Anyone who uses Gmail with a “From” address that is different than their actual Gmail address is familiar with Gmail’s including an “On behalf of” in the sending information. For example, if your Gmail address is “JaneDoe@gmail.com”, but you have Gmail using your work address of “email@example.com” as your “From” address instead, when you send email through Gmail, instead of your recipients seeing “From: firstname.lastname@example.org”, your recipients may see “From: JaneDoe@gmail.com on behalf of email@example.com.”
This is, needless to say, a bit messy, and even potentially embarrassing if you are trying to maintain a professional look to your email, or for some other reason using your own domain as the “From” address while actually sending through Gmail.
The reason that Gmail does this is, as they explain, because they “have to include your original Gmail username in the “Sender” field of the message header to comply with mail delivery protocols and help prevent your mail from being marked as spam.”
In other words, because your email is being sent out from Gmail’s mail servers, they have to include the information that your email is really from a Gmail email address, not example.com.
But now, Gmail is offering a way around this sticky wicket, and a way to get rid of the “On behalf of”.
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By using your other (or an other) domain’s mail server to send your outgoing email from Gmail. And because you are not using Gmail’s mail server, your “From” address no longer has to say that it’s really from Gmail.
For example, my email address is @isipp.com. If I send out email from Gmail, and it claims to be from my @isipp.com address, but it’s really going through Gmail, then they will say “On behalf of AnnesAddress@gmail.com”. But if I change my Gmail settings to send email out through the isipp.com mail server, instead of through Gmail’s mail server, then my email loses the “On behalf of AnnesAddress@gmail.com”.
This may sound complicated, but it’s actually pretty easy to set up. Here’s how you do it:
Before starting, you will need to know the name of your non-Gmail mail server, and the username and password of your account on that mail server. Then:
Go into your Gmail account, and click on “Settings”:
Next click on the “Accounts” link:
Find the “Send mail as” email address for which you want to make the change (probably your default “Send mail as” address), and click on “edit info”:
Check to be sure that you have the right address pulled up, and then click on “next step”:
And click on “Send through example.com’s SMTP servers”:
This is where you enter your mail server’s address, and your username and password. Outbound mail servers usually use a protocol known as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and so your mail server is probably an SMTP server, which is why Gmail refers to it as an SMTP server:
Note that the SMTP server does not have to belong to example.com (your domain); it can be any SMTP server on which you have an account through which to send email.
Also note that by default, Gmail sets your “Port” setting to ‘587’, but as likely as not (particularly if you are not using an SSL connection) you actually want to set it to Port 25. So if your set-up doesn’t work, try changing the “Port” setting to ’25’.
Once you are done, click on “Save changes”, and at this point Gmail will check your settings by trying to authenticate with the mail server – if it has any problems you’ll get an error message so that you can correct them.
Otherwise, you’ll find yourself back in the regular Gmail interface, where you can start sending email without that tell-tale “On behalf of” to ever darken your email again.
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