How to automatically forward Email

Forwarding Email works differently depending on the mail server that is used. For people at the ETH Zurich D-PHYS there are two important mail servers that you are likely to use: for our department the D-PHYS mail server mail.phys.ethz.ch and for services managed centrally by the Informatikdienste (ID) the student/staff mail server that is run by the Basisdienste of ID for all of ETH. If you are an employee of the department, your mail should automatically be delivered to the D-PHYS account. If you are a student (diploma or PhD) or an apprentice (Lernende), you probably have two distinct e-mail addresses that you may want to combine.

Therefore, here we describe the two most common uses for students (and Lernende): from ETH to D-PHYS and from D-PHYS to ETH.

NB: do not forward in both directions at the same time!

From ETH to D-PHYS (or to somewhere else)

  • Log in to http://password.ethz.ch/ using your NETHZ account (the one you obtained from Human Resources/Personalabteilung).
  • choose: meine Services from the choices in the top row.
  • choose: Mailbox from the list.
  • somewhat down the page you will find a form for a forward address. Fill that in as desired and activate. If you do not see this form your mail is already being delivered to the D-PHYS account (or whatever your official Email address is according to the ETH electronic phone book).

From D-PHYS to ETH (or to somewhere else)

Just click Mailsetup (or choose account in the menu above) and log on with your login and password. You could then enable- / disable forwarding and activate a vacation message.

General Caveats of E-Mail Forwarding

Since end of May 2016 1&1, the company behind several free e-mail services like GMX and Web.de, started to always reject certain e-mails coming in via mailing lists or automatic e-mail forwarding like the one offered by D-PHYS or ETH Informatikdienste for its users.

Affected are users who permanently forward their ETH or D-PHYS e-mail to GMX, Web.de or to domains hosted by 1&1. Any mail sent to their ETH or D-PHYS address and coming from GMX, Web.de, etc. will be rejected by 1&1 because the e-mail does not come directly from one of their own e-mail servers, ignoring the existence of such automatic and widespread e-mail forwarding completely.

This does not only affect ETH but many organisations and companies, e.g. Hostpoint, and in general everyone who uses an e-mail forwarding service in combination with an 1&1 hosted domain. A nice analysis of the problem in German has been posted in the Heinlein Blog and there's also a German article about this issue at Heise Online.

We also noticed similar, but less rigid issues with automatic e-mail forwards to CERN addresses or other organisations and companies who use Microsoft's Outlook.com business e-mail services.

The general solution to this sort of problem is to not forward your mails but to fetch your mails via IMAP or (deprecated) POP3 with your e-mail client from each account separately.

However we do not recommend to share your D-PHYS or N.ETHZ password with other hosting services so that they can fetch your ETH e-mails directly as this is prohibited by the ETH IT usage policy (BOT).