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Forward G Suite Emails of Past Employees

Uri Nativ | 10 May 2020

G-Suite Gmail BlueWhen employees leave, suspending or deleting their G-Suite account will also remove the email address so received emails could be lost.

You may want to keep an active email inbox of past employees for several reasons:

  1. Customer, prospects and vendors may keep sending emails to this address
  2. You retain the ability to restore passwords to business accounts which only that specific employee had access to

To create email forwarding in G-Suite, you must keep paying for that account.
The following guide shows how to use G-Suite groups to keep email forwarding without keeping the original user account.

Step 1 - Change the Employee Email Address

  1. Go to your G-Suite Google Admin console (admin.google.com)
  2. Find the user you’re off-boarding and whose emails you’d like to keep forwarding.
    In this example we’ll use the employee named Tony Stark with the email address tony@starkindustries.com
  3. Change the employee email to the original email plus a prefix like _past_
    For example, if the employee email address is tony@starkindustries.com then the new email address should be _past_tony@starkindustries.com
  4. When changing an email address, G-Suite automatically creates an alias with the original address.
    Delete the original email alias tony@starkindustries.com

Step 2 - Create a Group to Catch All Emails Sent to the Original Employee Address

  1. In your Google Admin console, navigate to Groups
  2. Create a new group with a name that you can associate with the employee.
    For example Tony Stark Email FWD Group
  3. Set the Group Email to the original email of the employee leaving: tony@starkindustries.com
  4. Enable External with the Publish posts access.
    This is important as you want to receive emails sent from an employee outside your organization

Step 3 - Add Relevant Email Forward Recipients

Once the group is created, add the relevant email addresses of the people who should receive the emails sent to the original employee who has left.
In many cases that would be the manager of the employee or someone from the IT department.

Step 4 - Remove the Old Email Account

You can now suspend or delete the old email account _past_tony@starkindustries.com
Emails sent to tony@starkindustries.com will be sent to the newly created email group. A member of the group will receive the email.

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Tips:

  • Keep constant naming conventions. For example:
    Email prefix for past employees: _past_
    Group names: <Employee Name> Email FWD Group
  • Don't reuse old email address for new employees.

 offboarding, G-Suite, SaaS Ops

Author: Uri Nativ

Co-founder, CPO
Uri Nativ has over 19 years of software engineering experience as both an engineer and a hands-on manager. He founded the Klarna Engineering center in Tel-Aviv, holding the position of VP Engineering & Site Manager. Uri has broad experience building B2B enterprise products from his days at VMWare, EMC, nLayers, and Sanctum.
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