Email Forwarding

Last updated: March 29, 2024
Audience: All UW

Email forwarding advisory — You may have received an email from UW this week alerting you about potential email forwarding issues with your address. Please note:

  • We are not disabling email forwarding for anyone
  • However, email forwarding is becoming less reliable for all users across all platforms because major commercial email providers are enforcing stringent security measures. UW cannot ensure that forwarded email will reach intended recipients
  • If you have been using to forward email to your personal email accounts, these security measures will make it very difficult for UW to reliably forward your messages
  • If you have been using your email to forward your email to a personal account, particularly to Google, Yahoo or Apple, we recommend that you end the practice of forwarding your email through
  • Instead, take steps to reach out to your email contacts and give them your personal email account
  • Email coming directly from a UW domain will not be impacted
  • Please, navigate to the Q&A below as we answer other questions from UW community

The University of Washington is implementing email authentication for outgoing mail. Starting in April 2024, each email domain and subdomain under the UW umbrella will need to implement DMARC, SPF, and DKIM email authentication to ensure that the email they send is deliverable. As a result of this change, email forwarding from UW email account will not be delivered if the email is coming from an external address, flows through the UW Email Infrastructure, and is then forwarded to an external address. Internal UW email will still forward to an external address correctly.

When these security standards begin to be enforced, these vendors will begin blocking non-UW email sent to your (, and email addresses.

Why is this happening?

The security standard that Google, Yahoo and Apple are beginning to enforce will increase protection for individuals and institutions from malicious emails that seek to illegally obtain private and confidential information. The UW email forwarding service for many years allowed you to use your email address with anyone. However, this service is not compatible with modern email security standards, and this is the reason why you need to use a non-UW email address with non-UW entities.

Accounts eligible for UW Email services

If you are eligible for a UW email account, please switch to using that UW email account. If you are a current student, UW Medicine Workforce member, faculty or staff at UW, you are eligible for a UW email account.

Special eligibility process

Additionally, access to UW-IT services (including email) may be provisioned to UW NetIDs belonging to UW affiliates who are performing work on behalf of or in support of UW and its faculty, staff and students. Use of these services must follow UW’s Appropriate Use policies and may be subject to public records and other compliance-related disclosures.

 Accounts Not-eligible for UW Email Services

If you are not eligible for a UW email account but you have been forwarding email from a bank, a health care provider or other accounts to an existing UW email account, you’ll have to make a change. You will need to contact these non-UW entities and provide them with a different email address to reach you. This might also include individuals, associations, publications, or organizations that are sending you email to your current UW email address.

You can see where email is coming from in your email account by checking the email headers. Every single Internet e-mail message is made up of two parts: the header and the message body of the email. Every single email you send or receive on the Internet contains an Internet Header. A full and valid e-mail header provides a detailed log of the network path taken by the message between the mail sender and the mail receiver(s) (email servers).

If you have published any scholarly papers, please consider changing your online research profile for sites like this –

Helpful links:  Choose an email service

What is going on with my email anyway? Q & A

What is going on with my email anyway? Q & A?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves! UW is taking action on email forwarding but no decisions have been made on when to end email forwarding from UW email domains for former students, faculty and staff. However, if you have been using a address such as, and, read this Q&A to help you answer some of your questions.

Not quite! Tens of millions of people around the world continue to use email effectively, and it’s an important tool of communication at the UW. However, email security issues continue to plague all of us — from nuisance ads to the more dangerous spam and phishing missives that make it past email defenses.

Email forwarding in particular remains a major security risk and its use is being widely discouraged. Email forwarding is not as easy as it looks. A complex web of different standards, policies and practices rules the email forwarding world, and those differences have created opportunities for those who seek to exploit its weaknesses.

Email forwarding has been identified as a weak link in email security for quite a while. What is different this time is that three major email providers (Yahoo, Google and Apple, but let’s call them the Big Three in this document to keep things short) are setting into motion stringent email security policies to reduce spam, spoofing and phishing. Other email providers are expected to follow suit. This is going to have a major impact on email forwarding.

Starting April 1, these email providers will gradually begin to enforce several security-related requirements for messages sent to their accounts. These requirements include proper authentication and domain records for the sending domain and secure transmission connections. But they also have other rules that include low spam rates for the sender and proper email formatting and headers, among other requirements.

Depends on how you use email. Let’s look at some scenarios that reflect email use at the UW.

Any unit, department or another UW group that sends bulk email to more than 5,000 recipients from a domain or subdomain under the UW umbrella will need to meet the latest requirements. This is also true for any group that uses third-party email or marketing vendors, such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact. Check out this IT Connect guide to help get your email into compliance.

Any UW retiree who set their email address to automatically forward to an external email address is impacted by this change. However, this change only affects messages sent to your email address from an external, non-UW sender. Messages sent to your address from a UW entity or system will continue to forward to your personal email address without disruption. Unfortunately, an email sent to your address from a non-UW entity or sender will not be forwarded to your personal email address. If you only use your email address to receive messages sent from UW individuals or systems, no action is required. If you have external contacts who use your UW email address or have that address recorded in their systems, our best advice is that you contact them directly and provide them with your personal email address so that they can email you at that address directly rather than routing the email through UW’s email forwarding system.

Your email is important to us. We are implementing email authentication for outgoing UW email to ensure it makes it to your inbox. Email is a key communication tool for our UW community, used to communicate with students or to alert staff and faculty about updates in Workday. We are working hard to stop phishing, scams, and virus-laden emails from ever reaching your email box, while letting the important stuff fly right in.