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This shows you how to use the do not forward and encrypt features in Outlook 365 on the web and Outlook on your desktop (2016, 2019 and 365).

Please note: The University hasn't yet configured these options to match the Classification and Handling Rules, so what you see here may well change.

Last updated: January 2023

When and What to Use

Confidential information should only be sent by email in exceptional circumstances. If this is the case, then the Do Not Forward and Encrypt options can be used to send the information in the body of an email message. 

The options can be found via a button labelled Encrypt or Permissions - depending on the version of Outlook you are using. Use What version of Outlook do I have? on the Microsoft Office support website to find out your version.

Do Not Forward 

The recommended option, as this adds extra security controls in some email programs:

  • The message is encrypted
  • If the recipient is using Outlook (on the web or the desktop version), the encrypted message will be automatically decrypted (for the recipient only) and can be read normally in their inbox. 
  • If the recipient is using another desktop email program, they will be sent an email invite to log in to to read the message on a website.
  • In some email programs, the recipient can reply to the email but forwarding, copying further people into the reply, and printing are disabled. 


This option is also called Encrypt-only in some Outlook versions and is very hard to find in some versions.

  • It encrypts the message, but still allows the message to be forwarded, copied or printed. At this point you can lose control of who has seen, or has the message.

Full details on both options are available in the Microsoft Learn about encrypted messages in guide (see the How do I read an encrypted email message? sections).

Outlook 365 on the web

 Location of encrypt option on Outlook 365

Open a new email:

  1. Click Options
  2. Select the lock icon
  3. Select the required level of permissions

Ignore the Confidential and Highly Confidential options as they aren't relevant to the University.

OUTLOOK desktop (versions 365, 2019, 2016)

Outlook 365

Screenshot showing the location of the encrypt option in Outlook 365 app

Open a new email:

  • Click Options.
  • Click Encrypt.
  • Select  Do Not Forward

Ignore the Confidential / All Employees option as they aren't relevant to the University.

Outlook 2016 and 2019

Screenshot showing the location of the Do Not Forward option in Outlook 2016 

Open a new email:

  • Click Options.
  • Click Permissions (you might be asked to Connect to Rights Management Servers and get templates, the first time you click Permission. Once you have done this you should see the Do Not Forward option).
  • Either: Select Do Not Forward using the dropdown
  • Or: Keep clicking Permissions until you see Do Not Forward

Ignore the Confidential / All Employees option as they aren't relevant to the University.