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How to create, remove, or edit a Gmail alias

By Julia Borgini · April 20, 2023
The Gmail icon.

Your email address is an essential part of your online identity. Like your phone number, you don't give it out to everyone. An email alias allows you to have different email addresses for different purposes, without creating multiple accounts.

If you're using Google Workspace, you can create up to 30 email aliases per account, and it won't affect your monthly bill. If you're using a personal Gmail account, there's also a Gmail alias trick to get the job done.

Here's how to create, remove, or change an alias in Gmail.

  • What is an email alias?

  • When should I use an email alias?

  • Limitations of Gmail aliases

  • How to create a Google Workspace email alias

  • How to remove or change a Google Workspace email alias

  • How to create an email alias in Gmail (without Google Workspace)

What is an email alias?

An email alias is an additional email address you can use to receive messages without revealing your primary email address. But it's not a new account: it's connected to your main email, and any messages sent to it will automatically land in your main account. 

For example, if my main address is julia@mydomain.com and my alias is info@mydomain.com, anything sent to info@mydomain.com would show up in my julia@mydomain.com email address. 

You can set up a filter to automatically move all messages sent to an alias to a specific folder or add a label to them, so you can more easily identify them in your main inbox. Here's what my inbox looks like, where I've set up a filter to mark emails sent to my info@ alias with the green Info label.

Julia's inbox, organized by alias

When should I use an email alias?

There are plenty of reasons you might want to use an email alias. For example, maybe you want to use hello@mydomain.com as an easy-to-remember email for people who want to get in touch with you. Or jobs@mydomain.com for leads who want to apply to work for you, without revealing which member of the team is getting the application.

Bottom line: a Gmail alias allows you to have multiple email addresses without paying extra.

Limitations of Gmail aliases

Before you create a Gmail alias, there are a few caveats worth considering.

  • By default, email aliases only work to receive email, not send it. This means if you reply to a message sent to your alias, it'll come from your main email address. Some email apps (including Gmail) allow you to set up email aliases to also send mail with a custom From address, but you'll have to check with your app.

  • Email aliases are not Google accounts, so you can't sign in with an email alias and access Workspace apps like Google Docs. You need to use your primary email address for that, as it's what's tied to a Google account.

  • Multiple users can't share an email alias. This means you can't create the same alias on multiple Workspace accounts. For example, if your company has three employees, each with a separate email address, and you have the alias hello@yourcompany.com, only one of the employees would be able to see emails that were sent to it.

  • You can't create an alias with the same name as an existing Google account in your Workspace organization. For example, if you have an account called sales@mydomain.com, you can't create an alias called sales@mydomain.com

  • Email aliases aren't private. Let's say a contact searches Gmail for messages from romeo@shakespeare.com. The search results might also include messages from Romeo's alias, hello@shakespeare.com.

With those out of the way, let's get to it.

How to create a Google Workspace Gmail alias

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console with an administrator account.

  2. On the left of the Admin console, click Directory > Users.

    The Google Workspace admin console
  3. Click the username you want to add the alias to. 

  4. Under the user's name, click Add alternate emails.

    How to add alternate emails in Google Workspace admin console.

  5. Click Alternate email, and type a name for the alias (the part of the address before the @ sign). If you have multiple domains you want to add aliases for, choose them as appropriate under the Domain drop-down.

    Example of how to add an email alias in Gmail.

  6. If you want to add more aliases to that user account, repeat the previous step

  7. Click Save.

Before you can send emails from that alias, though, you have to add the alias to your Gmail account. Then, when you compose an email, all you have to do is change the From line.

How to remove or change a Gmail alias

If you no longer want to use an alias or you want to change it:

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console with an administrator account. 

  2. On the left of the Admin console, click Directory > Users.

  3. Click the username you want to delete or change the alias for.

  4. Under the user's name, click Add alternate emails.

  5. To delete the alias, click the X on the line with the alias. Or to change it, click the Alternate email field and modify the name as needed.

    How to remove a Gmail alias.

  6. Click Save.

How to create an alias in Gmail (without Google Workspace)

There's a little Gmail alias trick (a Google-approved one, no less) that lets you use as many Gmail aliases as you want, without any setup, and without a Google Workspace account (though it works with Google Workspace accounts too). Here's how it works.

If my email address is julia@gmail.com, I can add a plus sign (+) and then literally anything after the julia part. So my aliases could be:

  • julia+work@gmail.com

  • julia+marketing.emails@gmail.com

  • julia+discount.codes@gmail.com

Anything sent to any of those email addresses will land in my main julia@gmail.com inbox.

You can give these aliases out if you want, but since they're a little wonky, they're best used when you sign up for things like newsletters or deals. Then you can create a filter so that everything sent to that alias gets marked accordingly, and you have a nice, organized inbox. 

Related reading: 

  • How to mute emails in Gmail

  • How to create a group in Gmail

  • How to merge multiple Gmail, Google Calendar, or Google Contacts accounts

  • How to create a new business Gmail account for your team

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