Office 365 Auto-Forwarding to External Recipients No Longer Allowed

Microsoft announced a change in July 2020 about changing the default outbound mail policy to no longer allow automatic forwarding to external recipients. This affects both the mailbox-level policy auto-forwarding as well as individual inbox rules.


Why was this change made?

Automated external email forwarding is a tactic attackers use to exfiltrate data out of an organization. To counter that, Microsoft is updating the default outbound anti-spam policy to prevent forwarding to external recipients.

Who does this affect?

This change affects anyone using Office 365 email that currently has an auto-forwarder or inbox rule configured to forward to an external (non-Elon) address.

What will happen to the auto-forwarding rules I have in place now?

Any auto-forwarding rules on mailboxes will cease to function after September 01, 2020.  Senders to these mailboxes will receive a non-delivery notification if their messages match a forward rule to an external (non-Elon) address.

Does this affect sending/receiving from students in Gmail?

Students with primary email in Gmail are not affected by this change.

Can I setup forwarders to Elon addresses?

Yes.  This will remain unaffected. You may still auto-forward to an individual, shared mailbox, distribution group, or listserv if you so choose as long as it is managed by Elon.

Can I create an inbox rule to forward to a personal account?

No.  This is not permitted.  While Outlook/OWA will not expressly prohibit the creation of a forwarding rule to an external recipient, the rule will not function.  Furthermore, IT staff will routinely follow up on external forwarding rule creation as part of a standard information security response.

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Article ID: 124872
Tue 1/19/21 4:26 PM
Fri 7/12/24 2:06 PM
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