Gmail Adds Custom SMTP Servers, Drops “On Behalf Of”

July 30, 2009

Used to be that when you sent Gmail messages with a custom from address, there would be an "On behalf of" bit added to the headers of the message because you were using Gmail's outgoing SMTP server. It didn't show up in all email clients, but those using Microsoft Outlook did see it, and it made your email look a little more janky than it had to. Happily, today Gmail is scrapping the "on behalf of" business and letting you associate custom SMTP servers with your custom from: addresses. Hit up the Accounts tab under Settings in your Gmail account to get it configured.

Those using outlook with gmail is janky in the first place. Use Exchange like everyone else!

This is HUGE news! Thanks for posting it, Gina! Nevermind the “on behalf of” business, Gmail using SMTP to send messages out is a big deal. I wonder what motivated this…

This will have a very positive impact on spam filtering. And it should make it easier for people who don’t have access to their DNS to get the same benefit as Google Apps for Your Domain users. It also makes it SOOO much easier for people to use Gmail for their corporate mail.

I wonder how Corporate America will react–if they’ll keep the SMTP ports open for Gmail DNS. I think they will…

This effectively turns Gmail from a web app for checking email into a REAL email client–one that works with any service. Very wise move, indeed!! Go Gmail!!

technotheory [+11]
Jul 31 09 at 5:31 am

Yet, it still doesn’t work for alternate Gmail address. I wonder why Google didn’t decide to fix this?

Here’s hoping they just overlooked it for now…

Just to note: the “on behalf of” is only dropped if you switch to using a different SMTP server. At first, the headline led me to believe that it was dropped even if you sent your mail through Google’s servers; that’s not the case.

Still, I don’t think I’ll use this much. I like to keep my work email and my personal email separate; also, all of my personal email addresses get forwarded to my primary gmail, which I prefer to use when I care enough about an incoming message to reply to it anyway.

Of course, this only works if the “custom domain” you’re coming from has its own SMTP servers. For those of us who (smartly) bought our own domain names years and years ago simply to avoid having to change e-mail addresses every time we changed ISPs, and use mail forwarders from our DNS service, this still doesn’t help us at all.

Guess it’s time to build a mail server.

Aug 9 09 at 8:30 am

I want to use this feature but I do not have my own SMTP server. I am also using email forward features for my own domain. Any work around?

I am able to do it using email client, like Thunder Bird but not from web mail.

Aug 11 09 at 6:28 am

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