Below are some frequently asked questions about email forwarding.
Please note, Harvard will begin deactivating @post.harvard.edu and @alumni.harvard.edu email forwarding addresses in Fall 2022. For more information on the discontinuation of this service, please use the FAQ below. Anyone with an existing email forwarding address will be notified well in advance of their email going away. In turn, as of May 2021, no new email forwarding addresses can be set up.
Email Forwarding Discontinuation:
- What is an email forwarding address?
- Who is eligible for an email forwarding address?
- Why is Harvard discontinuing @post.harvard.edu and @alumni.harvard.edu email forwarding addresses?
- Why aren’t University-wide inboxes for alumni an option?
- What’s the timeline for email forwarding to be discontinued?
- I have an @post.harvard.edu or @alumni.harvard.edu email forwarding address. What steps should I be taking now?
- I’m graduating this year. What other email options are available to me?
General Email Forwarding Questions:
- How do I manage my email forwarding preferences?
- How can I check to see what my email forwarding address is, or where it is forwarding?
- Can I change my email forwarding address after I have set it up?
- Can I check my email forwarding address through the website?
- Can I send outgoing mail using my email forwarding address?
- Can I configure my email account to send as my email forwarding address?
- Can I have my address forward to more than one destination?
- Does an email forwarding address enable me to receive mail through my old Harvard student email address?
- I am not receiving messages sent to my email forwarding address, or messages sent to my email forwarding address are bouncing back. Why?
- Is it possible to recover messages that were previously sent to my email forwarding address?
- Do email forwarding addresses offer any protection from spam or viruses?
- I have questions or problems regarding my HBS, HKS or HLS alumni email address.
Email Forwarding Discontinuation Q&A:
An email forwarding address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) will automatically forward mail to a designated email address. An email forwarding address is not an email account and does not have an email inbox.
As of May 25, 2021, the functionality to create new email forwarding addresses was turned off. This means that any alumni, including graduating students, who don’t currently have an email forwarding address are no longer able to set up an email forwarding address at any time in the future.
Starting in the fall of 2022 Harvard will begin deactivating all @post.harvard.edu and @alumni.harvard.edu alumni email forwarding addresses.
Existing addresses will be deactivated after advance notice is provided. Anyone with an existing email forwarding address will be given notice at least three months in advance of deactivation.
We hear and understand many of the concerns alumni have expressed about email forwarding addresses. Email forwarding, in general, is becoming obsolete as email service providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc. develop new security protocols. New spam rules and policies make it very difficult to offer a reliable forwarding-only service at this point, and many other institutions have migrated off email forwarding.
We will not be replacing alumni email forwarding with a University-wide email inbox option.
Offering inboxes for the more than 400,000 alumni worldwide is not without both legal and security risks. In turn, our research revealed that alumni email inboxes are not often used. Many of our peer institutions that do offer alumni inboxes report that after initial set-up they are underutilized in favor of existing personal inboxes. Users tend to only focus on one or two inboxes at a time—work and personal. Due to risk, reported lack of use, and customer service impact, Harvard is not pursuing a University-wide email inbox.
In lieu of an inbox, Harvard supports a variety of tools that allow you to easily communicate with other Harvard alumni without having to set up a separate email inbox. You can directly access the more than 400,000 alumni from across Harvard’s Schools through the Alumni Directory. You can find and email most other alumni through their Directory profiles and you can also use the Directory to post to discussion boards or submit a class note update. Several Schools offer their own directories as well.
The functionality to create new email forwarding addresses is no longer available to alumni who do not have email forwarding. This means that both first-time graduates and any alumni who don’t currently have an @alumni.harvard.edu or @post.harvard.edu email forwarding address will be unable to set up an email forwarding address at any time in the future.
Starting in Fall 2022, Harvard will begin deactivating @post.harvard.edu and @alumni.harvard.edu email forwarding addresses. Email forwarding users will be notified well in advance of their address being turned off. If you have an active email forwarding address that you currently use, you will be notified at least 3 months in advance of your email address being deactivated. In the meantime, we encourage you to start migrating your current and future contacts to an alternative email.
If you are actively using your email forwarding address, you will be notified well in advance of when your address will be deactivated. This process will involve comprehensive outreach to all active email forwarding users.
As an immediate next step, we recommend you make plans to remove your email forwarding address from any place it’s currently listed (for example, a website, LinkedIn profile, etc.), and replace it with a work or personal email. In turn, we also suggest updating your contact information now with any people who regularly use your email forwarding address so they can start reaching out to you through a different email.
Moving forward, you should also refrain from sharing your @post.harvard.edu or @alumni.harvard.edu email forwarding address with new contacts.
The Alumni Directory is a comprehensive and verified network of alumni across the globe. Built into each alumni profile is an email tool that allows you to message your classmates and fellow alumni directly. This is a great way to keep in touch with classmates, seek out alumni mentors, and connect with alumni who are working in your field.
General Email Forwarding Q&A:
How do I manage my email forwarding preferences?
To manage your email forwarding preferences, you will first need to register for a HarvardKey login name and password, if you have not already done so. Once you have a HarvardKey login name and password, you can set up your email address using the steps below:
- Log in to the alumni.harvard.edu community using your HarvardKey.
- Click the Email Forwarding link in the left-hand navigation.
- Follow the prompts on the email forwarding page.
- Click "Save."
After taking these steps, it will take about 2-3 hours for your changes to become active.
How can I check to see what my email forwarding address is, or where it is forwarding?
The Email Forwarding page on the alumni.harvard.edu community allows you to view and change your email forwarding address and the address where it is forwarding. You will need your HarvardKey username and password in order to access the Email Forwarding page.
Can I change my email forwarding address after I have set it up?
Yes. Email forwarding addresses can be changed on the alumni.harvard Email Forwarding page. Please note that if you change your email forwarding address, your previous address will be deactivated, and messages sent to the previous address will not be delivered.
Can I check my email forwarding address through the website?
No. Your alumni.harvard email address is a forwarding service, not a stand-alone email account. This means that you must set your alumni.harvard address to forward to another address in order to receive mail. You will automatically receive any messages sent to your alumni.harvard email address at the address where mail is being forwarded.
Can I send outgoing mail using my email forwarding address?
No. This service is an email forwarding service, not a stand-alone account. There is no email inbox and no way to send messages using this email alias.
Can I configure my email account to send as my email forwarding address?
By default, your outgoing mail will display the email address to which your email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org address is forwarding. It may be possible to configure your email account to display your forwarding address on outgoing messages. Because, each email provider (Gmail, Yahoo!, etc.) has different functionality available as well as different instructions, the alumni service desk will not be able to support configuring your email forwarding address with your email account.
In turn, we discourage the use of the Send From or Send As feature. Many email providers see scammers use this method to send phishing attacks and spam. The email providers often reject email messages sent with Send From or Send As alias. It’s important to know that your message may not reach your intended recipient if you do use the feature.
Does an email forwarding address enable me to receive mail through my old Harvard student email address?
No. An email forwarding address is not connected to other Harvard addresses, such as student email addresses. After a student email address expires, messages sent to that address are returned as undeliverable, regardless of whether an email forwarding address has been set up. Please consult your school's IT office if you need more information on the expiration of student email addresses.
I am not receiving messages sent to my email forwarding address, or messages sent to my email forwarding address are bouncing back. Why?
See the forwarding problems help page for some possible causes.
Do email forwarding addresses offer any protection from spam or viruses?
All messages sent to email forwarding addresses are automatically scanned for viruses. Harvard also uses several spam-protection techniques. Please see the spam help page for more information.
I have questions or problems regarding my HBS, HKS or HLS alumni email address.
These email addresses are managed by the alumni offices of each school. Please see our links and contacts page for information on how to contact school alumni offices.
Still need help? Contact the AAD Service Desk. Please include as many details about your question or problem as possible.