How do I create an email alias on my iPhone? Step-by-step guide

Add an extra email address to your iCloud account

Close-up of the Apple iPhone showing the home screen

An iCloud email account on your iPhone provides up to four different email addresses, a main address and three aliases. If you need extra emails, here’s how to create aliases for the iPhone.

If you have just one email address and use it for everything, you are heading for trouble. The reason is that spammers will get to know it sooner or later and then it will attract a lot of junk messages. Signing up for newsletters can lead to endless messages in your inbox that are great at first, but then become tiresome. Sometimes it can be difficult to get off a newsletter. Your inbox can easily become a disorganised mess when you only have one.

Having an extra email address has several benefits, for example, you can use an alternate email to sign up for newsletters, or to sign in to unimportant websites. This enables you to keep your main email free of junk and better for more important uses like work, banking, shopping, family and similar activities.

What is an email alias?

An email alias is an alternative name for an email address. Superman is an alias of Clark Kent, but both are the same person. Similarly, an email alias is another email address, but underneath, it is really your actual email address.

What is an email alias for?

Messages sent to an email alias end up in the email inbox of your email account. However, because they have a different address in the To field of the message, it is very easy to create an email rule to deal with them.

All the junk messages and newsletter subscriptions end up in your inbox as before, but a rule can be created to move them out of the inbox as soon as they arrive and to put them in a folder, add a flag or label, colour them and so on.

Can you create an email alias on the iPhone?

Email aliases cannot be created on the iPhone, but once created elsewhere, they are supported, so you can send and receive emails using the alias on the iPhone.

Here we will create an email alias using a web browser at the iCloud website. Then we will use the alias on the iPhone.

1 Go to the iCloud website

Sign into the iCloud website

Any computer and any web browser will do, Mac or PC. Go to icloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID. Unfortunately, the iPhone’s mobile Safari browser does not allow you to log into iCloud, so it must be a desktop or laptop computer.

2 Open the Apple Mail app

After logging in to iCloud, click the Mail app to open it in the browser. This is just a web-based interface to the Mail app on your iPhone and it contains all your email, your inbox, sent items and other folders.

Apps at the iCloud website

3 Go to Preferences

iCloud website settings menu

In the bottom left corner of the window is a gear icon. Click it and then click Preferences in the menu that is displayed. This accesses the Mail app settings.

4 View your email accounts

Create an iCloud email alias at the iCloud website

Select the Accounts tab at the top and on the left is a list of email accounts. You can see in the screenshot that I already have one email alias and up to three can be added. Click the link Add an alias…

5 Create a Mail alias

Create an iCloud email alias at the iCloud website

There is a simple form to fill in to create the alias and as with all email addresses, it must be unique and not used by anyone else at iCloud. The name could be completely different to your regular email, like the RAWinfopages one being created here, or it could be based on your name. It is up to you.

It is not essential, but it is useful to create a label and choose a colour. This helps to make messages to this account stand out in the inbox and make them easier to see. Click OK to continue.

6 Disable or delete an iCloud email alias

Create an email alias at the iCloud website

Back at the accounts tab, select your new email alias and the email address is shown. You can now receive emails to this address and they will appear in your inbox alongside emails to your regular email account.

There is a checkbox to disable the alias, which stops it working, and there is a Delete link to completely remove it. If you use the alias to sign up for newsletters and unimportant websites, you can instantly block them all by deleting the alias. No more messages to this address will appear in your inbox.

7 View iCloud email rules

Add an email rule at the iCloud website

Right now, messages to the new email alias will appear in the inbox. They will have a coloured label if you added one, but you might want to automatically move them to a folder to keep the inbox clean.

Select Rules and then click Add a Rule on the right.

8 Set up a Mail rule for iCloud

Add an email rule at the iCloud website to deal with incoming mail

A form is displayed with several sections that must be configured. In the first box is a list of triggers that determine whether this rule is applied to an incoming email message. Select is addressed to in the list. Below it, enter the email alias you created earlier.

An action is defined in the next section. Select Move to Folder in the first menu, New Folder in the second, and then type the name of the folder in the box below. Any folder name can be used and to keep this simple, I am going to use the same name as my email alias. You choose your own folder name.

9 View iCloud folders on the iPhone

Using an iCloud email alias in the Mail app on the iPhone

Go to Mailboxes in the Mail app on the iPhone. Swipe up to get to the ICLOUD section and below is the folder you created at the iCloud website in your Mail account. It just appears automatically, but the Edit button at the top enables it to also be added to the top of this Mailboxes page to save you swiping down.

As can be seen in the screenshot, there is one message waiting to be read. If you have another email account, such as work, home, or even a friend, send an email to your new alias to make sure it is working. No problems, here, just tap the folder name to view the email messages.

10 View email aliases on the iPhone

Using an iCloud email alias in the Mail app on the iPhone

Emails sent to the alias appear in this folder because of the Mail rule created at the iCloud website and it works like a separate email account, so use it for your sign-ups, newsletters, a private email only you and your closest friends know, or a work email. There are many uses.

11 Send an email from an alias on the iPhone

Using an iCloud email alias in the Mail app on the iPhone

We have seen how to view messages sent to your new email alias, so how do you send an email from a alias? This is easy. Create a new email message and tap From. It expands to show Cc, Bcc and From.

Tap From again and a list of email accounts and aliases appears at the bottom of the screen. Select the email address to be used in the From field of the email.

The message is actually sent from your iCloud account, but it appears to come from your alias account. It basically works like an extra email account.


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