Default Address

Valid for versions 82 through the latest version



Last modified: July 17, 2024


This interface allows you to set up a default address (a catch-all address) that receives any mail for an invalid email address for the domain. You can also define how the default address handles incoming messages.

The default address may receive messages for your existing email addresses if they contain typos or other issues. For example, if your email address is [email protected] but a sender uses [email protected], the default address will receive it. Check your domains’ default addresses often for missing messages.

  • If spammers target your domain and you forward mail to a default address, that address may receive a large amount of spam.
  • Domain forwarders override the domain’s default address. For more information, read our Forwarders documentation.

What is a default address?

Most domains receive email messages for invalid or nonexistent email addresses on the domain. Normally, the system forwards them to the default address. The system uses the default email account as the default address until you change it. We recommend that you set up a default address for each of your domains, to ensure that you receive all of the email for your domain.


Default addresses are not the same as the system default email account.

  • The system uses the system default email address as the sender of system or script-generated messages.
  • To manage the system default address, locate the email address that you want to edit in cPanel’s Email Accounts interface (cPanel » Home » Email » Email Accounts) and click Manage.

Default Address Maintenance

To set or update a default address for your domain, perform the following steps:

  1. From the cPanel Home interface, select Default Address in the Email section.
  2. From the Send all unrouted email for the following domain menu, select the domain for which you wish to set or update a default address.
  3. Select one of the following settings:
    • Discard the email while your server processes it by SMTP time with an error message — Select this setting to send an error message to the sender. Then, enter an error message in the Failure Message (seen by sender) text box.
    • Forward to Email Address — Select this setting to forward mail to another address. Then, enter the email address or your cPanel account’s username in the Forward to Email Address text box.
  4. Click Advanced Options to view the following additional settings:
    • Forward to your system account — Select this setting to forward mail to the system account.
    • Pipe to a Program — Select this setting to forward messages to a program at the path that you define in the available text box.

      For more information, read our How to Configure Email Filters documentation.

    • Discard (Not Recommended) — Select this setting to delete incoming messages and not send a failure notice.

      We recommend that you choose a different setting. If you choose this setting, the sender will not know that the delivery failed.

  5. Click Change.

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