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What's the point of aliases in outlook.com?


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Sorry if this is in the wrong category; but what's the point with having aliases in your main email in Outlook.com?

 

I used to have another email account linked to my main account (when Microsoft supported that), which I used, for example, to sign up for forums - much like this one! - because I never knew if I would be spammed to death from that or not ....turns out my linked account started to get a number of spam emails.

 

So I used the linked account for anything other than private stuff; so it acted basically as my spam account, whereas my main email account never got spam.

 

Then Microsoft took away the option of having linked accounts (if anyone could explain that to me in layman terms, I would highly appreciate it - I know they stated that it had something to do with security, but if it had something to do with security then surely they must have know about it from the start? Start being when they introduced linked accounts).

 

Now I have my main account, which sadly occasionally gets spam now (which I absolutely hate) and then there's my spam account. But I wonder if it would make sense to make the spam account an alias?

 

Wouldn't I see the number of the spam emails in my main accounts spam folder?

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Alias are basically a way to create spam addresses without having to create full accounts. You can create and delete them much easier than a full account, and it doesn't requite signing in and out to view it / your main account. That isn't their exact use but what a lot of people use them for.

 

Outlook is sadly limited to 15 alias addresses (5 per year), but GMail has 30 IIRC, which is much more useful. The common practise is to sign up with the name of the site in the alias so you'll know who leaked your details if spam starts arriving at the address.

 

With Outlook alias you can direct the mail to any folder you like or set rules to move them to a folder depending on sender, content etc. Creating an alias won't reduce the chance of spam, unfortunately you're always going to get some, even with a "private" email address. Creating the alias inside your main account will certainly be easiser and quicker to manage though.

 

Linking was disabled because it was an easy way to hijack accounts on Outlook.

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When you create an alias, you will also want to create a sorting rule with the Outlook.com settings that sends any mail that is coming to the alias account into a folder that you created on the main page.

I have an alias I created to use for things like forum registrations and then I have others for say financial things, or family members, etc. So I created folders on the main page of Outlook with the name of each alias and then created sorting rules for each that meant that any incoming mail being sent to an alias gets directed to that folder. It works fine for me and any spam goes into that folder and not my main Inbox.

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Outlook is sadly limited to 5 alias addresses, but GMail has 30 IIRC, which is much more useful. The common practise is to sign up with the name of the site in the alias so you'll know who leaked your details if spam starts arriving at the address.

The limit is actually 15 alias addresses, its just that you are only able to create 5 of them each year. Weird rule, but there must be some security concern tied to it.

Also, you can still add email accounts to Outlook.com that are not counted against that alias limit. At least the option is still there on my account. I currently have 5 alias addresses and then 3 more that are from other accounts.

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You can use alias for newsletters, or whatever you use for.... which you can separate the messages between the email addresses or depends on the rules you created based on the keywords, etc.

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The limit is actually 15 alias addresses, its just that you are only able to create 5 of them each year. Weird rule, but there must be some security concern tied to it.

Also, you can still add email accounts to Outlook.com that are not counted against that alias limit. At least the option is still there on my account. I currently have 5 alias addresses and then 3 more that are from other accounts.

 

Ah ok. They really need to work on that interface. There isn't even a notification to let you know when the limit is reset. I had to keep checking randomly when I could create the next one over and over again for months (N)

 

As for the reason, I believe they just don't want people to get into bad habits of creating addresses for everything and to actually manage their email properly.

 

You can still connect accounts in Outlook IIRC, but you are no longer able to switch between them without having to log in again. It used to be a drop down option under the profile.

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