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Email inbox hygiene

Tech Talk

It's always been a best practice to keep your friends and family emails separate from the flood of emails from the places you've shopped online, the newsletters you've signed up for, your social media notifications, and all the political emails. For a long time, the best way to keep those essential emails separate from the rest was to use different e-mail addresses for each type of e-mail. It worked, but now you have multiple e-mail addresses and passwords to keep track of.

If only there were an easier way. Spoiler alert, there is. E-mail aliases are easier to create and delete than regular e-mail addresses but can give you control over what you see in your inbox. E-mail aliases are e-mail addresses that forward to your primary e-mail account. In addition, you can create filters and labels to sort the wheat from the chaff.

E-mail aliases can also hide your actual e-mail address if the company you use allows that.


If you use an att.net, sbcglobal.net, or yahoo.com e-mail address, Yahoo lets you use up to 500 e-mail aliases. Open your Yahoo e-mail and then open Settings by clicking on the gear icon in the top right of the screen. Now click on More Settings on the right toward the bottom. Click on Mailboxes and the Disposable Addresses setting and click Add. You'll need to create a nickname for your disposable addresses, and you're competing with hundreds of millions of other users, so it might be best just to make up some nonsense and click Add. Now you can create e-mail aliases using whatever you and Yahoo agreed on by adding a keyword after the hyphen. You can also fill out the display name and a description of the purpose of the address. Yahoo e-mail aliases end with @yahoo.com.

Once you don't need an alias, go back to the Disposable Addresses page in Settings and delete the e-mail address.


Microsoft lets you create e-mail aliases and links them to your Microsoft account e-mail address. Only ten are available, but that should be fine for most needs. Open your favorite browser and log in to your Microsoft account. Click on your name and beautiful picture; now click on Your info. Click Edit account info. You can add and remove the e-mail addresses linked to your account here. Outlook e-mail aliases end with @outlook.com.

You can remove aliases from this same screen. However, you can't reuse an Outlook alias, so make sure you want to delete that alias before pressing delete.

iCloud and Hide My Mail

Apple uses iCloud to provide basic e-mail aliases. Sign in to iCloud on the internet and go to Mail, then click on the gear icon, and go to Accounts to set up your e-mail aliases. Here, all of your aliases end with @icloud.com.

You can use Hide My Mail to create e-mail aliases if you're paying Apple for more than the standard 5GB of storage. Of course, apple chooses a randomized combination of letters and numbers for you, so you can't select your e-mail address. But they're easy to create and delete when you don't need them anymore.


Gmail's alias options aren't great, frankly. All you can do is add periods anywhere in your Gmail e-mail address. Then, when you have a period added to your e-mail address, any e-mail addressed to your period-added e-mail address goes right to your inbox. Not great at hiding or even aliasing your e-mail address.

Firefox Relay

If you want to use something other than your e-mail provider to create aliases, Firefox has you covered.

Firefox has rolled out a comprehensive e-mail alias tool. It's free for now, but Mozilla hasn't shared any long-term plans for the service. These e-mail aliases end with @mozmail.com and get forwarded to your primary e-mail address, just like all the rest of the e-mail alias providers.

I received an e-mail about an online course on Map Reading & Navigation.

The reviews say the course is so good I'll be able to read maps backward.

Then I realized it was spam.

Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. E-mail Greg at [email protected].