Catchall Email Address, How to Set

In cPanel, the catchall feature is referred to as "default address." Enabling the default address allows all misrouted or misaddressed email to be sent to a particular email address rather than bouncing. Therefore, you should be careful when setting up a default address as this can increase your possibility of becoming a victim of spam.

By default, HostGator disables the catchall feature for all account types; however, it can be enabled upon request. If you see the following message in cPanel when you click on the Default Address icon, you will need to contact us via phone or live chat to request that the catchall is enabled:

The Default E-Mail/Catch-All feature has been disabled by default due to spam and security concerns. Please contact support if you need assistance with creating mail forwards (aliases) as an alternative.

To protect your account from skipping backups because of disk space or from being disabled due to inode usage, HostGator automatically disables catch-all if it has not been checked within 30 days. Additionally, HostGator periodically removes all spam and trash email over 30 days old.

Set Up CatchAll

Once activated, you can set up a catchall email address by doing the following:

  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. In the Mail section, click Default Address.
  3. In the drop-down menu below Send all unrouted email for, select the domain name for which you would like to set up the catchall. You will be given different options to choose from which will determine how the misrouted or misaddressed email sent to your domain will be handled.
    • Discard with error to sender (at SMTP time): Choose this option if you wish for the emails to bounce back to the sender with a specified error message. You may choose the failure message that is given in the bounceback by filling out the Failure Message box.
    • Forward to email address: This option is the most commonly used. With this option, all misrouted or misaddressed emails will be forwarded to the email address which is specified. Please be aware that by having all misrouted email go to an email box, you might receive a large amount of unwanted emails to the point that your inbox becomes full.
  4. Click the Advanced Options link to see the additional options you may choose for your default address.
    • Discard: This option will be used if you do not wish for a bounceback message to be sent to the sender of the misrouted email.
    • The Pipe to a program option will send the email to a script of your choice. When piping to a program, you should enter a path relative to your home directory. If the script requires an interpreter such as Perl or PHP, you should omit the /usr/bin/perl or /usr/bin/php portion. Make sure that your script is executable and has the appropriate hashbang at the top of the script. If you do not know how to add the hashbang, just make sure to name your script file with the correct extension and you will be prompted to have the hashbang added automatically.
  5. Click Change to complete the set up of the catchall address.
Emails count toward a customer's inode limits, so an overstuffed email box can result in account suspension. We recommend creating an email forwarder as an alternative.

cPanelcPanel is a popular web hosting control panel that helps you manage your hosting account and assists you in creating web sites, managing e-mail addresses, & installing applications to a server.

cPanel is available on all HostGator Linux hosting plans, including Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS and Linux Dedicated Servers.