Removal of e-mail automatic forwarding to external accounts

In line with the University's Information Protection Policy, it is no longer be possible to automatically forward messages from University email accounts to any email address that is external to the organisation. This change has been in place since April 2021.

What change was made?

We have removed the ability to automatically forward messages from your University email account to any email address that is external to the organisation. Any attempt to apply automatic forwarding, or create mailbox rules to automatically forward emails, will result in NDR messages (Non delivery reports).

Why can I not use this functionality?

This is in compliance with the University Data Policy.

When auto-forwarding is turned on, confidential data can be accidentally shared outside the University. It's also common for hackers to auto forward all emails if they get access to an account to find out more about the user or retrieve confidential information.
Therefore, to protect your data, align with GDPR and increase security it has been switched off. 

Please refer to point 40 of the University's Email Security Policy relating to automatic forwarding. 

Do I need to do anything?

If your Leeds University email account currently has auto-forwarding enabled to send to an external email account, then all incoming messages will generate a non-delivery report message. To stop these error reports, you will need to deactivate auto-forwarding and if necessary, also turn off any forwarding rules.

How to turn off Auto-forwarding

  1. Visit in a supported web browser and sign in with your <username>
  2. Click the Outlook app
  3. Click the cog in the top right corner and click View all Outlook Settings                                                   
  4. A new window will be presented. Under Settings, click Email and then the Forwarding tab
  5.  Uncheck the box next to Enable Forwarding
  6.  Click Save

How to remove Auto-forwarding rules

Microsoft guidance on how to delete Auto-forwarding rules

Are there any circumstances where I can forward email messages?

Due diligence must be applied when forwarding messages, as per the Email Security Policy, points 37 through to 42.