How to Create a Free Forwarding Address in Google Workspace (Without Paying for a New User)

Robert BrandlCai Ellis

By Robert & Cai

forwarding address in google workspace

At Tooltester, we use Google Workspace for our company emails. We've also published a full review and pricing guide for Google Workspace.

For a long time, we were even able to take advantage of the legacy free plan, which they now closed down unfortunately. Now we have to pay for every user, and that's why we recently looked into how we could reduce that user number to save costs.

One of the best ways is to take advantage of free forwarding email addresses. So without creating a new paid user, you can still create a new email address. This email address won't have its own account, but will rather just forward emails.

It lets you forward emails either to an existing email address within your Workspace account or even to an external email address (e.g. @hotmail.com, @gmail.com).

Setting this up is everything but straightforward. It looks like Google made this complicated on purpose. Obviously, they don't earn anything from free forwarding email addresses.

But fortunately, I was able to figure out how it works. Because even Google's help guides are very confusing.

Setting up a forwarding email address in Google Workspace

  1. Login to your Google Workspace Admin area

google workspace admin


2. Go to Apps > Gmail > Default Routing


google workspace gmail


3. Click on: “Add Another Rule

Where it says email address, enter the new email address you want to forward. Ignore the rest of the fields.

google workspace rule


4. Where it says, “Add more recipients“, add the email address, which is going to receive the forwarded emails.

google workspace recipients

Make sure you select the option: “Perform this action only on non-recognized addresses“. This simply prevents the forwarding rule to apply in case you ever create a paid user account for this email address.

Please note that the forwarding probably won't work immediately. When I tested it, it took a few hours until it started to work.

I hope this tutorial will help reduce your monthly email marketing bill!


Hopefully, our guide was helpful! Let me know if it worked for you in the comments! 

The authors

Learn more about us

Robert Brandl

Founder and CEO

Hello! I'm Robert, an email marketing expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. After honing my skills by serving major corporations working for an agency, I founded EmailTooltester as a passion project to help small and medium-sized businesses. My goal is to assist you in maximizing email marketing's potential.

Cai Ellis

SEO Manager

Hi! My name is Cai, and I've worked in digital marketing for many years. More recently, I've been concentrating on email marketing, through testing tools and writing guides. And I've also picked up a bit of SEO know-how along the way! If you've got questions about these or any related subjects, I'll be happy to help!

Learn more about us

Our Methodology

This article has been written and researched following our EmailTooltester methodology.

Our Methodology