Create an email alias with iCloud Mail and sort mail with rules

Create an email alias and use it as a second mail account. A step by step guide for Apple Mac users using iCloud

If you want to keep your email address private and avoid giving it out to websites and services, create an alias. Here’s how to create an iCloud Mail alias to avoid spam and junk mail.

It can be very useful to have more than one email address. For example, you can keep one private and only give it out to trusted companies, friends and relatives.

A second email address is useful for all the websites and services you sign up to on the internet. It acts as a honeypot attracting the spam and phishing while your private email account stays clean and spam-free.

Another reason why you need more than one email address is so that you can use different email accounts with different companies.

This makes it easier to spot phishing because if an email arrives on the wrong email account, you immediately know it is fake. If you gave email address 1 to a company, such as your bank, but you get an email pretending to be from your bank on email address 2, you know it is a scam.

If you are now convinced that multiple email addresses is a good thing, let’s see how to create one using iCloud Mail on the Apple Mac.

Email alias

You could sign up with another email provider to get a second email address, but that is not necessary and it is not very convenient. You will have to log in to two different services to check your email.

Another email address can be added to an iCloud account. Up to three additional email addresses can be used with iCloud and so you can have a total of four email addresses on one iCloud email account.

There is one main email address and three aliases. An alias is an alternative email address for an email account.

If your email is bobsmith @ icloud . com you could add bobbysmith @ icloud . com as an alias. Emails to both addresses would appear in the same inbox. By adding an email rule, emails to one or both accounts could be automatically sorted into folders.

(You may be interested in Create custom email signatures in Mail and Deal with email faster using smart responses)

Sign in to iCloud

Go to the website in a browser and sign in with your Apple ID.

Sign in to iCloud at the website

Open the Mail app

All the iCloud apps are represented by icons. Click the Mail app to open it.

Open the Mail app at the iCloud website

Mail Preferences

Click the gear icon in the bottom left corner of the page to display a menu. Select Preferences.

Go to Mail preferences at the iCloud website

Add an email alias to Accounts

Select the Accounts tab and your main email account is displayed. Below it in the list is Add an alias. Click it.

Add an email alias to the Mail app at the iCloud website

Define the email alias 

You can now create another email address for your iCloud account. Just type it into the Alias box. If you try to use an address that is already taken, a warning appears and you must try a different address..

Enter a label for this email address. Labels appear next to emails and are useful for identifying them. Also select a label colour to help it to stand out. Then click OK.

Choose a name for the email alias in the Mail app at the iCloud website

Disable or delete an email alias

If the email address is currently unused, it will be assigned to you and it appears in the Accounts list. Select it.

Down near the bottom is an option to disable the alias, which prevents it from receiving emails. This could be useful if it started receiving a lot of spam and you could simply turn it off.

There is also a link to delete it completely. If the email becomes spam-ridden or you just don’t need it anymore, click Delete. Let’s keep it for the moment though.

Disable or delete an email alias using the links at the iCloud website

Check your inbox

Now that you have an alias, emails sent to the alias address appear in the inbox. The label appears in the preview and this makes it easy to distinguish those emails sent to your regular email address and those sent to the alias.

The inbox in the Mail app at the iCloud website

Create a rule to sort email

Click the gear icon in the bottom left corner to display the menu (screenshot 3), and this time select Rules. Click Add a Rule in the window that opens.

Add an email rule using the Mail app at the iCloud website

Define the email rule actions

At the top, select is addressed to. Below it, enter the email alias you created.

Create a rule to handle email using the Mail app at the iCloud website

Create a folder for emails

Select Move to Folder and click New Folder in the list below. We will create a folder to store emails to this alias.

Create a rule to sort incoming email using the Mail app at the iCloud website

Finish the rule

Enter a name for this folder. I have used the same name as the Alias label, which makes sense to me, but you could use any name you want for the folder. Click Done to finish.

Use a rule to sort email using the Mail app at the iCloud website

Use an email alias

Everything is now set up and in the sidebar below the Inbox and other folders is the new folder you created. Emails to the alias address will automatically be moved from the inbox to the folder.

For some odd reason I found that the rule did not move the emails from the inbox automatically until I had added the email alias to the Contacts.

I added a copy of myself to Contacts with the new email alias and the emails were then automatically moved to the alias folder. Try it if you find the rule is not working.

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