How to set up alias address in Gmail
（原创文章，转载请注明出处）如何在 Gmail 中设置假名（化名）账户
Alias address – a common but absent stuff
Alias address is a useful feature for e-mail users, which is supported by only some of the service providers. Guys like Apple and Yahoo offer such service. With alias e-mail address(es), you can send or receive letters with another name, while keeping all of ‘your’ mails in one inbox.
For some reason, Gmail doesn’t carry this awesome feature. Although appeals and suggestions raised for years (for example, here is one), they were treated with sheer ignorance. Till now, Gmail users still have to use the very same address to send and receive emails to all people; Otherwise, they have to create and keep several separate accounts in order to use different names. The way to switch users is somewhat easy, but still stupid.
Subsititution? Not that good
An offical article, which can be found here in the Help section of Gmail’s product support, provides a substitutional way. You may put additional labels after your email address, with a preceding + (plus sign). You may utilize the filter feature to make use of this label – because the ‘receipient’ of the letter you have got is written as ‘name+label’, you can easily distinguish them from others, and do further processes (skip inbox, delete directly, add Gmail labels, etc).
To tell the truth, Gmail’s filter is great. However, you still have to put your ‘real’ address in the address that you give to someone to whom in fact you really don’t want to tell your address. AND, they can simply peel off the label and keep your ‘real’ address without difficulty!
In this article I suggest a make-up strategy to both have a functional alias inbox, while at the mean time make your ‘real’ address undisclosed to the receipient.
This is not my original idea; in fact there may be many people doing the same thing. But as I cannot find any a-z article about this method, I decided to write one.
In short, you shall create an additional brand-new Gmail account at first. Then you grant authorizations to your ‘real’ address account to send emails in the name of your ‘alias’ address. And set up filter actions in your ‘alias’ address, forwarding its incoming mails to your ‘real’ address’s inbox. Additionally, you may add label to those letters that are sent to your ‘alias’ address, so they can be easily distinguished. You may also grant access authorization in order to visit your alias inbox within your real account; but this is useless.
Three basic steps
Step 1 – Create a new Gmail (Google) account
Now, Gmail account is merged into Google account. This means once you create a new account, you will have a whole new set of features, including email inbox, profile, G+, Android account, etc. You may find additional information about signing up here in the Help section of Gmail’s product support.
From now on, let’s say we have a ‘real’ address real#gmail.com, and another ‘alias’ address alias#gmail.com. I use a different symbol so junk mail senders won’t make use of my blog. You must replace these two foo addresses with your own.
Step 2 – Grant authorization of sending emails
The relationships between real#gmail.com & alias#gmail.com starts from here. Before this, they are simply two indepedent accounts. Once this step is done, you can send emails to others, with real#gmail.com, but in the name of alias#gmail.com; Others will receive your letters, with the ‘Sender’ field written as alias#gmail.com.
- Sign in real#gmail.com. Go to ‘Settings -> Accounts’. In ‘Send mail as’ section, click ‘Add another email address you own’. Fill in alias#gmail.com, and follow the remaining steps as described in pop-up window. You don’t need to deselect ‘treat as alias’ checkbox, because it is an alias.
- When suggested, sign out real#gmail.com. Log in again with alias#gmail.com. You will get an official letter requesting your alias to grant authorization to real#gmail.com, allowing the latter to send mails in the name of alias#gmail.com. Just follow the instructions.
- Once completed, log out alias#gmail.com, and come back to real#gmail.com. When you re-visit ‘Settings -> Accounts -> Send mail as’, now you can see an extra address. You may change the setting below it, to make the default as that you reply to someone in the name of the same address s/he is treating you as. That’s it.
After this, when you write an email, with real#gmail.com, above the ‘To’ field, there will be a selection list named ‘From’. You must know what to do next. Try it!
Step 3 – Add forwarding filter on incoming emails
When people send emails to alias#gmail.com, you don’t want to visit that account to see them. That’s stupid. You even don’t have to setup notifications on your Android device which keep an eye on alias#gmail.com. Again that’s stupid. All you need to do is forwarding those emails to your main inbox, that is, real#gmail.com.
- Sign in alias#gmail.com. Go to ‘Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP’. In ‘Forwarding’ section, click ‘Add a forwarding address’. Fill in the blank with real#gmail.com. Follow the steps then. When prompted, you need to sign in real#gmail.com to confirm the request.
- Then go back to alias#gmail.com. Go to ‘Settings -> Filters’. Click ‘Create a new filter’. In ‘To’ field, type alias#gmail.com. Check ‘Forward it to’ and pick out real#gmail.com from the list. You may add other filters such as Mark as read, Apply the label, and Send canned response (which will be explained later). Save your filter.
- If you want to keep track of the flow of emails, so that when someone asks you if you have received his/her email, which you really have not, you will know by some simple investigation that his/her email has not been forwarded to your main inbox, You may find it useful to apply labels in the previous step. That means once Gmail treated an email with filter action, it tags it with some label, such as ‘already forwarded’. Be promised that Gmail will both forward AND label your email at the same time, otherwise it will do neither. IMO, bad things won’t happen. (Actually I have experienced a lot of bugs but now I used it for months and it’s OK.)
- For some reason, I put the actions ‘Never send to Spam’ and ‘Never mark as important’ into another separate filter. It seems that this is the bug – if you combine them, the filter would just fail. Weird huh.
There is an alternative way to forward aliased mails. However, once you implement this traditional method, all filter actions will stop working. Therefore I don’t recommend it. You may find information at here in the Help section of Gmail’s product support.
Now you’re done! Try it out with your friends!
Step 4 – Put on some decorations
How to visit your alias inbox independently
That’s easy. Just sign in with alias#gmail.com. But you may find it easier if you use Chrome’s incognito window.
You may also add alias#gmail.com into the account list of real#gmail.com. Follow the instructions here in the Help section of Gmail’s product support.
Or you may set up ‘mail delegation’, so you, as real#gmail.com, has the access permission to alias#gmail.com. But Gmail will only permit you to treat mails, but not to change alias#gmail.com’s account settings. More information here in the Help section of Gmail’s product support. But that’s less useful since you own both of the two accounts.
If you use an alias for reasons of easiness of remember, i.e. someone else won’t have to make efforts memorizing your main inbox address (let’s say your account name is real28451qazwsxedc#gmail.com), Or you want to let them know that they are sending to your alias inbox (so sometimes the forwarding feature may fail which means you won’t see the mails), you will need an automatic response.
- Sign in alias#gmail.com. Go to ‘Settings -> Labs’, find ‘Canned Responses’ and enable it. Remember to click ‘Save Changes’ button on the top or bottom of the list.
- Compose an email. Write any words you want to be automatically sent as reply. You may tell your friends that they can send letters to your main address later (so they just copy and paste it).
- Below the ‘Subject’ field, click ‘Canned responses’ and then Save to New canned repsonse. This option list is a little complicated and I think you need some minutes to understand it.
- Once saved the response, discard that letter. Then go to ‘Settings -> Filters’, edit the filter that has been created in Step 3. Please refer to that paragraph to see where you should put it on.
- (Optional) Actually I use a special label to tag automatically sent responses. So if your friend ignored your suggestions to send letters to your main inbox instead, and replied to your ‘automatic response’, your alias inbox won’t send them the same suggestion again and again. If you are fully aware of how to make use of Gmail’ label feature, you can do it with little effort.
There is a traditional method too. In ‘Settings -> General’, in ‘Vacation responder’ section, you may put auto response in the message box. However, I strongly disencourge you to do so. Otherwise the only thing you will find is bug.
Gmail does not provide traditional alias feature. One cannot use alias easily. This article helps you to set up an ‘acting-like’ alias inbox as a make up. Filter, label, and canned responses feature are utilized. After configuration, you will have an extra account which can be used as if it were an alias.
This is an original article by dtm.
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