Forward Emails to Your Phone Via Text Message

Category: Email , Mobile

You may not prefer to be notified (bothered) by your phone every time an email hits your inbox. But email from a spouse, child, boss, or other important contact may be something you want to know about right away. Here is a free, easy way to forward selected emails via text message when those things happen...

How to Forward "Important" Emails via Text Messaging

If you're like me, you don't want your phone dinging, buzzing or flashing every time you get an email. But you might want to know right away when certain people email you. My wife often emails me from her office while I'm at home. Sometimes she needs an answer quickly from me, so I set up a forwarding mechanism, to send a copy of those emails to me via text. Here's how you can do the same thing.

The technique I'll describe here will enable you to forward emails from one or more people to your phone, via SMS text messages. If your phone and mobile provider support long messages, you'll get the entire text. If not, you'll still get a text with the beginning portion of the email message, and you'll know to look at your inbox.

The first thing to know is that your phone has an email address, even if you don’t subscribe to data service. Each carrier maintains an SMS gateway, essentially an email-to-text forwarding service. Your phone’s email address is your phone number plus the @ symbol and the domain name of the SMS gateway.

Forward email to phone

Below are the gateway names and formats for several popular mobile carriers;

  • Verizon: [your number]
  • AT&T: [your number]
  • T-Mobile: [your number]
  • Boost Mobile: [your number]
  • Consumer Cellular: [your number]
  • Cricket Wireless: [your number]
  • Google Fi: [your number]
  • MetroPCS: [your number]
  • Nextel: [your number]
  • Republic Wireless: [your number]
  • Sprint: [your number]
  • Tracfone: [your number]
  • U.S. Cellular: [your number]
  • Virgin Mobile: [your number]

All you have to do is create a filter (also called a rule) in your email client or webmail settings that forwards mail from a specified sender to your phone’s email address. Here is how to do that for Gmail,, Thunderbird, and OS X Mail.

Gmail: -- First, add your phone’s email address to Gmail’s list of forwarding addresses. To do that, log in to, click the gear icon, then "See all settings". Open the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab and click the “Add a forwarding address” button. Enter your phone’s email address using the format above, click Next and then Proceed.

A confirmation number will arrive on your phone via text message. Enter that code in the box provided on Gmail and Click “Verify.” Now your phone’s address will be available in the drop-down list next to the “Forward a copy of incoming email to…" IMPORTANT: Leave the "Disable forwarding" radio button selected, or you'll forward ALL your emails to your phone!

Now create a Gmail filter. Click the “Filters and Blocked Addresses” tab and choose “Create a new filter” at the bottom of the page. Enter the email address of that special someone whose email you want to receive via text in the “From” field and click “Create filter” at the bottom of the window.

On the next page you can choose your phone’s email address from the “forward it” drop-down list, and optionally tell Gmail what else to do with the sender’s message (keep it in the inbox, label it, archive it, etc.) Click the blue “Create filter” button and you’re done.

Do NOT check the box that says, “Also apply this filter to matching conversations” unless you want every email that special someone has ever sent you delivered to your phone instantly!

For about a week, a pink banner reminding you about the forwarding will appear at the top of your Gmail window for a few minutes each time you sign in. It's annoying, but it's an important safety precaution. -- Sign in to your account, click the "..." icon, choose “Rules", then "Manage rules". Click "Add new rule". Give your rule a name, then under "Add a condition" choose "From" and enter Special Someone's email address in the box. Next, under "Add an action" select "Forward to" and enter your phone’s email address in the box. Click "Save" and you're done.

Like Gmail, lets you select multiple actions to be performed on a message, such as move it to a folder after forwarding a copy to your phone, delete it, mark as read, etc.

Thunderbird Desktop: Click "Tools" then "Message Filters". Click the "New" button. Under "Match all of the following" dropdowns, select "From" and "is". Enter Special Someone’s email address in the box. Under "Perform these actions" select "Forward Message to" and enter your phone’s email address in the box. Click OK and you're done.

OS X Mail: -- On your Mac, click Mail > Preferences > Rules > Add Rule. Name the rule, then select “From” in the first drop-down menu. Choose “Contains” in the second drop-down, and enter the desired sender’s email address in the text box.

Select “Forward Message” in the “Perform the following actions” drop-down menu, enter your phone’s email address in the “TO” field and anything you wish in the “note” field, and click OK.

As I warned with Gmail, do not “Apply” this rule to all messages in OS X Mail unless you want all of them forwarded to your phone right now. Choose “Don’t Apply” instead.

Yahoo Mail: -- Unfortunately, Yahoo doesn't let you forward your email with any selectivity. You can forward ALL your mail to another address, but you can't select certain people with rules, like other civilized email services allow. Just in case you want to do that, use the Gear Icon, then select Settings. Click Accounts, then click Edit beside "Yahoo account." Select Forward, and enter the address to which you want to forward (ALL) your email. Oh, and automatic email forwarding is only available if you subscribe to Yahoo Mail Plus or enroll in Access + Forwarding (both paid services).

NOTE: In each of these email forwarding situations, we've chosen to forward emails based on the sender's address. If desired, you can also forward based on the Subject, body text, or some combibation of those. For example, you might want to forward only messages with "URGENT" in the Subject line, or messages from a specific sender that has a certain word in the message body.

Ready to start forwarding emails to your phone? Give it a try, and let me know how you like it. Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Forward Emails to Your Phone Via Text Message"

Posted by:

Gary Brodock
20 Apr 2023

Followed the directions and got to the point of waiting for the verification text on my phone. It never came. I tried to send an email to my phone using my number and the extension for Verizon - that worked fine twice. Not sure why the GMAIL part is not working.

Posted by:

20 Apr 2023

Hmmmmmm As usual us poor Canadians got overlooked

Posted by:

20 Apr 2023

I probably won't use the proper vocabulary for this. But it appears your own email client has to be running in order to look at the email and then forward it. My PC is never on the internet unless I am using it so I don't see how it could forward.

EDITOR'S NOTE: You are correct. It's been almost 20 years since I ditched my desktop email client in favor of always-on webmail. But even so, my PC is connected to the Internet 24/7/365.

Posted by:

Hugh Gautier
20 Apr 2023

My Nokia 2720 V Flip should say something to you, it isn't a "Smartphone" and never will be, it is a 4G phone, and therefore anyone who sends an SMS text to me, expecting me to reply will be sadly mistaken. I use my phone as a phone, not something to go browsing with. It isn't as safe as you'd like to think it is, that is unless you have a very good program that you have installed onto your phone to save you the heartache and nightmares from being cloned because you used your smartphone as a browser.

I didn't want a 5G phone for health reasons (mine) and that phone with all of its antennas isn't good for my heart, lungs, brain, and throat. Also, if you know any young lady who wants to become pregnant, get her away from the 5G phone because it can cause big problems with a woman's reproductive organs causing aborted fetuses. Children with ADHD shouldn't have a 5G phone either, it isn't good for them either.
There are 179 countries that have banned 5G worldwide, yet our phone services don't bother to let us know of the health risks associated with the use of 5G. Humankind, fish in lakes and the oceans, trees, and insects are all affected. Why aren't they giving us this information, I'll tell you why in one word ... GREED.

EDITOR'S NOTE: "179 countries that have banned 5G"?? No. Setting aside the question of health risks, there are only a handful of countries that have banned 5G and in each case, it has to do with mistrust of Chinese-made telecom gear.

Posted by:

Don Nitkin
20 Apr 2023

You omitted Comcast/Xfinity

Posted by:

20 Apr 2023

I do the reverse! I put the "SMS Forwarder" app onto my Android phone. When I receive a text, it forwards it to email. I must be old fashioned--I'm on email more than I'm on text.

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