University of Southampton


Auto email forwarding

Automatic email-forwarding from your university account to external email accounts (for example a Google account) poses a significant security risk for the University, your personal data and intellectual capital.    

To reduce this risk, the University disabled the automatic email-forwarding function for staff. That is because each time an email is automatically forwarded it breaches the University’s cyber security protocol. Removing auto email-forwarding functionality is a key element of the University’s cyber defence.

Requesting an auto email-forwarding

If you need to retain auto email-forwarding functionality, you should raise a ticket to ServiceLine.

Before any action, we will need a business case for your need for email forwarding and details of the address or organisation you wish to forward emails too. We aim to get back to you as soon as possible to determine the next steps.


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Moving my emails back to my University account(s)

You can migrate your emails to your University inbox by using Microsoft Outlook as follows:

  1. Add both your University and email accounts from your external email client (for example Google) to Outlook following the knowledge base article "How to add or delete your university email account using Outlook"
  2. Drag and drop your emails from your external client back to your University account
  3. Once all your emails are in your University account you should:
    • remove the auto-forward rule on your University account
    • export your contacts to Outlook
    • remove the external account from Outlook

If you use a 3rd party cloud storage service (such as Google Drive) you should look to move your data to Microsoft OneDrive.


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Forwarding emails

To external accounts

Individuals are free to forward emails wherever they choose using the interactive forwarding options in their mail client. The University only disabled the automatic (bulk) email-forwarding function from staff accounts.  

This rule applies only to staff profiles. Students can create bulk email-forwarding from their university profiles. 

 What to do if you need an automatic email-forwarding

Staff are only allowed to have an exception if they have a valid business reason with justifications. This must be requested raising a ticket to ServiceLine


From one university account to another university account 

You can set up an automatic forwarding to another university account, though this action should be limited. 

Automatic email forwarding functionality is only being blocked if you are trying to send to a non-University owned email address (such as Gmail).


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Cyber security issues

Microsoft Outlook is an email client, while in the past it has been easier for attackers to take advantage of the integration between Outlook and other Microsoft Office applications (particularly Word and files with macros) this is less common now.

If you are using an iSolutions-managed PC, Microsoft Office will be kept up-to-date automatically for you. Our anti-malware software (Microsoft Defender) also has better integration with Outlook, so malicious attachments are detected and quarantined before they become an issue.

Forwarding all your private email to your university account

If you have more than one account you need to manage, you might find convenient to forward all your emails all to one place.

You can migrate your private emails to your University account(s) using Outlook. We appreciate that this change may mean some change in the way you currently manage your account(s), however it will increase the security of your data.  

Guidance on automatic forwarding from your private account to your university account can be found in the following external sources:


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Related content

How to add or delete your university email account using Outlook

Email plus-addresses in Office 365

ServiceLine – Contact us for further advice and support

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