Setting Up Email Catch All on Gmail

If you're using Gmail it's likely you'll need to setup a 'catch-all' for your email address at some point. Here's why & how.

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What is a Catch All?

Have you ever sent an email to someone with a complicated name or domain and had the email bounce back to you? With a catch all email address this would not happen.

If we wanted to send an email to but in our rush to press send we instead sent it to, without a catch-all being setup, this email would be returned as our mail server does not recognise where it should be sent to.

If a catch-all is setup we can tell our mail servers that any emails to an unrecognised email address should be accepted and then sent to a specific person or group inbox.

Do I need a Catch All?

In a word, ideally. Following our reasoning above, if a customer sends you an email but messes up your name then it will still come to you. If you need to authenticate your domain to install your SSL certificate, you'll need a specific address, with a catch-all you don't have to worry.

The beauty of Gmail is that this process is quick and easy to do, once you know where to look.

So what do I need to do?

We'll assume that you have gone through the process of verifying your domain with Google, which is normally covered on your initial GSuite setup.


This article was updated in December 2018 and is correct at the time of writing following a much-needed and long awaited simplification of the catch-all setup.

Step 1:

You'll need to have Admin privileges and then log in to your GSuite Admin. Select Apps > GSuite > Gmail > Default Routing:

Gmail Catch all setup under Admin and Default Routing

Click Add Setting. This activates a pop-up that we'll take step by step.

Step 2:

We want this routing to effect all inbound (to you) emails, so we need to select All Recipients. By default this setting only affects unrecognised email addresses. So this won't affect any other users emails.

Gmail Catch all settings

Step 3:

Now tick the 'Envelope Recipient' option. We can either enter a completely different email address, add a specific user at the current domain or the same user at a different domain. Generally the 2nd option is good enough. Simply enter the relevant details on the required line. For the image above we have added 'YourName@existing-domain' so all emails to unrecognised email addresses for our domain will now be forwarded to YourName@existing-domain.

Step 4:

Keeping scrolling down until you see, '3. Options'. Here we see that we can add address lists or choose which account types to affect. Click the top option: 'Non-recognized addresses'. Almost there...

Step 5:

Now the redirect is set up all we need to do is tell GMail to action the changes by hitting the 'Save' button at the bottom of the page.

If you make a lot of changes at the same time, have a lot of users or delete a lot of routing options then it may take up to an hour for GMail to action those changes.


Remember to test the changes after the 1 hour period is up from a different email address. If the routing does not work, review the steps above or get in touch with GSuite's Support team who will be able to assist.