How to Setup Google’s ‘Catch-All’ Feature with Groups

To ensure that messages that are addressed incorrectly can still be received, use Google’s Catch-All feature in Google Apps.  Once the Catch-All feature is setup, an email that is incorrectly addressed can still be received through the Catch-All address.  Google does not support group emails in a Catch-All setting, but it’s possible to use groups in association with a Catch-All address and here’s how.

Catch-All is disabled in default mode, so you must first enable this feature.  At your Google Apps Admin Console, go to [Apps > Google Apps > Gmail]. And then click “Advanced Settings.”  Under the email routing, you can enter an email account at “Route to Catch-All Address.”


Now, this is the important part.  Go to the Groups menu and make a group email.  In this example, I have created the group “catch@emailaddress.”  Add members so emails can be forwarded to each member’s email address.  In this example, I have included personal Gmail and a Google Apps account.


Now, go back to the “admin@’s” Gmail.  Under “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” click “Add a Forwarding Address” and enter the group’s email.  After the forwarding email is added, make sure to check “Disable forwarding.”


Then, go to “Filters” and create a new filter.  Enter “-(admin@emailaddress)” on the “To” field so that recipient other than “admin@” can be filtered out.


As you have setup admin@ as a catch all address, you may check ‘Skip the Inbox’, ‘Mark as read’, apply label and forward it to the groups catch@  You can further adjust settings like just delete it as well to save space.


Click “Create Filter” to complete.

I have now set up the Catch-All feature, and in the screen shot below, you can see that a wrongly addressed email  (invalid@) is now forwarded to the groups and its members.

Using the Catch-All feature in Groups  is a convenient way to archive email messages and to rid the Inboxes of Google Apps users of unwanted or unnecessary mail.

Please note, however, that should spammers try to guess email addresses in your domain when the Catch-All feature is enabled, then each incorrect guess is delivered to the Catch-All address and, if there are too many incoming messages, it can reach Gmail’s receiving limits and result in the account being locked.

To find more about “Catch-All” or Google Apps for your business, please see our service offerings and contact us today.