JavaMail API - Forwarding Emails

In this chapter we will see how to forward an email using JavaMail API. Basic steps followed in the program below are:

  • Get the Session object with POP and SMPT server details in the properties. We would need POP details to retrieve messages and SMPT details to send messages.

  • Create POP3 store object and connect to the store.

  • Create Folder object and open the appropriate folder in your mailbox.

  • Retrieve messages.

  • Iterate through the messages and type "Y" or "y" if you want to forward.

  • Get all information (To,From,Subject, Content) of the message.

  • Build the forward message by working with the parts that make up a message. First part would be the text of the message and a second part would be the message to forward. Combine the two into a multipart. Then you add the multipart to a properly addressed message and send it.

  • Close the Transport, folder and store objects respectively.

Here we have used JangoSMPT server via which emails are sent to our destination email address. The setup is explained in the Environment Setup chapter.

Create Java Class

Create a java class file ForwardEmail, the contents of which are as follows:

package com.tutorialspoint;

import java.util.Date;
import java.util.Properties;

import javax.mail.BodyPart;
import javax.mail.Folder;
import javax.mail.Message;
import javax.mail.Multipart;
import javax.mail.PasswordAuthentication;
import javax.mail.Session;
import javax.mail.Store;
import javax.mail.Transport;
import javax.mail.internet.InternetAddress;
import javax.mail.internet.MimeBodyPart;
import javax.mail.internet.MimeMessage;
import javax.mail.internet.MimeMultipart;

public class ForwardEmail {

   public static void main(String[] args) {
      Properties properties = new Properties();
      properties.put("", "pop3");
      properties.put("", "");
      properties.put("mail.pop3s.port", "995");
      properties.put("mail.pop3.starttls.enable", "true");
      properties.put("mail.smtp.auth", "true");
      properties.put("", "");
      properties.put("mail.smtp.port", "25");
      Session session = Session.getDefaultInstance(properties);
      try {
         // session.setDebug(true);
         // Get a Store object and connect to the current host
         Store store = session.getStore("pop3s");
         store.connect("", "",
            "*****");//change the user and password accordingly

         // Create a Folder object and open the folder
         Folder folder = store.getFolder("inbox");;
         BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(
         Message[] messages = folder.getMessages();
         if (messages.length != 0) {

         for (int i = 0, n = messages.length; i < n; i++) {
            Message message = messages[i];
            // Get all the information from the message
            String from = InternetAddress.toString(message.getFrom());
            if (from != null) {
               System.out.println("From: " + from);
            String replyTo = InternetAddress.toString(message
            if (replyTo != null) {
               System.out.println("Reply-to: " + replyTo);
            String to = InternetAddress.toString(message
            if (to != null) {
               System.out.println("To: " + to);

            String subject = message.getSubject();
            if (subject != null) {
               System.out.println("Subject: " + subject);
            Date sent = message.getSentDate();
            if (sent != null) {
               System.out.println("Sent: " + sent);
            System.out.print("Do you want to reply [y/n] : ");
            String ans = reader.readLine();
            if ("Y".equals(ans) || "y".equals(ans)) {
               Message forward = new MimeMessage(session);
               // Fill in header
               forward.setSubject("Fwd: " + message.getSubject());
               forward.setFrom(new InternetAddress(to));

               // Create the message part
               MimeBodyPart messageBodyPart = new MimeBodyPart();
               // Create a multipart message
               Multipart multipart = new MimeMultipart();
               // set content
               messageBodyPart.setContent(message, "message/rfc822");
               // Add part to multi part
               // Associate multi-part with message

               // Send the message by authenticating the SMTP server
               // Create a Transport instance and call the sendMessage
               Transport t = session.getTransport("smtp");
               try {
                  //connect to the smpt server using transport instance
		  //change the user and password accordingly
                  t.connect("abc", "*****");
                  t.sendMessage(forward, forward.getAllRecipients());
               } finally {

               System.out.println("message forwarded successfully....");

            // close the store and folder objects
            }// end if

         }// end for
   }// end if
   } catch (Exception e) {

You can set the debug on by uncommenting the statement session.setDebug(true);

Compile and Run

Now that our class is ready, let us compile the above class. I've saved the class to directory : /home/manisha/JavaMailAPIExercise. We would need the jars javax.mail.jar and activation.jar in the classpath. Execute the command below to compile the class (both the jars are placed in /home/manisha/ directory) from command prompt:

javac -cp /home/manisha/activation.jar:/home/manisha/javax.mail.jar:

Now that the class is compiled, execute the following command to run:

java -cp /home/manisha/activation.jar:/home/manisha/javax.mail.jar: ForwardEmail

Verify Output

You should see the following message on the command console:

From: ABC <>
To: XYZ <>
Subject: Hi today is a nice day
Sent: Thu Oct 17 15:58:37 IST 2013
Do you want to reply [y/n] : y
message forwarded successfully....

Check the inbox to which the mail was sent. In our case the forwarded message would look as below:

JavaMail API Forward Email JavaMail API Forward Email