How to Setup a Reply-To Address for Gmail, Hotmail and Outlook

Have you ever received an email at work, then when you go to reply to it, the “reply” goes to someone else other than the person who sent you the email?  This mix-up happened to me recently. I replied to my manager’s email, and it was sent to his administrative assistant instead. It turns out, this is a very common practice in many workplaces using Microsoft Exchange Server, but you can do it at home too. Let’s look at how to polish our egos and set up our “secretary like” reply-to email addresses using the most standard email apps out there.

Set Up Reply To Addresses

In case you haven’t seen this before, here’s what this does.  When you set up a reply-to email address, it will still look like all emails are coming from the original sender.  The trick is that when people Click Reply, instead of sending the message back to the originator, it goes to a different designated address.

when you set up a reply-to email address it sends all replies to your alternative address

Within the infrastructure of an Exchange server, the functionality for this is much greater, but we can still cover the basics without one.  Below we’ll take a look at how to set this up using Gmail, Live/Hotmail, and Outlook.  Let’s get started.

Change The Reply-To Email For Your Gmail And Google Apps Account

1. Log in to your Gmail or Google Apps account and click Settings.

click your google mail settings

2. Click Accounts and Import then Click edit info.

click your google mail accounts and import button and then edit info

3. In the pop-up window, Click Specify a different “reply-to” address. Then in the box that appears, type in the email address where you would like replies to go automatically. Click Save Changes when done.

click specify different reply-to and then type in the reply email address you want.

That’s all there is to it for Google mail.

Change Your Reply-To Address For Microsoft Live and Hotmail

1. Login to your Hotmail or Windows Live account and Click Options then Select More options.

in your microsoft mail click options then more options

2. Under Customize your mail Click Reply-to address.

click reply to address

3. Check Other address, and Type in the different email address where you want replies automatically sent. Don’t forget to click Save!

check other address then enter the address you would like replies sent to and save

That covers Microsoft mail.

Change The Reply To Address In Microsoft Outlook 2010 and 2007

1. In Microsoft Outlook, Create a New Email and Click Options, Direct Replies To.

Click Options and Click Direct Replies to in Outlook 2010

2. CheckBox Have replies sent to: and Type in the Reply To Address and Click Close.

Check Reply-To Check Box in Microsoft Office 2010

Unfortunately, only Outlook 2007 & 2010 allow you to set up the Reply-To address on a case by case basis but, it’s still a groovy trick no matter which email client/service you use.



  1. alex  

    excellent, clear instructions :)

  2. dan  

    this is exactly what i needed, but the question is how to make Reply-To address change permanent? thanks

  3. Ravish  

    Not having global reply-to on outlook is such an annoyance. I could not believe it at first and kept looking until I found this post :(


    • It is possible for POP and iMAP email accounts through Outlook but I don’t think it’s possible if you have Microsoft Exchange running as your email server.

      Not to say it cannot be done with Microsoft exchange. Check with your Exchange Corp. Admin and the 2 of you can probably fix it up. What is the use case? Why are you trying to do it? That will help me give you a solution.

  4. There is, indeed a global “reply-to” setting in Outlook 2010. By using this setting the specified “reply-to” address will persist.


    >Account Settings
    >Double click the account
    >expand ‘advanced’, it’s on the bottom line
    >it is also available during manual setup of any account

    • Great FYI Kevin. Thnx for the tip and Step-by-step. I believe this method works for Hotmail accounts.

      If your running with IMAP the process would be a little different:

      1 – Click File Tab in Outlook 2010 Ribbon
      2 – Click Info, Account Settings
      3 – Double Click IMAP email account
      4 – Click More Settings
      5 – Click General Tab
      6 – Fill in Reply E-Mail.

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  6. John  

    Simply works with Thunderbird and a Gmail email account.

    How can this be done using Thunderbird and a Hotmail email address?

    Thank you

  7. Podiatrist Ottawa  

    Love the content, we shared it with our Facebook page too.
    Do you have anything else that goes this in deatail about How-To Setup a Different Reply-To Address for Gmail, Hotmail and Outlook ?

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