To set up email forwarding in Office 365 to an external email address without creating a mailbox please follow these instructions:

Step 1. Log in to Office 365

Go to http://portal.microsoftonline.com

Step 2. Go to Exchange Admin

On the left sidebar under Admin click on Exchange

Exchange

Step 3. Create a New Mail User

Click on Recipients in the left sidebar

Click on Contacts

Click on the arrow next to the + and Choose Mail User

Create-New-Mail-User-Office365

 

Step 4. Fill in the New User Details

New-External-User-Office365

Fill in all the relevant details:

  1. First Name
  2. Last Name
  3. Alias – make this the same as the User ID
  4. External Email Address – the email address you want to forward the email to
  5. User ID – The Internal email address you want to forward from
  6. Password – Not important as it won’t be used anyway but still make sure it’s secure

Step 5. Wait – IMPORTANT!

As with any task on Office 365 you can try out your new forwarding address straight away but it may not work immediately.  Sometimes Office 365 can take some time (an hour or two) to recognise changes in the system for some tasks.

Conclusion

Although the process of forwarding an internal Office 365 address to an external email address without a mailbox is simple enough to complete when you know how to, finding the correct section in the ECP can be misleading as there isn’t a simple “Forwarding” section.