You can now use “+” email aliases on Outlook.com

Google some years ago introduced "+" aliases to Gmail which enabled you to use address variations without changing your email address at all. It allows you to add additional text to the email address to make it unique in its own right without changing where replies arrive at.

A simple example is to add+sitename to the email address when you sign up on a website on the Internet. Signing up on Reddit, you could use the email address [email protected] and replies would arrive just fine at [email protected]

What makes the feature special is that it allows you to create filters for those aliases on Gmail. To an extent, it may also provide you with information about services that sell your email address or spam you directly.

It is not well suited for that though, as it is quite easy to remove the + part of the email address to contact the "right" address directly bypassing any filter in the process.

Outlook.com + email aliases

outlook.com email alias

+ email aliases on Outlook.com

Microsoft has introduced the very same feature to its Outlook.com email service. The feature works similar to how the Gmail feature works.

Just add +whatever to your Outlook.com email address to create an email alias instantly that you can use for sign up forms and any other occasion where you have to enter an email address.

As you can see on the screenshot above, the mails will arrive just fine. Initially, you will find them either in the inbox or in junk.

You can create rules that define how you want those emails to be treated in the future . It is for instance possible to move all messages to the email address to a new folder, forward them, or delete them outright. The latter may be useful if you do not need access to the email address anymore but still get emails from services.

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To create rules, select Sweep at the top and there Manage Rules. From here select new to open the create rule page.

outlook create rules

outlook.com create rule page

  1. Select To or Cc line under step 1, make sure it reads contains in the second menu, and enter the email address including the alias in the third.
  2. Pick a desired action from the available ones, e.g. moving all messages to a new folder.

Closing Words

Some Outlook.com users will certainly make good use of the feature. For me, it is simply not that practicable as you are always revealing your "real" email address when you are using + email aliases. I prefer to use separate email addresses instead, as they do not reveal anything about other email addresses that I might use. (via Within Windows)

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Responses to You can now use “+” email aliases on Outlook.com

  1. Dante September 17, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    I have been using Yahoo's disposable email for years now. And they let you pick a totally different prefix for you email. So instead of [email protected], you can chose [email protected]. Removing store1 does not send any email to stopspam as stopspam goes nowhere. And your realname never shows up.

    • dan September 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

      Sure, but you have to pay for that.

  2. Bobek September 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    I prefer aliases on my own domain - if any of them starts to receive junk I just block it.

    BTW - I'm doing a little experiment, I hope you don't mind me posting this ;)
    ( [email protected] )
    ( sp-test-02b @ outlook , com )
    ( sp-test-03c at outlook.com )
    ( sp-test-04d at outlook dot com )
    ( sp-test-05f[@]outlook[.]com )
    ( [email protected] )
    ( sp-test-07h at outlook )
    ( sp-test-08i outlook com )
    ( sp-test-09j[a]outlook,com )
    ( sp-test-10k[remove]@outlook.com )

  3. Christopher Bieda September 18, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    Nothing beats TrashMail.net with an appropriate browser add-on.

  4. wvpv September 18, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

    It also works on the live.com domain.

  5. Sreekanth September 19, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    Hi Martin,

    Its a nice feature and is very useful when practiced skillfully. I myself used it quite often with a purpose. I think this feature is carried forward from Microsoft's Hotmail / live to Outlook.com. I tried it almost a year ago with my then new Outlook.com account :)

    @_sreekanth_

  6. mike September 19, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    The yahoo disposable address feature is not chargeable everywhere. My co.uk address is free and I make very good use of it on web sites that need you to sign up.

  7. John Burke September 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    O365 already allows you to create aliases that are unrelated to your real email address. As many as you want, then create rules in outlook to do with them as you wish. No additional charge.

  8. Mike September 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    Hotmail has been doing this for years. When did Outlook.com introduce this? Has it been around and you just found out or did you get notification somehow?

  9. Joben Rara September 20, 2013 at 2:04 am #

    Live.com/outlook.com lets you create email aliases that has nothing to do with your "real" email address. It even creates the rules/filters for you so the email drops into its own folder.

    using a + sign has its uses for me. Can this be combined with an alias?

  10. AsmTrash September 21, 2013 at 12:20 am #

    It has been since Jan/2011 available on Hotmail, Live.com and since day 1 on Outlook.com. Check Your facts before spreading incorrect or non precise information.

  11. Illiterate1 October 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    There is no need to use "+" as an alias in Outlook.com email. Outlook.com allows you to have up to 10 aliases = different email addresses within one account (without the need to use "+"). And this is what makes Outlook.com better than Gmail. Outlook.com also Exchange Active Sync that allows to receive emails on mobile devices instantly without any delay, because emails are pushed to your inbox.
    Here is the explanation: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/outlook/add-alias-account

    • Tim December 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      The problem with aliases is I think you have to sign into each individual alias at least once a year. Whereas, with the “+” email alias, you don't.

      So if you have a different email address (alias) for every online account you have (for example, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], etc.) it would be a PITA to have to remember to log into each of them every so often so you don't lose the account.

      This is especially a problem if you were to use Outlook.com as the back end for a custom domain (using Windows Live Admin Centre), because it's not possible to set-up a catch-all email address for your domain name.

  12. Morton November 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    The feature is a lot more useful than you're making out Martin. Outlook allows you to make aliases which can be used with plus addressing. So you have "[email protected]" as your primary email. You then set up "[email protected]" as one of your aliases. You can then sign up to sites with "[email protected]", for instance, and have as many aliases as you like while never revealing your primary email address... that's what I do.

    I agree it would be trivial for spammers to remove the plus part but I've never received an email to my unplussed alias. I suppose you could set up a filter to send anything addressed to "[email protected]" to the spam folder (or reject it) but I've never needed to.

    I still think the Yahoo solution is much better than plus-addressing though.

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