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How to create a catch-all email address

A catch-all email address is an email account designed to receive all email messages sent to all variations of email addresses sent to a particular domain, even if the email address doesn’t actually exist.

What is catch all email? 

Let’s clarify with these 2 scenarios: 

No catch-all email address enabled

Let’s assume you own the domain name and only have one email address set up with it, let’s call it [email protected] 

What would happen if someone sent an email to [email protected]? Without a catch-all email address, the sent email would simply bounce back to the sender.

Catch-all email address enabled

In the same scenario, you have [email protected] setup however with a catch-all email address enabled.

Whether someone sends an email to [email protected] or [email protected] – you’d always receive the email message in your [email protected] inbox.

As you can see, it can be useful to configure a catch-all email address but be aware of the possibility of excessive spam messages.

As in, catch-all emails will most definitely increase the amount of spam sent to your inbox because all email variations with your domain name will fall into your inbox.

Important: Never have a catch-all email forwarded to global mail services such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. They will block all of your emails due to the excessive spam catch-all email addresses tend to create. 

Catch-alls will also affect the mail server reputation and bandwidth use on your hosting service. Make sure to always use webmail or POP/IMAP to fetch emails from it.

How to set up a catch-all email address

Login to your cPanel control panel. Click here for instructions on how to get to cPanel.

Default address

The cPanel control panel will open in a new window, so click the Default Address option under the Email section:

Forward Address

On the default address page, choose the domain you want for the catch-all from the drop-down menu, select Forward to Email Address, and input your email address where you want to receive all un-routed emails (catch-all address).

Double-check that all information is correct and click the Change button to save changes.

That’s it! 

Depending on the number of emails your catch-all address receives, we recommend setting up an entirely separate email address to receive unrouted emails so it doesn’t clog up your primary email account.

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