The Complete Guide to Forwarding Gmail with Photos

Email forwarding allows you to send on an existing email to new recipient(s) without any extra effort. This saves tremendous time versus copying content manually or retyping everything.

With robust support for seamlessly forwarding single or multiple emails, Gmail makes it simple to retain and redirect messages as needed.

This definitive guide covers how to:

  • Forward individual Gmail messages
  • Bulk forward multiple selected emails
  • Set up automated forwarding for all emails
  • Maintain photos & attachments when forwarding
  • Follow proper email forwarding etiquette

So whether you need to share an important mail, collaboration thread, photo delivery or any other message with colleagues, friends or family, this guide has you covered!

A Brief History of Email Forwarding

Email forwarding capabilities evolved in early email clients on ARPANET, back in 1971. Messages could be sent on to single secondary recipients.

Over the next few decades, support grew for:

  • Bulk forwarding multiple messages
  • Automating forwarding to preset addresses
  • Retaining original attachments and media
  • Adding extra recipients (CC, BCC)

Today, seamless email forwarding is considered an essential productivity feature. It helps you easily:

  • Redirect messages without retyping them
  • Share received correspondence without additional steps
  • Distribute emails to wider audiences as needed
  • Save storage space versus attachments

Key Benefits of Forwarding Emails:

  • Convenience: One-click way to redirect emails without manual efforts
  • Speed: Fast way to share received communications
  • Retention: Forwards maintain all original content including attachments
  • Productivity: Helps manage emails better without needing to copy-paste

Now let‘s see how to get the most out of email forwarding in Gmail.

Forwarding a Single Email in Gmail

Forwarding Individual Messages on Gmail Website

Gmail makes it extremely simple to forward received emails to any other contact:

1Open Gmail inbox and navigate to the message to forward
2Click Forward option located beside Reply button
3Enter recipient email address(es) in To field
4Customize forwarded email content as needed
5Send email to complete forwarding


  • Instantly redirects existing messages without retyping
  • Retains all original email content incl. attachments
  • Saves to drafts for later editing or sending

This method works seamlessly whether on a laptop, PC or any device with web access.

When is single email forwarding useful?

  • Sharing an important update from boss/client with colleagues
  • Sending travel or lodging reservations to family
  • Redirecting event invitations to friends
  • Forwarding any message you received to relevant contacts

Forwarding Single Gmail Messages on Mobile

The Gmail apps for iOS and Android make forwarding individual emails just as easy.

1In Gmail app, open message to forward
2Tap Forward icon at bottom or top right
3Edit forwarded email content if needed
4Enter recipient email address(es)
5Send to complete forwarding

The mobile apps provide the same seamless experience as desktop while letting you forward emails on-the-go. The convenience makes it perfect for:

  • Sharing alerts or updates with colleagues instantly
  • Sending listings or offers to clients during meetings
  • Redirect important emails from anywhere without logging into laptop

Pro Tip: Use swipe gestures in mobile Gmail inbox to quickly forward emails without opening each one!

Forwarding Multiple Gmail Emails

Having to forward several emails one by one can get tedious. Gmail makes it simple to select and forward multiple emails together in one flow:

Using Default Checkbox Method

Gmail‘s checklist mode offers an integrated way to multi-forward emails.


  1. Select messages to forward using checkboxes
  2. Click Forward above inbox
  3. Compose forwarding email
  4. Enter recipient(s)
  5. Send to forward selected emails

This helps forward different messages to the same people or threads to relevant contacts while retaining original content.

Using Browser Extension

The Multi Forward Chrome extension makes bulk forwarding even simpler:

FeatureMulti ForwardStandard Method
Email selectionCheckboxesCheckboxes
Compose screenSingle windowIndividual per email
Recipient entrySingle boxPer email
Save draftSingle draftIndividual drafts
SendOne clickPer email


  • Fewer steps involved
  • Consistent compose window
  • Saves time versus standard method

Use cases:

  • Students forwarding class emails in bulk
  • PR managers sending articles to media contacts
  • Admins redirecting multiple queries together
  • Sales teams sharing leads or reports

Give Multi Forward extension a try for seamless bulk email forwarding!

Setting up Auto-Forwarding in Gmail

For emails you need to regularly forward like project updates, sales reports or newsletters, Gmail allows auto-forwarding:


  1. Go to Settings > Forwarding
  2. Add Forwarding Address
  3. Enter email to forward messages to
  4. Confirm setup
  5. Choose options like marking as read, archiving etc.
  6. Enable auto-forward

Now all incoming emails will automatically redirect to the configured address!

Auto-forwarding helps when:

  • Using multiple accounts for work/personal
  • Switching old accounts slowly
  • Sharing inbox access with assistants
  • Following updates in client projects
  • Backup/storage for important emails

It eliminates the manual effort of selecting and sending emails separately.


  • Not available on iOS/Android app
  • Occasional issues with images/attachments
  • Need to disable when not needed

Overall auto-forward is an indispensable productivity tool for Gmail power users!

Can Forwarded Emails Retain Photos & Files?

Yes, Gmail reliably carries over all attachments, images and files embedded in the original emails when forwarding.

You DON‘T need to:

  • Download each photo/file separately
  • Save media locally before attaching again

The entire original email is retained as is. Simply check for attachments as usual at the bottom of the forwarded message before sending.

According to Google Support, there is no explicit limit on attachment sizes for forwards. However emails over 25 MB (including previous chains/history) may fail.

For comparison, other clients like Outlook block forwarding of emails exceeding 10 MB while Yahoo Mail caps at 25 MB. So Gmail offers robust support for retaining original files.

Best Practices for Forwarding Work Emails

When dealing with internal communications, client data or other sensitive information, use care:


  • Anonymize senders/recipients in trail by deleting names/addresses unless necessary to retain context
  • Take consent if needed to share emails externally


  • Double check recipients entered before sending
  • Alter subject line to indicate it‘s a forward


  • Summarize context via a preamble in forwarded mail
  • Let sender know email was forwarded afterwards

By being careful about permissions, modifying identifiers, adding context etc. you uphold privacy and confidentiality when forwarding work emails.

According to surveys, 87% of enterprises have explicit rules around forwarding policies while 63% restrict or monitor external sharing. So tread carefully!

Common Email Forwarding Questions

Does the original sender know an email was forwarded? No. Unlike Reply, there is no way for the initial sender to automatically know if their email has been forwarded.

Can you cc/bcc a forwarded email? Yes. The forward window allows adding CC, BCC and other recipients as needed to the forwarded message.

Is replying to a forward sent to original sender? No. Any reply from recipients is only delivered back to the account that forwarded the message. To contact the initial sender, their address must be entered manually again.

Is there a limit on emails forwarded at once? No official limit when selecting and forwarding multiple emails together using default checkboxes. But extremely large batches may fail.

Can I tell if an email I received was forwarded? Yes. Typically you can look for the word "Forward" or "Fw" in the subject line or content. The message trail may also indicate if it has been forwarded before.

I hope this guide gives you clarity and confidence to use Gmail‘s excellent forwarding capabilities for individual or multiple emails and make your communications more productive and seamless!

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