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Forwarded External Emails Don’t Display Sender’s Address

After migrating thousands of mailboxes from Exchange 2007 to 2010, only recently came to my attention a bug in the whole process.

Let’s say we have a user (call it UserA) that has a rule to automatically forward every e-mail received to his assistant (UserB):

Using the scenario above, with Exchange 2007 when an external e-mail is received by UserA and forwarded automatically by the Outlook rule to UserB, this will receive the e-mail like this:

Note that the e-mail address of the external recipient is displayed.

However, with Exchange 2010 the same thing doesn’t seem to happen!… Running the exact same test with both users now on Exchange 2010, UserB receives the e-mail like:

Note that my external e-mail address is not displayed so UserB has no way of replying to the sender!


There are two main workarounds for this:

  1. Update the Outlook rule to use one of the following actions instead: “forward it to people or distribution list as an attachment” or “redirect it to people or distribution list“:

However (1) the e-mail will be received as an attachment which means it is an extra step for UserB to read the e-mail and (2) the e-mail will be received by UserB as having been sent directly from the external sender to him/her, when it was actually sent to UserA

2. At the Exchange level, enable the auto forward feature from UserA to UserB (make sure “Deliver message to both forwarding address and mailbox” is also selected so that both UserA and UserB receive the e-mail):


However this only allows you to specify one user and although the e-mail received has the sender’s e-mail address, it looks different:

For me, this is the best workaround for overcome this issue, but I guess it’s all up to the user how he/she prefers it.

You could specify a second user by using the Shell instead and a little “cheat”:

Set-Mailbox UserA -ForwardingAddress -DeliverToMailboxAndForward $true

Reason for This?

It turns out this only happens for mailboxes migrated from Exchange 2007 to 2010. If a mailbox is created on 2010, it works as expected with the sender’s e-mail address being displayed!

According to Microsoft, this issue was recorded as a bug and was closed as “Won’t Fix“, so I don’t expect it to get fixed any time soon…

It is hard to believe that with so many costumers and millions of mailboxes migrated from Exchange 2007 to 2010 all over the world, Microsoft is not planning to fix this, so I am still trying to find out if this is actually the case.

At the time of this post, I am running Exchange 2010 SP2 RU2.

Nuno Mota

Team @MSExchangeGuru

11 Responses to “Forwarded External Emails Don’t Display Sender’s Address”

  1. Paul Cunningham Says:

    Is it the rule itself getting mangled somehow during migration? In other words, if you remove and recreate the rule post-migration does that fix the problem?

  2. Nuno Mota Says:

    Hi Paul,

    It doesn’t seem to be the rule itself. I have created and re-created identical rules in my own mailbox (as well as on other migrated mailboxes) and always with the same result. When my own mailbox got migrated I didn’t even have any forward/redirect rule!

    But it is confirmed: there will be no changes to the code causing this issue. It was raised to Microsoft as a Critical Design Change Request and some Risk Assessment was conducted to the code changes needed. However, it became apparent that Out of Office would be made unstable if this area of code was updated… This is why the Change Request was rejected.
    Something to keep in mind in future migrations!…

  3. xunyang Says:

    the setting on the exchange server will cause an interesting scenario that when usera send a message to userb who is been set forward all email to userc, if a ndr generated due to userc mailbox is full, you guess what? usera will receive the NDR said “oh, your message sent to userc is fail, please try to send it again”. at this scenario, usera might be crazy due to he never send the email to userc and he might raise case to helpdesk “my pc have virus come and fix this” or “need i find a doctor or the email system need one?” and make the whole IT department discuss how to deal with such case. 🙂

  4. Nuno Mota Says:

    Hi Xunyang,

    Really?! That’s bad… Luckily never faced that situation! Does that happen both with Outlook forwarding rules as well as forwarding on Exchange side?

    Regards, Nuno

  5. xunyang Says:

    not yet. it looks like that the outlook forwarding rule will get the ndr send to userb not usera. So bacially, ask end user always using outlook rule or more accurate using the user rule instead of system rule should be a good idea.

  6. Ron Floyd Says:

    Actually this is what I want and cannot make it happen. I created a computer support mailbox/user and then created a computersupportgrp (email enabled group) in exchange 2007. My goal is for users of the company to send a computer problem/request to computer support and then have it forward to the appropriate people who are in the group. So in EMC, mail flow, clicked the forward mail option and put in computersupportgrp. It works but the email comes to the group members from the original sender, not a forward from computer support. That is not what I want – I need it to be a FW: message from Computer support.

    How to accomplish?

  7. Anthony Kallassy Says:

    Hello Nuno,

    Do you have any update on this issue? Is there any update rollup from Microsoft side or other solutions?

    Many Thanks,


  8. Nuno Mota Says:

    Hi Anthony,
    Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, this bug is still closed as “Won’t Fix“ and there are no plans to address it…

    Best regards,

  9. Eric Says:

    Hi there,

    this bug still exists on Exchange 2013… is “won’t fix” valid for Exchange 2013 too?


  10. Basiit Khan Says:

    I have a special case, in my scenario user B has also forwarding enabled by exchange to an external email address, i am getting all emails to my external email address which are received in User B mail box,
    If User A forwarding enabled by exchange server then User B and external address of User B receive email successfully.
    But If User A enables forwarding through outlook (not from exchange server) user B receive the forwarded email in exchange mailbox but its not further forwarding to external email address. waiting for its workaround.


  11. jian fang Says:

    Same thing happen to us in office 365 online version, shared mail boxes used for forwarding and will not forward actual sender’s email address, changed to method one “as attachment”, it seems working, hope microsoft will fix this bug.

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