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set up new email accountThere are a lot of different ways that you and I use the Internet and sometimes they should be kept separate. That includes email inboxes. It’s nice to keep your personal emails apart from your work emails. Sometimes, you may even want to separate emails from social networks or dating sites from other personal emails. It all depends on how finely you’re into organizing things.

With any of these ways, you shouldn’t have to go through another long and painful registration process. You shouldn’t have to create an entirely separate account that you need to log in and out from. I know how time-consuming and annoying that is. There are several ways around this. In this article, I’m going to share with you my three favorite ways to instantly get your email where it belongs.

Using Separators

In email addresses, a separator is a character you can append to your username. Let’s use Gmail for example.

If your Gmail email address, for example, is muoboy@gmail.com, you could sign up for the MakeUseOf Newsletter with the email address muoboy+newsletters@gmail.com. Gmail’s separator is the plus sign. The newsletter would still be delivered to your inbox as normal, though it’d be sent to that unique email address. Anything after your username (from the plus sign forward) is ignored.

How is that useful though? A number of reasons:

  1. You can use a single Gmail address to sign up for the same website multiple times. 99% of the websites I’ve tried to pull this off at will let it slide. Others will sometime automatically suppress the separator, or not allow non-alphanumeric characters.
  2. It allows you to organize your email better.

set up new email account

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Here, you can see how I’ve utilized this feature. I would also like to note that signing up to those websites under “spam” was just a precautionary measure, and neither of them sent me any unsolicited emails (or if they did, they didn’t hit the inbox).

Separators are different for each email provider. Here are the more popular providers, according to Wikipedia:

Disposable email addresses of this form, using various separators between the base name and the tag are supported by several email services, including Runbox (plus and hyphen), Gmail (plus), Yahoo! Mail Plus (hyphen), Apple’s MobileMe (plus), FastMail.FM (plus and Subdomain Addressing), and MMDF (equals).

Most installations of the qmail and Courier Mail Server products support the use of a hyphen ‘-‘ as a separator within the local-part, such as joeuser-tag@example.com or joeuser-tag-sub-anything-else@example.com. This allows qmail through .qmail-default or .qmail-tag-sub-anything-else files to sort, filter, forward, or run an application based on the tagging system established.

Postfix allows configuring an arbitrary separator from the legal character set. The separator info remains available on the email (address is not rewritten to remove it), and thus is useful in internal mail-routing, filtering, and forwarding via any of the mechanisms existing in Postfix.

If you’re unsure about your provider’s separator, you could always hit Google.

Windows Live/Hotmail Aliases

This is a big one that not many people seem to know about. Windows Live and Hotmail will allow you to add up to three additional email addresses to a single account, allowing you to have four email addresses within the same inbox. It’s a nice little feature. Here’s how you do it:

  • Log in to your Live/Hotmail account
  • At the top right, hover over your name and click Options

create a new email address

  • Click on Email addresses

create a new email address

  • Click Add en email address
  • Click the selection box beside Create a new Windows Live email address to add to your account.

From there, decide what username and what email domain (live.com or hotmail.com) you want to use. You can follow this exact same process up to three times. Then, go back to your inbox. On the left hand side, you’ll see separate folders for each new address that you’ve created.

Disposable Email

I think most people know about disposable email addresses by now. Although they’re not a viable long-term solution, they’re great for one-off registrations. We’ve done quite a few articles on this in the past:

One of the coolest and easiest solutions is just to use Mailinator. You can access inboxes with a simple GET request: http://mailinator.com

set up new email account

That particular URL will take you to the inbox for account “muoboy“. Change the username in the URL to instantly access any inbox you want.

Obviously, I wouldn’t suggest a disposable address for anything that you deem important, although there are clear uses that each of us could come up with on our own. When you need to come up with a new inbox quickly, these are three of the best directions to go. Let me know of any other methods in the comments!

  1. Spesial One
    June 21, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Your article is very nice and very easy to understand but I prefer my current email.. carabuatakun.com

  2. A.krishna veni yadav
    November 15, 2012 at 4:39 am

    for email id we not got password

  3. Ajaz.ul.haq
    November 14, 2012 at 5:31 am

    how i create an email address. please guide me. thanks

    • Tina
      November 16, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      Ajaz,

      Are you struggling with the instructions above or are you looking to create a new email from scratch? Have you picked a service yet?

      I recommend you to ask a question on MakeUseOf Answers. Please be as detailed as possible in your question. Good luck!

  4. Gracie
    September 8, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    so far i love my email

  5. I.B.G
    September 4, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Infact i having to ge mail.but password gives me though time

  6. Anuj pathak
    August 4, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I am the student of B. Com

  7. syed ali
    July 31, 2012 at 5:30 am

    i have father and mother

  8. syed ali
    July 31, 2012 at 5:30 am

    my name is ali

  9. syed ali
    July 31, 2012 at 5:29 am

    i live in karachi

  10. james
    July 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    i like yahoo emails

  11. adishwar
    July 14, 2012 at 6:17 am

    please make a new email id

  12. pendragon
    July 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I'm using http://www.instantlyemail.com

    It's an excellant disposable email address service and has saved me from loads of spam.

  13. Shehan Nirmal
    June 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm
  14. Dan
    June 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    My hotmail account allows 5 aliases. O_o

    • Craig Snyder
      June 6, 2012 at 8:41 am

      They may have recently raised the limit, or I believe reading an article where it was mentioned that accounts that have been opened for a longer period of time gain more "trust" with aliases. Maybe a new alias per year?

  15. Himanshu Singla
    June 5, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I still didnot get it..kindly help me out..??

    • Mike
      June 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      This method is called "sub-addressing". Most mail servers and some services like Gmail allow you to 'create' (infinite) sub-addresses for your email address.

      Let's say you got a Gmail address named "himanshu@gmail.com":

      All mails sent to e.g. "himanshu+muo@gmail.com" and "himanshu+whatever@gmail.com" would be delivered to your (default) Gmail inbox.

      For example if you want to use Gmail for both, private and business you could share "himanshu@gmail.com" to all business associates and ask all private contacts to use "himanshu-private@gmail.com".

      Emails are neither 'tagged' (which is how Gmail works) nor sorted into specific folders by using sub-addresses. But it makes it very easy to identify and therefor filter them this way.

      For example you could setup a rule that puts all emails that use "+private" into a folder called 'Private'.

      • Mike
        June 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm

        typo: I meant "himanshu+private@gmail.com" up there

      • Himanshu Singla
        June 6, 2012 at 4:09 am

        Thanks Mike..this really help me out to understand this.It is really gud feature..kindly let me know...i have my email id as himanshu1983singla@gmail.com...now 1983 seems to be very odd..so is there any way so that i can hide this from my email id without creating a new account.

        • Mike
          June 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm

          I rarely use Google services so I'm not sure if there is an option to create an actual alias or changing the Google ID.

          Right now, I would say this is not possible. It is part of your Google ID (Username) and you would have to create a new account.

        • Himanshu Singla
          June 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

          Ok..Thanks mike..i am searching on this and will inform you soon if there is such an option..and try to share with all...

  16. sbrfoo
    June 5, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I can recommend mailnull.com - sign up and create endless numbers of email addresses which are forwarded to your real address. If you don't like your disposable email anymore you can delete it.

  17. Joshua Todd Cowper
    June 5, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Does this work on Google Apps? For example, if I had example.com set up through Google Apps, would moonstar+two@example.com forward to moonstar@example.com?

    • Craig Snyder
      June 6, 2012 at 8:40 am

      It does.

      • Joshua Todd Cowper
        June 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

        Thanks!

  18. Dom_TC
    June 5, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Nice tip - I was not aware of the GMail trick
    Thanks

  19. Andy
    June 5, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Hi Craig!

    There is a permanent disposable email solution that is worth to mention http://notsharingmy.info and I think it's even the best one from the list.
    It also was covered on MakeUseOf http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/notsharingmyinfo-mask-your-email-address/

  20. Johann
    June 5, 2012 at 5:57 am

    The first technique is one I use a lot - even on things like PayPal where I have accounts in multiples countries under the email addresses of name+uk@, name+us@, name+oz@ etc.

    There's a surprisingly high number of services where having different geographical accounts is beneficial (Amazon, say, although they allow duplicate email addresses on their different country sites) but you'd normally need alternate email accounts in order to have them. This hack lets you keep a single primary email account but have multiple instances of certain services.

  21. Not that important
    June 5, 2012 at 5:03 am

    "Separator" is misspelled throughout.
    Luckily, a simple search & replace should fix.

    • Tina
      June 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks for the heads-up! It has been fixed.

  22. fumduq
    June 5, 2012 at 4:01 am

    For years I've been trying to convince people to use user+domainofsite@domain.com.

    For example, I used MakeUseOf.com-secretcode@example.com for my MakeUseOf email. Gmail for example could use something like user+MakeUseOf.com-secretcode@gmail.com. The reason for secretcode is so that spammers can't just guess domain@host.

    This obviously allows you to track who spams you (if they don't drop the +), as well as gives you a reasonable way to filter emails. The way I do it is better, because + is a standard mail delivery mechanism, and any spammers are easily able to pull your actual email address by removing the + and everything after, exposing your true address (and they do). Unfortunately, you have to have your own domain for this to work, but it really makes things much more secure and simple. I highly recommend this technique.

    In addition to that, I can filter cleverly made phishing attacks by having a "Companies" folder that I know are directed to addresses I've designated as companies. For example, I get phishing attacks from AT&T, Verizon, LinkedIn that do a wonderful job at disguising themselves, so if I see a message in my "Personal" folder coming from LinkedIn, I immediately know not to open it.

    I'd love it if you updated the article with this information.

  23. Sachin Kanchan
    June 5, 2012 at 3:45 am

    so if i use skanchan+spam@gmail.com, will the emails sent to me be on the spam folder...

    or i i use skanchan+newsletters@gmail.com, will the emails be saved in a new folder named newsletters

  24. trashbots
    June 5, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Interesting Article! Nice tricks and one of the disposable email service is http://www.guerrillamail.com/ . You can custom the temporary email used which is very useful.

  25. KamilKozyra
    June 5, 2012 at 2:55 am

    I didn't know the example with Gmail & I use spamgourmet.com

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