Hotmail delivers aliases to help you manage and secure your email account

Hotmail delivers aliases to help you manage and secure your email account

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Starting today, you can create and manage multiple email aliases from a single Hotmail account. Together with features that we introduced in November that let you use Hotmail with any existing email address, the new aliasing feature makes it easy to use a different email address and still get all the benefits of Hotmail without having to change your primary email address and online identity.

The email address a person uses is a big part of their online identity. The average person maintains three different email addresses in order to organize different types of email, maintain different personas, or keep junk mail away from a primary email address. So there are many good reasons that people want multiple email addresses, but maintaining multiple accounts, with different user names and passwords that require you to check multiple inboxes, is inefficient. With today’s update, Hotmail helps you save time by making it easier to manage your current and future email addresses in one place.

Aliases

Hotmail (and many other email services) already allow you to just add a plus sign (‘+’) and a descriptive word to the first part of your email address. For instance, if your email address was doctor-smith@live.com and you wanted to create an alias for online shopping, you could use doctor-smith+shopping@live.com. Email sent to this alias will still be delivered to your inbox or to a particular folder. This can help with managing different types of incoming email. In addition to the plus feature, we’ve also released Sweep to help manage this type of incoming email traffic. 

However, with the plus addresses that many services offer, it’s still very easy to determine your actual email address and there are times when you simply don’t want to give out any part of your real email address – that’s where our new alias feature helps you out. Email aliases let you create completely different email addresses that you can use to receive email into your primary account without anyone knowing what your primary email address is

Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car. There are a bunch of websites that will email you price quotes, sales alerts, etc. During your car search, these messages are helpful, but once you’re done, they become clutter that can be difficult to stop. By using an alias on these websites instead of your main email address, you can avoid this. And when you’re done, just turn the alias off, ensuring future unwanted messages that are sent to that alias don’t land in your inbox.

Choose a folder for mail sent to a new alias

You might also be concerned that your address could be sold to other companies or could result in a large amount of new email that you don’t want or doesn’t belong in the same place as your regular email. Or maybe you want an address that’s better suited to your hard-core gaming persona rather than your normal, professional one. Starting today, you can add up to five aliases per year to your Hotmail account, up to fifteen aliases in total, all designed to make it a lot easier to organize different types of email and personas in one Hotmail inbox without having to give out your primary email address if you don’t want to. 

With the option to use Hotmail with any email address and the ability to easily add aliases, we look forward to hearing how you’re better managing and securing your online identity.

Dharmesh Mehta
Director, Windows Live Product Management

52 Comments
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  • danielgr
    73 Posts

    Any word on WLMail or Outlook connector support?

    It's nice to have aliases working, but it's a pain to need to use them through hotmail website exclusively.

    Did I miss something?

  • i added a  live.com address ,but after a test ,shows :

    This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification. Delivery to the following recipients failed.

  • "you can add up to five aliases per year to your Hotmail account, up to fifteen aliases in total"   - That's ridiculous!   With my Yahoo Mail Plus account, I can create hundreds of disposable E-mail addresses.

  • The same question as MondayBlues

    If I already have an account (say, hotmailuser at live dot com) and want to use that address as an alias of a newly created address, would it be possible to close the previous account and then immediately create the alias in the second account ?  Or would I have to wait the 270 days for the account to be permanently closed before using the alias ?

  • Um. I'm trying to create an alias for the hotmail.ca domain. My main hotmail.com account states that I am in canada, and I can create a live.ca alias, but when I try doing hotmail.ca it says:

    "This email address can't be added because it's part of a reserved domain. Please enter an email address with a different domain"

    Who is this domain reserved for? I would assume someone living in Canada...

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    This really has to be the best Hotmail feature ever. And the fact you can use Hotmail with any email address.... Gmail and other services can never win. :-)

  • Hi, I still can't receive any e-mails addressed to either of my aliases... Is there something I can do to make it work or I should wait some more?

  • Carlox
    1 Posts

    Genial es muy util, ya cree mi alias y en verdad que esta buena esta funcion, pero lo unico malo fue que al mandar un mensaje  con mi alias a un correo yahoo me lo enviaba a la carpeta de spam, y cuando lo envio con la direccion real si me lo manda a la bandeja de entrada.  ¿Cual sera el problema? como corrigo esto

  • Great Feature, Thanks!  I would suggest sending out a Hotmail Feature Email Update to all Hotmail users notifying them about new and enhanced Hotmail Fetaures. I agree with others here that there are many Hotmail users that do not know about or read this blog and hence do not know when new updates/features are added to Hotmail.

  • pretty cool idea!

  • winter
    15 Posts

    @Sam, when I use hotmail to receive/send emails from account other than hotmail/live, "on behalf of" shows up for outgoing mails. Is there any way to remove it?

    I agree with Langware, you should let people know when new functions/features are added. A link of this blog or a web page for the new feature on the login page of hotmail would be very useful. Google tries to inform everyone even when a new button is added to gmail. It is funny that most users know Hotmail has a new feature only after reading the news from other sources.

  • langware
    154 Posts

    How do the Hotmail users, who do not read the Windows Blog, find out about changes to Hotmail? Shouldn't you be more proactive about directly informing your customers when new functions/features are added to Hotmail?

  • @winter-  When you send mail using your alias, we don’t expose the primary account (so its never “on behalf of”).

  • winter
    15 Posts

    When will you remove the "on behalf of" thing?

  • @ypan - I can help investigate what's going on.  I'll follow up with an email offline.

  • ypan
    2 Posts

    I still cannot receive e-mail in my alias, after 3 days:

    This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

    Delivery to the following recipients failed.

  • danielgr
    73 Posts

    Forgot to say;

    Maybe it'd be enough if we were simply able to change the e-mail address associated to our "unique Windows Live ID identifier".

    Since you've got that "unique id" in place, it should be possible to change the associated e-mail address while keeping everything else in place.

  • danielgr
    73 Posts

    First of all; thanks for this great feature.

    Second, I'm among those that would love to see the possibility of "merging accounts" in addition to aliases.

    I guess that many people opened an account at hotmail at a time when:

    - it was the most popular e-mail system (and e-mails scarce for popular names in languages like Spanish)

    - it was a service used just for casual e-mailing.

    With time hotmail has become one of the best (if not the best) e-mail services (paid or not), and also the portal to all Windows Live services.

    With that change also comes the need for a new e-mail adress or live id, because I don't want to keep using the dumb hotmail address I choose for fun when I was 15 years old for all my "live services".

    Recently you've released many new domains (local ones, "live" ones) which make a ton more e-mails available, so it would be so nice if one could "merge" two different live id's, or "migrate from one live id to another" and keep all the skydrive data, contacts, e-mail, users ...

    I guess I could go along with creating a new "alias" then turning it into my "preferred e-mail address". The problem is that I already "reserved" my desired e-mail at "live.com" and linked it to my former "hotmail.com"

    As such, at least you could provide a way of "turning a linked live id into an alias" (even if it meant to lose one of the accounts data). Reading the replies here it seems that I'm not the only one that would like to do this, but I don't want to wait for nearly a year to get the account fully closed, nor risk to get it taken again.

    Please consider it.

  • bmaytum
    2 Posts

    @ JohnCz:

    Thanks for the HowTo setup an alias!  

    Done -Wow, that is easy!

  • What about merging two linked accounts? Is this, possible, or even planned?

  • Kevin
    3 Posts

    Very cool... but what about transitioning other accounts that I already own, will I need to wait the 270 days after deleting the account before creating an alias with the same name?

  • Only new Hotmail or Live accounts can be added as aliases.  Once a new alias has been added, it can't be separated out into a new account after the fact (aliases can be deleted however).

    MondayBlues is right, you can choose to send mail from one of your aliases from the drop-down menu on the compose page (click on your address aboe "To:", to open the menu).  We'll also default to the right address when you reply to emails sent to an alias, and keep your primary email account safe.

  • Kevin,

    You can already send from the alias address by choosing the alias from the drop-down menu above the "To" field on the compose window.   :-)

  • Kevin
    3 Posts

    I second MondayBlues's question... is there a way to transition my secondary hotmail accounts to aliases on my main account?  Also, is there or will there be anyway to send from alias accounts?

  • Is it possible to covert an alias to a separate independent email address? If so, how?

  • Nice, JohnCz.  Much easier !  :-)

  • JohnCz
    204 Posts

    @bmaytum, hover your mouse over "Inbox" and click on the gear icon that appears next to it, select "Create a Hotmail alias".

  • This should do it:

    Go to Options > More Options > Manage Account >  Account Details.  Then under "Other Options" click on "Your Email Addresses," then on "Add an email address."  Select "Create a new Windows Live email address to add to your account" and fill in a username and choose either hotmail.com or live.com.

  • bmaytum
    2 Posts

    uhhhhh d0h, can someone tell me HOW to settup an alias in Hotmail?

    I hunted around in HM and couldn't find anything for setting up a Hotmail alias email address. TIA.

  • AlexD77
    9 Posts

    For now, i use three different mailboxes for shopping, archive and primary one (one more for WP7 registration - i would like to keep it separate from my mail activity). The primary one is Hotmail Plus. I want to use this one everywhere, keeping it protected by aliases and not seeing the adverts... But as always, smth isn't possible... Argh!

  • RE: Custom domains...  We don't support adding custom domain aliases now, but it is something we are looking at for a future release.

  • Web Guy
    19 Posts

    Very good news and how totally unexpected.

    Props to the team guys.  Now I can probably delete 2 of my 3 live accounts and consolidate into one.

  • AlexD77
    9 Posts

    what about custom domains ?  All i'm getting is "There's a temporary problem with the service. Please try again. If you continue to get this message, try again later"

  • @MaryBranscombe - You can accomplish selective forwarding by creating a rule to only forward when mail is sent to a particular address.

  • Love the idea of the feature but unfortunately all I get is >>>>>

    550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable

    Anyone else having similar problems?

  • JohnCz
    204 Posts

    After testing it abit, I would like to 2nd the previous suggestion for enabling users to create aliases under the domain tied to Live Custom Domains.

    Fyi to all, I would avoid adding any Contacts that are *only* aware of your alias email address.  That opens a can of worms if you want to keep your identity private.  For example, features like vacation replies will be sent with your primary email address to your contacts.

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    This is great! I've got my original home address, which is named after my favourite book, and a other address that relates more to me that I can use in forms etc.!

  • winter
    15 Posts

    Is this feature related to the "Add a new email address" in the account settings options that began to be available a couple months ago? Since there was no decription about that feature (like adding at most five addresses per year, how to use it), I just added one new email address and deleted it several times to explore how it worked. Now when I try to add an alias, I get an error saying: "You've added the maximum number of email addresses right now (we have a limit to help keep your account information safe). Please try again later. " Does this mean I have to wait for one year? Since you just make the announcement yesterday, could you please count the quota (5 per year per account) from now and let me use the feature?

  • very nice; but now you definitely need selective forwarding, maybe per alias ;-)

  • ypan
    2 Posts

    After creating my new alias, I cannot receive e-mail to it:

    A problem occurred during the delivery of this message to this e-mail address. Try sending this message again. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk.

    The following organization rejected your message: col0-mc2-f25.Col0.hotmail.com.

  • jamiet
    45 Posts

    I use custom domains and I am able to create an alias, although its still an @hotmail address not @mydomain - which would be quite nice.

  • Sapph
    2 Posts

    This is a great step forward! Is it already enabled for custom domains?

    All you guys need is wildcard addressing so that *@mydomain.com filters into my inbox, and I can migrate away from Google Apps completely. That's literally the only feature y'all are missing that I need.

  • This is one of the most exciting and great features. KEEP IT UP!!

    KEEP hotmail ahead of other services in terms of features and performance.

    Thank You

  • sp1der
    35 Posts

    When will be available also for windows live custom domain??

  • How may aliases be used in Windows Live Mail, the desktop client?

  • W.Wolf
    3 Posts

    cool deal.  I'm using one to sign up for this comment :).  I have the same question as MondayBlues, if I have another hotmail address is there anyway I can convert it into an alias account?  Currently I just have it setup to forward to my main hotmail but Alias mode sounds much much better.

  • If I already have an account (say, hotmailuser at live dot com) and want to use that address as an alias of a newly created address, would it be possible to close the previous account and then immediately create the alias in the second account ?  Or would I have to wait the 270 days for the account to be permanently closed before using the alias ?

  • LOL look at that huge banner add. Guys these ads need to stop being so huge and annoying. I love my Hotmail though, and that is why I pay for Hotmail Plus or whatever so I do not have ads.

  • JohnCz
    204 Posts

    Totally unexpected..thank you!

  • This is most excelent news! Many of the people I do consulting for will benefit greatly from this. Once again Hotmail & Live are setting the pace in the market place!

    Will this feature be added to custom domains hosted with your domains.live.com offering soon?

  • Albert
    94 Posts

    This is pretty awesome. Any reason why @msn aliases aren't available to MSN Premium members?

  • Fantastic news!  I have already got my new alias set up!