How To Create a Gmail Alias
Gmail is Google’s powerful free cloud-based email server that has taken an almost overwhelmingly dominant position among free email services. While many professionals and corporations still maintain their own email servers and addresses, Gmail has reached more than one billion monthly users. Even mighty Microsoft Outlook, long the king of corporate email on the desktop, has less than half of that. One of the most useful features of Gmail is the ability to use the Gmail interface to manage mail for multiple accounts at once – they don’t even have to be Gmail accounts. In this article I’ll show you how to set up aliases for your email to do this.
First off, what do we mean by an alias? Basically, using an alias just means sending an email through your Gmail account with a return address that goes to a different email account, or receiving email from a different email account to your Gmail inbox, or both. This second account must be an account that you own and control, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be another Gmail account. The idea is that you want to use Gmail’s powerful organizational and management features, or use it to manage many different email accounts from one interface, but still keep another account active. For example, say you have a business that sells DVDs online and that business has it’s own email, ‘[email protected]’. Thousands of customers have that email address and use it to send you inquiries about new releases; you don’t want to lose that email address, but you also want to use your new Gmail account to manage your mail. By using aliases, you can have the emails that are sent to [email protected] delivered directly to your Gmail account, and send out responses that your customers will still see as coming from [email protected]
So how do we do that?
Setting Up Gmail Aliases
Step One – Add Another Email Address
The first thing you need to do is open your Gmail in a web browser on your computer. You can do all this from a mobile browser as well but it’s harder to do all the clicking and scrolling so for our examples here I’ll be using a desktop browser. From there, go to your Settings. The settings have a way of moving around as Gmail plays with their interface, but as of March 2019 you can get to settings by clicking on the cog icon in the upper right-hand area of your Inbox, then selecting Settings.
From Settings, select the “Accounts and Import” tab and then find the link for “Add another email address”.
Click on the “Add another email address” link and enter your name and email account information from the new address. You have to own and control the other email address; Gmail will ask you to verify the information.
Step Two – Verification
To verify your newly added email addresses, you will need to log into your other accounts. Check your inbox for the Gmail verification email and click on the required link.
Step Three – Change the “From” Address in your Primary Gmail Account
Now that you have added your other email addresses, or aliases, you can send emails from your Gmail account using a different “from” address.
You can do this in each individual message. Change your settings by clicking on the “From” line in your message. If you don’t see a “From” line, click the space next to the recipient’s email address. Then select the alternate address you want to send from.
Checking Email From Other Accounts
Want to read your emails in one inbox? Linking your other alias accounts is easy. Just go to Settings and click on the Accounts and Imports tab. From there, scroll down until you see “Check mail from other accounts” and click on the “Add a mail account” link and follow the steps.
Need a temporary alias but don’t have another account? No problem – you can create temporary aliases in Gmail with the “+” email trick. When you add a “+” sign (and some additional text) to your own Gmail address and give it to someone, Gmail will still send any emails to that address to the primary address. So “[email protected]” and “testaccount+spam [email protected]” will both get the email delivered at [email protected]
Why would you do this? Easy – adding this temporary alias lets you create filters. You can tell Gmail to do different things with messages depending on what the additional text is.
Creating a Gmail alias may sound difficult at first. But once you start doing it, you will see how easy it really is. Link your other aliases to send emails from those accounts, or set up your inbox to read incoming messages from other permanent aliases in a few clicks in the Settings section. Lastly, try to keep track of your temporary aliases if you plan on using them. Create filters when possible to avoid clogging your email with unnecessary messages. And save yourself some hassle by entering an alias instead of your real address if you think a website seems suspicious.
(Need more Gmail tips? We’ve got you covered! Want Gmail to tell you when you get a new message? Check out this tutorial on adding Gmail notifications to your desktop. Here’s how to export your Gmail messages to a text file. And here’s an article on saving your Gmail messages as PDFs!)