Google Apps aliases / nicknames without “on behalf of”

I just discovered a way to create Google Apps aliases (nicknames as Google states) without the mention of “on behalf of” when using that email alias. I even found a way to avoid the 30 alias / nickname limit on Google Apps.

First you go to Google Apps domain control panel.

  • Click on “Users and groups”
  • Select your main user account
  • at the bottom of “Nicknames” you select “Add a nickname”
  • Choose an alias (nickname) you want to use and click “Save changes” at the bottom

After this step you go to your Google Apps mailbox.

  • When in your mailbox on the desktop click on “Settings” at the top right of the screen.
  • Then click the tab “Accounts”
  • Under “Add another email address you own” there is an extra option:
    When receiving a message:
    * Reply from the same address the message was sent to
    * Always reply from default address (currently
    I myself prefer the first option, then if i reply to a new email send to my alias it will automatically reply with the correct “From” alias
  • Press “Add another email address you own”
  • At “Email address:” type the alias / nickname you entered at your Google Apps control panel.
  • At “Name:” enter the name you want to be displayed when an email is sent from this alias.
  • Click “Next Step”
  • This is the important step ! Choose the second option !
    Send through SMTP servers (recommended for professional domains – Learn more)”
    (if you choose the first option the mails will be sent with the mention: “on behalf of” !
  • Now enter in the field “SMTP Server:”
  • Select port: 465
  • Now enter in the field “Username:” your main Google Apps login (same as you use to check your Google Apps mail!) example:
  • Now enter in the field “Password:” your main Google Apps password
  • Then check the box: “Always use a secure connection (SSL) when sending mail
  • Then press the button “Add Account”
  • Now a confirmation mail is send to your main Google Apps account
  • In that mail click the confirmation link or copy the confirmation code to the window and press “Verify”

Now go to your inbox, compose a new mail and then you should be able to select your new alias in the “From:” field. If you now send an email it should not mention “on behalf of”

If you have 1 main user in Google Apps control panel, Google sets a limit of 30 nicknames.

You could skip the step of making a new nickname in your Google Apps control panel.
But then be sure to turn on the “Catch-all address” in your Google Apps control panel:

  • Go to Google Apps domain control panel
  • Click on the tab: “Service settings” and select “Email”
  • Then turn on the “Catch-all adress” and choose the second option:
    Forward the email to: “your-main-useraccount”
  • Be sure to click “Save changes” on the bottom of the page

Then go straight to your inbox, settings, acccount & create a new “Send mail as” (with the smtp settings) without first creating a nickname in your Google Apps control panel.

Then after the new “Send mail as” is created (without a nickname in the control panel) you will have to send yourself an email to that alias. Only after that you’ll be able to choose that specific alias in the “From:” field when composing a new email.

I don’t think there is any limit in creating new “Send mail as” aliases in your inbox settings, so you won’t have the 30 nickname limit and you won’t have the notice “on behalf of” when using that alias with the proper SMTP settings.

I hope it’s of some help to the Google Apps users 😉

  1. God damn.. I’ve been looking for a solution to this for MONTHS. Everyone on the forums and other sites kept going on and on and on about how this wasn’t possible.

    Nicely found dude 🙂 ❤

  2. Ty again ^_^ 😀 That’s how awesome you are 😀

    • Hèhè i myself was looking for this for more then a year, i’d given up but after searching again for a few hours i found this working solution. Now Google Apps is perfect for me!
      Thought my post could help others like me 🙂
      Glad you could use the info 😉

    • PatrickT
    • May 18th, 2010

    Genius – works in Gmail without the Google Apps aliases. Just set the SMTP server as per the instructions above.

    Many thanks for finding this – Gmail is now perfect!

    • Paul
    • June 1st, 2010

    Strange but I do not seem to be seeing the same options as you in Google Apps when trying to follow this through.
    I do not get this on my Apps account:
    “Under “Add another email address you own” there is an extra option:
    When receiving a message:
    * Reply from the same address the message was sent to
    * Always reply from default address (currently”

    • Here is a screenshot of that option Paul:

      I think this option is standard for all Google Apps users, but i’m not sure. I have the standard free Google Apps account.

        • Jonny
        • June 4th, 2010

        I also have the free Google Apps account, but also don’t have the option to choose the SMTP server, so can’t get rid of the ‘on behalf of’ 😐

    • Jonny
    • June 4th, 2010

    Jonny :
    I also have the free Google Apps account, but also don’t have the option to choose the SMTP server, so can’t get rid of the ‘on behalf of’

    Ah, in fact the SMTP function needs to be switched on in the main Google Apps dashboard – all sorted now, thanks for the great tip!

  3. Nice to hear that my tip worked out for you Jonny.

    • Dave
    • July 3rd, 2010

    Thank you for reliving my pain. 🙂

      • Dave
      • July 3rd, 2010

      RELIEVING! 🙂

      • Glad that my post is helping many people 🙂

    • Mike
    • July 24th, 2010

    This is great – thank you very much! Any chance that you know how to achieve this result using the native iPad mail client??

    • I’ve been looking but no luck on the native iPad client so far. Hope this will be possible in the future 😉

    • Voyager
    • July 25th, 2010

    Genius! Worked a treat with the multiple (non googlemail) accounts I manage in Thunderbird 3 via googlemail. No more “sent on behalf of” syntax when mail I have sent is read in Outlook 2007.

    Thanks very much for sharing this neat trick.


  4. Hi Glenn
    Thank you for your advice.

    This is by far the most useful information re how to get rid of “sent on behalf of” from Google.

    Unfortunately I have still not managed to eliminate the problem, even with following your suggestions (and the excellent suggestions of other people).

    Clearly I am doing something wrong or not understanding something simple.

    I am using Google Apps Premium, so do not get the choice you mentioned, i.e.
    “Send through SMTP servers (recommended for professional domains – Learn more)”

    Someone else said:
    “Ah, in fact the SMTP function needs to be switched on in the main Google Apps dashboard – all sorted now, thanks for the great tip!”

    So I switched on the SMTP function, but still not difference in the sending on behalf of!

    This issue is just plain silly (as I am sure you and the others who have spent time trying to figure it out are aware of) and Google have made it more difficult than it needs to be (with no clear instructions re how to fix it).

    Thanks again for your research and your words, I will press on with my tweaking and maybe someone on your blog can let me know what else I need to do in Apps Premium to make this work.

    • Strange problem publicsp,

      I see an “Outbound relay” SMTP option under Google Apps Dashboard, then tab “Service settings” i choose “email” and then the 4th option is:
      “Outbound relay”
      “Allow users to send mail through an external SMTP when configuring a “from” address hosted outside your email domains.”
      “Mail sent via external SMTP will circumvent your outbound gateway.”
      This option is enabled here, but i guess you allready got that option enabled…
      Can’t think of anything else, hope you’ll find the solution.

  5. Hey Glenn

    Thanks for your prompt reply.

    Yes, I have already “ticked” the SMTP option in the Google dashboard.

    Have just deleted the problematic “send mail as” account and setting up again (have done this many times already).

    Just wondered if maybe the words “outside your email domains” is tripping me up.

    So I will delete all reference to the domain name (currently sitting in Domain Names list as unverified) in question and try setting up the “send mail as” all over again.

    I will let you know.

    (Note: I see there is a whole slew of very angry people in the Google Help Forum arguing with each other and calling Google names over this issue, clearly they have not found you or your solution yet.)

    Thanks again.

    • Feel free to share a link to this article with them 😉

      & good luck fixing your problem !

  6. Hi Glenn

    Thank you again!

    The solution is definitely heading in my direction.

    For anyone else reading this blog discussion, hopefully my frustrations and your suggestions will help them.

    The reason that the SMTP option made no difference re “sending through an external SMTP” was because the domain name (i.e. the domain name used in my attempts to send as was sitting as “unverified/rejected” in my “domain names” list.

    At some point (in sheer frustration, before Jonny suggested the SMTP switch (for Google Apps Premium)) I added the domain name to my domains list, thinking that it might help. Because it was rejected by Google anyway, I just left it there.

    I have removed the domain name, deleted the offending “send mail as” account, then added it again and “voila” it asks me the question I have been looking for i.e. “Send through SMTP servers (recommended for professional domains – Learn more)” … yes!

    It looks like the infamous “send on behalf of” problem is about to go away at last.


    • Nice ! This should totally resolve your “SMTP” problem and therefor your “send on behalf of” problem. 🙂

  7. This works brilliantly !

    Thankyou so much 🙂

    • Andreas
    • September 20th, 2010

    I have the same problem and my domain names are ok. However I already have one Nickname added where the SMTP setup worked well some weeks ago. Now the SMTP Option is not available to me anymore. Is there a limit?
    I’m a Google Apps Premier Customer.

    Thanks for any hints.

    • Shevek
    • October 4th, 2010

    It’s not quite there for me! Almost, but not quite.

    There is still the main account details being passed in the email header, as this is the only authentication available to log into the SMTP server.

    I just tested it by setting up user@domain1.tld to have user@domain2.tld as “Send mail as” and the header shows the From correctly as user@domain2.tld but there is a Return-Path header set to user@domain1.tld

    • Paolo
    • October 7th, 2010

    Hi Glenn

    What am I missing?
    Your example will work only if the 2 users are on the same domain. If I want to have the same user from 2 different domains I would need to add the second domain name in the send as email address to the domain list in the “Domain Settings” –> “Domain Names”… But this can only be done if you own the domain. How do I do what you suggested if I have an email address in a domain I don’t use?

    • Victor Wei
    • October 17th, 2010

    Thanks a lot!

    • RP
    • October 28th, 2010

    I never see the “Send through SMTP Server” option when I click Next in Gmail Account settings. It always skips right to the Verify window.

    But why? It’s driving me crazy!

    I’m on Gapps STD and in the CP I’ve checked (enabled) “Outbound Relay – allow users to send…”

    I just enabled this in the CP an hour ago. Is there some sort of lag time??

    • RP
    • October 28th, 2010

    I posted before about it not working for me but after I waited an hour after I enabled “Outbound Relay” in CP, then I finally could see the “Send from SMTP Server” option in Gmail Account settings. Thanks for this article Glenn!!

    • Stonie
    • November 11th, 2010

    THANK YOU!!!

    • Nikolaj
    • November 12th, 2010

    Thank you SO very much !

    • jordan
    • November 15th, 2010

    Awesome!! Been looking for this for a while, and it works great!

    • Ben
    • December 8th, 2010

    This has been annoying me for ages, but I presumed it was one of those I would just have to live with. Thanks for finding the solution!!

    • Adam
    • December 14th, 2010

    Sweet. Thank you for figuring this out. Just wanted to add another layer. When I try to send via Outlook (connected through Google Sync)and have “Always reply from default…”, when the default = my alias, messages don’t seem to send. The workaround is to create a new/additional Google IMAP account where your alias is the email address and the username is primary. Set the new SMTP as the default sender and disable receiving (via tools>options>mail setup>send/receive) and you are all set.

    • Judi Sohn
    • December 22nd, 2010

    I set the Outbound Relay setting in our Control Panel 4 days ago. We are still not getting the option to select SMTP server when setting up “Send Mail As.”

    I’ve now opened 2 support tickets with Google (we have the Education/NP Edition) and I’ve posted on the Google Apps forums to no relief.

    Support person replied once that I should add the as a delivery destination, and when I replied that it made no sense he answered that I should make it the catch-all route. It still makes no sense to me that I should make changes to *incoming* email settings by putting in an outgoing server address…not to mention the catch-all wants an email address, not a server. So I haven’t done it hoping for a better answer.

    Thank you for this article…too many folks in my organization communicate with people using Outlook for this not to work for us.

    • Paul M
    • December 31st, 2010

    Good tip. I managed to get this working (nearly!). I’m testing google apps standard. I have three email addresses forwarded to a single admin account. I need to reply to the emails as their original sent to addresses (hoping to manage with mobile when out of the office). The problem I have is that the replies take 1-2 hours to reach the original senders when sent through to (various non-google addresses). I can’t work out why it’s so slow. If I could solve the delay issue this would be my preferred solution.

    I have tried setting up the reply addresses as email aliases different (not nicknames the domain is not google apps mydomain) and sending them through myseconddomain host’s email server. This works fine and the replies are through in seconds. The problem is that GA Gmail doesn’t auto select the replied From address from the account Send mail as settings. I have to manually set the change From: link in the email window before sending. I need to have this working as auto.

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.


  8. awesome, thank you so much

    • John D.
    • January 26th, 2011

    hi there,

    Like Judi Sohn above, I don’t have the option to select the SMTP server when I do the ‘Send mail as’.
    It is really frustrating 😦 Did any one find out how to get it?


      • John D.
      • January 26th, 2011

      In case it would be interesting for someone, the option that has to be enabled for the ‘Outbound Relay’ takes to time to propagate.

      I was just to impatient it seems. Thanks a lot for the message!


  9. Thank you so much for this. Very very helpful.

    • Steve
    • February 11th, 2011

    I’ve set this up on GAFYD and it appears to work, however if I send to another gmail address and then select “Show Original” (to show all the headers), I count five references to my original domain name buried in the headers, under “Return-Path:” (twice) and “Received-SPF:” and “Authentication-Results:”.

    So I guess as long as the recipient isn’t too clever they won’t know about the other domain, but it seems that if I want to keep my other domain truly hidden, this trick still doesn’t work.

  10. I’m still getting the same error message:

    Authentication failed. Please check your username/password.
    [Server response: 535-5.7.1 Username and Password not accepted. Learn more at 535 5.7.1 u9sm818251ibe.8 code(535) ]

    My alias is “info”, my primary account is “gina”. I only have one password to access both, obviously, since it is one account. While trying to set this up, I use my alias email as the username (along with the and enter the only password I have for this account. I still am not getting anywhere.

    What am I doing wrong?

    • winston
    • March 29th, 2011

    omg. that was annoying me for so long. THANKS!

    • yeji
    • March 31st, 2011


    seems to be exactly what i was looking for so long.

    But i can’t get it working.

    In the Google Apps Dashboard I activated
    “Allow users to send mail through an external SMTP when configuring a “from” address hosted outside your email domains.”

    Then i added a nickname and logged in to the main mail-account.

    I clicked “Add another email address you own” typed in Name and email address and clicked next … but there isn’t now the option to set my own smtp, but it asks directly wether i want to receive a confirmation mail.

    How can i get the option working?

      • lid
      • June 20th, 2011

      It seems that the option to send through external SMTP servers only exists if the email address is in an external domain (i.e. a domain not configured in your Google Apps installation).

    • Bora
    • August 4th, 2011
    • OneMore
    • December 13th, 2012

    Great! This stuff still works!!!
    Successfully resolved old inconvenience of using a Gmail personal account to send on behalf of two other Google Apps accounts, using Outlook 2007.
    Never could find time to figure that myself and suffered for two years.Thanks a ton!!!

    • Hey OneMore, glad to see that this still works after all this time!

  11. They seem to have fixed it. I had this working for a while, but now I am geeting via 😦

    • Stephen
    • December 17th, 2013

    This works! Thanks a lot!

    Have you figured out how to do this on iOS 7 (iPad or iPhone)?

    I have added my Google Apps account using the Custom IMAP option, and used & port 465 (with username & password of the main account) as the SMTP server. It’s stuck on “Verifying…” status, though 😦

    Would really appreciate it if you could share how to set this up on iOS.


    • Sorry can’t help you with that, i’m using exchange on my iOS device for my Google Apps mail account.
      But exchange isn’t supported for new devices by Google, as long as i keep my iPhone exchange will keep working for my Google Apps account… from the moment i use a new iOS device i will loose the exchange support 😦

  1. April 2nd, 2013

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