Email forwarding and data security


May 25, 2006
I'm not that familiar with how email systems work, so please forgive the noob question. If I have a email forwarder configured via cPanel, do emails sent to that address actually pass through my server or do they just get bounced to their destination? I need to know if the contents of a forwarded email are getting stored on my server, even temporarily.


Staff member
Apr 11, 2011
Hello :)

Forwarded mail will still be delivered to the original address unless the original address does not exist. It will not be stored unless the original address exists, or some other filter is in place that keeps a copy of the email on the server.

Thank you.


Well-Known Member
Jun 1, 2002
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Fowarders and noobies. (and some not so new 'admins')

If forwarding to another address, and you do not need a copy of the email, do NOT create a Mail Account.

I know this seems obvious, but I'm amazed at how many 'admins' have first setup a Mail Account, say for [email protected], and then want the email to go to, so they setup a forward, and never login to the 'Account'.

If the mail is not going to be accessed from the server (pop/imap or webmail), and it is just getting forwarded elsewhere, then there should be NO account.

Accounts - think of them as physical mailboxes for storage. They are not 'email addresses' as much as they are simply a folder for all messages to be stored.
Email Address - can be a 'Mail Account' for storage, or just a Forwarder to send the messages elsewhere to be stored.

I know, reading it, it seems so clear and logical, but I have had to clear out so many accounts with mailboxes that were never accessed for 5 years or more.