Let’s Set Up a Google Workspace Wildcard Catch-All E-mail Address

These steps will give you granular control over the Google Workspace (G Suite) catch-all setup process, and is especially useful in cases where there are other users in your organization. Please note that this is an updated article, based upon an older article, G-Suite Catch-All Address Assignment in 2018.

Time to complete this setup: 3 minutes

Remember how easy it used to be to set up a catchall when setting up Google G Suite (or Google Apps) on a new domain? Apparently, those days are gone.

Mostly, the documentation is hard to find because they’re no longer using the term “catch all”, as they once did. But also because they never seem to be able to keep their documentation up to date with their changing products. In my opinion, it’s best to think of setting your catch all by creating some email routing rules for Gmail.
So, here are the directions for you, as briefly as possible. (I hate when bloggers make it all about themselves).

Let’s start by heading on over to https://admin.google.com/ and logging in to your domain.

1. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Apps and then Google Workspace > Gmail > Advanced settings.

Select ‘Apps’ from the list of options in the Google Admin Console
Select ‘Google Workspace’ (or whatever they’ve recently renamed Google Apps, G Suite, Google Workspace)
Select ‘Gmail’ from the list of Services, by clicking anywhere in that row. It won’t look like a clickable row at first. You must believe…
Scroll all the way to the bottom, find ‘Advanced settings >>’ and click on it.

2. Configure Advanced Settings & Routing for Google Workspace Catch-All

You are now in the Advanced settings for G-mail. Scroll way, way down to the Routing section. (Or search the page for ‘Routing’). It should look like this. Until it changes next month. Once you find that section, you need to hover over the subsection of ‘Routing’, called ‘Routing’.

After doing that, a ‘CONFIGURE’ box will appear. Click on ‘CONFIGURE’.

In the next screen…

  1. Give your filter a short description. You know, like, “G-Mail Catch-all”.
  2. Check the boxes for Inbound and Internal – receiving
Name Your GMail Filter, and Set Affected Messages

Now, scroll further down this box, and find the section ‘Also deliver to‘, then put a check-mark beside ‘Add more recipients‘. This opens up a new configuration box. Click on the attractive ‘ADD’ button in this config box’s top right corner.

Even though you just ticked a box called ‘Add more recipients’, you now need to needless click the ‘ADD’ button.

Put in your main Google Workspace address, where you want all of your mail to be sent to, and click SAVE.

Also Deliver To, Add More Recipients

You should now have a confirmation screen like so:

Filter Confirmation Screen

3. Choose How You Want Your Catch-All Setup to Handle Spam

Curve-ball (optional). By default, this will filter forward spam messages. I recommend you go with this option, as it is. Double check this by next scrolling up just a little bit in the list of currently displayed Settings, and find the section labelled Spam. If you want to send Spam through, make sure there this is no check mark in the box beside ‘Bypass spam filter for this message.’

Please keep in mind that if Spam gets delivered from any other address on your domain to your main address, then that email message will still be screened by G Mail when it arrives in your main inbox, and will subsequently arrive in your main email address’s Spam folder.

Alright! We’re getting there! Stay strong! Towards the bottom of the screen, we have to change a few more options. These options might be hidden! Look for ‘Show options’, and click on it.

Click on 'Show Options'

Once you are able to see the options (i.e. it says ‘Hide options’), you should see an entry, ‘B. Account types to affect‘. Be sure to un-check ‘Users’ and check ‘Unrecognized / Catch-all’.

Check 'Unrecognized/Catch-all'

At the bottom click, ‘Add Setting’.

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. In the next screen, at the bottom-right, you must click SAVE.

Save Settings at the End

That’s it. You’re done. Test it out! :)

Did it work? Let me know. It’d make me so happy to know I helped you out.

Google Workspace (G Suite) Wildcard Catch-All Email Setup
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2 thoughts on “Google Workspace (G Suite) Wildcard Catch-All Email Setup

  • February 16, 2021 at 11:07 am

    In my console, I didn’t see the advanced settings link, but instead was able to directly go to the Routing option (which was the last option on my screen). After that, it worked fine. Also noted that there’s a “Default Routing” option that mentions setting up a catch all address, but that’s not actually where you set it up :(. I agree that google seems to be making it very hard to do something so simple! Thanks for posting this.

    • February 16, 2021 at 7:59 pm

      Thanks so much for the comment, Dan. Good point – there’s a “default routing” option which includes catch-all address setup options there too. I like the method I’ve prescribed here because it gives even more “nitpicky” control over some options. But maybe I should make it clear that there’s another option that’s even faster. I appreciate the feedback.
      I know that some of these steps here can also be skipped by just searching for something like “routing” in the search box. Time for me to update this article again, I guess! :)

      Thanks again, Dan!


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