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How to create, edit, or delete a Gmail alias

How to create, edit, or delete a Gmail alias

7
min read

Nowadays, it's like every passing day demands a different email address to keep your online activities organized. One for work, one for personal use, another one for spammy newsletters, and the list goes on. But the problem with that is—you guessed it—managing them all and remembering the login credentials. Plus, having multiple email accounts can get expensive if you opt for paid services.

That's why Gmail has come up with a solution: Gmail aliases. In this guide, we'll discuss what a Gmail alias is, how you can create, edit, or delete one, and why they make life easier.

<a href="#what-is-gmail-alias" class="anchor-link">What is a Gmail alias or “alternate email” address?</a>
<a href="#when-and-why-use-gmail-aliases" class="anchor-link">When and why should I use Gmail aliases?</a>
<a href="#limitations-gmail-aliases" class="anchor-link">Limitations of Gmail Account Aliases</a>
<a href="#how-to-create-a-gmail-alias-in-google-workspace" class="anchor-link">How to create a Gmail alias in Google Workspace</a>
<a href="#how-to-remove-or-change-a-gmail-alias-in-google-workspace" class="anchor-link">How to remove or change a Gmail alias in Google Workspace</a>
<a href="#how-to-create-an-alias-in-a-free-gmail-account" class="anchor-link">How to create an alias in a free Gmail account</a>
<a href="#faq-creating-gmail-aliases-and-alternate-emails" class="anchor-link">FAQ: creating Gmail aliases and alternate emails</a>

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What is a Gmail alias or “alternate email” address?

A Gmail alias, also known as an "alternate email" address, is a secondary email address associated with your primary Gmail account. It looks and functions like any other email address, but all messages sent to that alias will be delivered to your main inbox.

The idea behind creating multiple accounts is that you don't have to create a new account for every email address you need. Instead, you can just use your existing Gmail account and assign aliases to it.

So let's say your primary email address is johnsmith@gmail.com. With a Gmail alias, you can create an alternate email account like hellojohnsmith@gmail.com, and all emails sent to that address will still end up in your main johnsmith@gmail.com inbox. This way, you can have multiple email addresses for different purposes without the hassle of managing separate accounts.

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When and why should I use Gmail aliases?

To answer the "when" part of this question, you should use a Gmail alias anytime you need a new Gmail address for a specific purpose. In terms of "why,” here are some things you can do with Gmail aliases:

Organize emails

As mentioned earlier, having tons of separate email accounts for different purposes can be overwhelming. With aliases, you can keep all your emails in one place and easily filter them using labels or folders.

Protect privacy

If you don't want to share your main email address with everyone, you can use aliases for online shopping, signing up for newsletters, or any other non-essential activities.

Avoid spam

If you start receiving unwanted emails in an alias address, you can simply delete them without affecting your primary email.

Create a professional image

For business purposes, you can create a separate alias with your company's name for a more professional appearance that builds trust with your clients.

Manage multiple roles or departments

If you're juggling multiple roles or managing several departments within your organization, aliases can help you keep all of your emails in one inbox while still being able to distinguish between them.

Gain flexibility

You can create and delete Gmail aliases as needed with no repercussions. Said differently, you can change or remove an alias at any time without affecting your primary address.

Save money

If you're using a paid email service, having multiple aliases can save you from paying for additional accounts.

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Limitations of Gmail account aliases

Like any other email management tool, Gmail aliases also have some limitations that you should be aware of:

  • Limited sending capabilities: By design, email aliases can only receive emails, not send them. There are exceptions in some email apps, like Gmail that allow you to set up aliases to send emails with a custom "From" address. However, this is not a standard feature and may not be available to everyone.
  • Restricted access to Workspace apps: Since email aliases aren't accounts on their own, they can't be used to access Workspace apps (Drive, Docs, etc.). Instead, you'll need to use your primary email address to access these apps.
  • Inability to share aliases: Unlike regular email addresses, aliases can't be shared among multiple users. This means that if your organization has several employees with separate Workspace accounts, only one of them can use a specific alias.
  • Low privacy: Email aliases aren't private and can be easily found by others. For example, if someone knows your primary email address, they can easily find any aliases associated with it through a simple Google/Gmail search, so you'll need to take other security measures.

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How to create a Gmail alias in Google Workspace

With that said, creating a Gmail alias in Google Workspace is fairly simple. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Log in to your Google Admin Console.
  2. Navigate to Directory > Users in the sidebar.
A screenshot of the Google Admin Console User's Directory Section
  1. Select the user you want to create an alias for.
  2. Click on Add Alternative Email under User information.
  3. Enter the desired alias in the Alternative email field, choose the desired domain under the Domain field, and click Save.
A screenshot of the User Information section in the Add Alternative Email section inside the ser's Directory in Google Admin Console

That's it! The new Gmail alias will now be associated with your user account and any emails sent to that address will show up in your primary inbox.

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How to remove or change a Gmail alias in Google Workspace

As mentioned earlier, aliases aren't always meant to be permanent. So if the time comes to remove or change any of your Gmail email aliases, here's how you can do it:

  1. Log in to your Google Admin Console
  2. Navigate to Directory > Users in the sidebar.
  3. Select the user with the alias you want to remove or change.
  4. Click on the pencil icon that says Edit alternate email addresses (email alias help). You can find this next to Alternate Emails and under User Information.
  5. Remove the alias by clicking on the X, or change it to a different one and click Save.

Your changes will take effect immediately, and the alias will either be removed or changed to the new one you entered.

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How to create an alias in a free Gmail account

What you’ve read up until now was all for creating a Gmail alias in Google Workspace. But what if you don't have a Google Workspace account and just want to create an email alias for your personal Gmail account? That's also a very simple process, and here's how it works:

  1. Log in to your Gmail account.
  2. Click on the gear icon at the top right of your inbox and select Settings > See all settings.
  3. Go to the Accounts and Import tab.
  4. Under Send mail as, click on Add another email address.
A screenshot inside the Accounts and Import tab in Gmail Settings
  1. Enter the desired alias, and click Next Step.
  2. Choose whether you want to use Gmail's servers or your own SMTP server, enter the necessary information, and click Add Account. If you want to be able to send emails from this alias, make sure to check the box that says Treat as an alias.
  3. Follow the verification process to confirm that you own the email address.

And that's it! Your new alias email name will now be listed under Send mail as, and you can use it to send and receive emails just like your main email address.

Pro Tip: An alternative way to create an alias for your personal Gmail account is by adding a "+" sign and any text after your email address. For example, if your email address is johndoe@gmail.com, you can use johndoe+alias@gmail.com as an alias. Any emails sent to this address will still be delivered to the same Gmail account you have. Similarly, you can insert a "." anywhere in your email address without affecting the delivery of emails. For example, john.doe@gmail.com is an automatic alias for johndoe@gmail.com.

How do I send emails from my Gmail alias address?

Sending emails from a Gmail alias is just as easy as sending them from your main email address. When composing an email, click on the From field, and select the alias you want to use. You can also set it as your default email address by going to Settings > Accounts and Import > Send mail as, clicking on the three dots next to the alias, and selecting Make default. That way, all your outgoing emails will automatically be sent from the desired alias.

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FAQ: creating Gmail aliases and alternate emails

Can you create a Gmail alias on mobile?

No, unfortunately, the option to create a Gmail email alias is only available on the desktop version of Gmail. However, you can still use an existing alias on your mobile device to send and receive emails.

How many email aliases can you add to Gmail?

Google Workspace allows you to have up to 30 email aliases for each user in your account for free.

What are the sending limits for an alias in Gmail?

Gmail has a sending limit of 500 emails per rolling 24 hours for each personal email address, and 2,000 emails per rolling 24 hours for each Google Workspace email address. This limit applies to both your main email address and any aliases you have set up.

Can you create a Gmail alias for a personal account?

Yes, you definitely can! Gmail aliases are available for both personal and business accounts, making it a versatile feature for all users who want to organize their inboxes.

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