Apple’s iCloud service (formerly Mobile Me, formerly .Mac) offers email aliases for every account. Aliases are a feature common to many email services. iCloud allows each account to enable up to three additional email addresses without having to pay for or manage three additional accounts. They are useful as temporary addresses for online purchases to avoid spam or as long-term addresses that are more memorable than the account name.
For example, if my iCloud account name is: smithO4128O
then my account’s email address is: smithO4128O@icloud.com.
If I want to create an email address that’s easier to remember, more recognizable or temporary then I can create an alias such as firstname.lastname@example.org so long as no other iCloud account or alias is already using that address.
When someone sends a message to email@example.com I still receive it at my smithO4128O account. If I need to separate the mail to each address I can create a rule in my email application or on the iCloud server to move messages to a different folder.
Apple’s Mail application makes configuring iCloud aliases easy, however, Microsoft Outlook can also use aliases with a little effort. Let’s create an iCloud alias and then configure Outlook to use it not only for receiving but sending as well.
Create an iCloud alias
iCloud aliases must be unique. In other words, I cannot create an alias for myself that another iCloud customer is already using as his master account name or as an alias. So, the first step in creating an alias is to think of a unique name. I’ll know it’s unique when iCloud allows me to use it.
I want to create an iCloud alias firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I must first log in to the iCloud service using a web browser and my original account name smithO4128O@icloud.com.
- Next, I click the Mail icon to access my mail account.
- In the upper right corner of the browser window I select Preferences… from the cog menu.
- Under the Accounts tab I click the Add an alias… link at the bottom of the Address list.
- Next, I enter my new Alias Name along with a Full Name. I can optionally assign a category to this alias to highlight all incoming mail to this address. Finally, I click the OK button.
- My new email@example.com alias is ready to use.
Configure Outlook to use an iCloud alias
Remember, I’m already going to receive mail sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in my smithO4128O account. Therefore, I’m really only concerned with being able to send mail from Outlook.
iCloud accounts use IMAP to connect to the iCloud incoming mail server. The nature of IMAP is to synchronize mail between the email application and the server. However, I don’t want two accounts in Outlook syncing to the same iCloud account. Only my master account smithO4128O will authenticate to the server. I can’t configure my email@example.com alias as a valid account. Apple won’t let me do that.
However, I can configure a POP account as a send-only account for my firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Apple will let me send mail using this address.
- First, I need to open the Accounts window by selecting Outlook menu –> Preferences… –> Accounts. My master account is already configured.
- Now, I’ll click the Add an account menu button (plus sign) in the lower left corner of the window and select Email…
- Next, I’ll enter my email alias address email@example.com and the password for my smithO4128O iCloud account. When I tab to the password field the window expands for me to complete the incoming and outgoing server information. This is because Outlook for Mac doesn’t yet support automatically configuring iCloud accounts. (This may change with a future update.) For now, I’ll manually enter the server information and then click the Add Account button:
- User name: my master account email address (smithO4128O@icloud.com)
- Type: POP
- Incoming server: imap.mail.me.com
- Use SSL to connect (recommended): Enabled
- Outgoing server: smtp.mail.me.com
- Override default port: Enabled
- Port: 587
- Use SSL to connect (recommend): Enabled
- My second send-only account now appears in the list of email accounts. Note that because I’ve created a POP account it will not display a green “Connected” dot like the IMAP account. This is normal. For the sake of keeping my accounts more easily identifiable, I’ve also changed the Account description to match my alias name.
- Before closing the window, I’ll verify one more thing. I’ll click the More Options… button in the Outgoing server section and verify
Authentication is set to Use Incoming Server Info. Note this will use the name and password of the master smithO4128O account.
- POP accounts cannot connect to the iCloud service to receive mail. If this account attemps to connect and download mail it will fail and display an alert each time. I need to disable this. I’ll click the Show All button at the top of the window and then click Schedules. I want to double-click the Send & Receive All schedule to edit it.
- This schedule is used to check all POP accounts every 10 minutes by default. When I created my talkingmoose account in Outlook it was automatically added to the schedule.
- I’ll select this action and click the Remove Action button to delete it and then click the OK button.
Sending mail using the iCloud alias
Now that I’ve added my iCloud alias as a POP account and set the POP account to never receive mail (only send mail), I’m ready to send a test message.
When composing a new message or responding to a message I’ve received, I now have the option to change the From address of the message to my firstname.lastname@example.org alias.
After selcting my alias account I compose the rest of my message as I normally do and click the Send button. My message will appear to any recipient as being from my email@example.com alias.