emails is a common task in Gmail, whether you need to share an important message with a colleague, send a document to a client, or simply pass along useful information. Gmail makes forwarding emails a straightforward process, and in this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to ensure you can easily forward emails to others.

Open Gmail:

Open your web browser and navigate to the Gmail website.

Log in to your Gmail account if you’re not already signed in.

Locate the Email to Forward:

In your Gmail inbox, locate the email you want to forward. Click to open it.

Start Forwarding:

With the email open, you’ll find the forwarding options at the top of the email. Look for the “Forward” button, which usually appears as an arrow pointing right.

Click the “Forward” button. A new email composition window will appear with the selected email attached.

Enter Recipient(s):

In the “To” field of the new email composition window, enter the email address of the recipient(s) to whom you want to forward the email. You can forward the email to one or multiple recipients by separating their email addresses with commas.

Add a Message (Optional):

You have the option to add a message along with the forwarded email. In the email composition window, you’ll see a space for a message. Type any additional information or context you want to include.

Review and Send:

Before sending the forwarded email, take a moment to review the recipient(s), message (if added), and the attached email itself.

Once you’re satisfied with everything, click the “Send” button to forward the email to the chosen recipient(s).


Gmail will confirm that the email has been sent, and you’ll see a notification at the bottom-right corner of your screen confirming the sent email.

Forwarding Multiple Emails:

Gmail allows you to forward multiple emails at once. To do this, select the emails you want to forward by checking the checkboxes next to them in your inbox. Then click the “Forward” button. Gmail will create a new email with the selected emails attached as individual messages.

Include Original Attachments:

When you forward an email in Gmail, the original email’s attachments are included by default. However, if you want to exclude or add attachments, you can do so by clicking the paperclip icon in the composition window to attach additional files or by removing attachments you don’t want to forward.

Formatting and Inline Images:

Gmail retains the formatting and inline images of the original email when you forward it. This ensures that the forwarded email appears as it did when you received it. You can also format your added message as needed within the composition window.

Forwarding as an Attachment:

Sometimes, instead of forwarding an email inline, you might want to send it as an attachment. To do this, click the three vertical dots (more options) at the top-right corner of the email you’re viewing, and select “Forward as attachment.” This attaches the selected email as a .eml file, which the recipient can open and view.

Create Filters for Automatic Forwarding:

If you frequently need to forward specific types of emails to the same recipient(s), consider creating filters in Gmail. Filters allow you to automatically forward emails that meet certain criteria (e.g., emails from a particular sender or with specific keywords) to a designated email address. To set up filters, go to Gmail Settings > See all settings > Filters and Blocked Addresses.

Bcc (Blind Carbon Copy):

If you’re forwarding an email to multiple recipients, consider using the Bcc field instead of the To or Cc fields for privacy. Bcc hides the email addresses of other recipients from each other, ensuring that they cannot see who else received the forwarded email.

Reply vs. Forward:

It’s essential to understand the difference between forwarding an email and replying to it. Replying keeps the email within the same conversation thread, while forwarding creates a new email with the original content attached. Use each option appropriately depending on the context of your communication.

Review Your Sent Items:

After forwarding an email, it’s a good practice to check your “Sent” folder to ensure that the email was sent correctly and to the intended recipients. This is especially important when forwarding important documents or information.

Mobile Forwarding:

If you use the Gmail mobile app, the process for forwarding emails is similar. Open the email, tap the three-dot menu icon, and select “Forward.” You can then enter the recipient’s email address and any additional message before sending.

Send Emails at a Specific Time:

Gmail now allows you to schedule the forwarding of emails for a later time. After composing the forwarded email, click the small arrow next to the “Send” button, then select “Schedule send.” Choose a date and time when you want the email to be sent.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts:

For power users, Gmail offers keyboard shortcuts that can significantly speed up the email forwarding process. Make sure keyboard shortcuts are enabled in your Gmail settings (Settings > General > Keyboard shortcuts) and learn some handy shortcuts like “F” for forwarding.

Remove Email Signatures and Irrelevant Content:

When forwarding emails, consider whether the original email’s signature or other content is necessary. Sometimes, it’s more concise and professional to remove extraneous information before forwarding to maintain clarity.

Set Up Auto-Forwarding:

If you regularly need to forward emails to another email address (e.g., for work-related purposes), you can set up automatic email forwarding. Go to Gmail Settings > See all settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP to configure this feature. You can even choose to keep a copy of forwarded emails in your Gmail account.

Consider Security and Privacy:

Be mindful of the sensitivity of the information you’re forwarding. If you’re sharing confidential or sensitive content, consider using encryption or secure sharing methods. Gmail offers a confidential mode that allows you to set expiration dates for forwarded emails and require recipients to enter a verification code to access them.

Mobile Forwarding with Gestures:

On the Gmail mobile app, you can use gestures for quick actions. Swipe an email left or right to access options like forwarding. This can save time when managing emails on the go.

Keep an Organized Inbox:

After forwarding an email, consider organizing your inbox by archiving or labeling emails you’ve forwarded. This helps you maintain a clean and clutter-free inbox and makes it easier to find important emails later.

Forwarding from Multiple Accounts:

If you manage multiple email accounts through Gmail, you can easily forward emails from one account to another. Just make sure you’re logged into the correct account when forwarding or use the “Add another email address” option in Gmail settings to consolidate your emails.

Use Filters for Selective Forwarding:

Gmail’s filters are versatile tools that can help you automatically forward specific types of emails to designated recipients. For instance, you can create a filter to forward emails from a specific sender or with certain keywords directly to your team’s shared email address.

Combine Forwarding with Labels:

If you receive emails related to different projects or categories, consider combining forwarding with Gmail labels. You can create labels for specific projects and set up filters to automatically apply those labels to relevant incoming emails. Then, you can forward all emails with a particular label to the corresponding team or colleague.

Keep Track of Forwarded Emails:

It’s essential to maintain a record of emails you’ve forwarded, especially for reference or tracking purposes. You can use Gmail’s search functionality by searching for the forwarded email’s subject, sender, or recipient to quickly locate these emails.

Use Gmail Add-Ons and Extensions:

There are several Gmail add-ons and extensions available that can enhance your forwarding experience. For example, you can install extensions that enable you to schedule emails for forwarding at specific times or even integrate with project management tools to streamline your workflow.

Forward with Inline Comments:

When forwarding an email with multiple recipients or for collaborative purposes, you can add inline comments to provide context or highlight specific sections of the forwarded message. This helps recipients quickly understand the email’s significance.

Automatically Notify Recipients:

Gmail allows you to set up automatic notifications when an email is forwarded. When composing the forwarded email, click the three-dot menu icon (More options) and select “Notify people.” This sends an automated email to the recipients, informing them of the forwarded message.

Mobile Forwarding Options:

On the Gmail mobile app, you can choose whether to forward an email as an attachment or inline when you tap the “Forward” option. This flexibility is handy when you need to decide how the forwarded email will appear to the recipient.

Keep an Eye on Storage Space:

Remember that forwarded emails with large attachments can consume storage space in your Gmail account. Be mindful of your account’s storage limits, especially if you frequently forward emails with large attachments. You can purchase additional storage if needed.

Notify Original Senders (When Appropriate):

In certain situations, it may be courteous to notify the original sender that you’ve forwarded their email to someone else, especially if you’re sharing their information or insights. This helps maintain transparency and trust in your communication.

By implementing these additional tips and techniques, you can make the most of Gmail’s forwarding capabilities, whether you’re streamlining your workflow, collaborating with colleagues, or managing multiple email accounts. Gmail’s versatility and feature-rich platform can be tailored to meet your specific email forwarding needs effectively.