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Outlook.com dumps 'Preview' tag, preps for mass Hotmail migration

Ian Paul | Feb. 20, 2013
Hotmail users will be getting a new outlook on email before long. Late Monday, Microsoft announced that the preview phase for Outlook.com, the software giant's new and improved Webmail service, is over after being used by more than 60 million people in its six months of existence. Now that's it's ready for prime time, Microsoft plans to migrate current Hotmail users over to the new interface by the time summer rolls around. Fear not; the transition shouldn't be too painful, as your mail, contacts, and current account settings will come along for the ride.

A better alternative is to just change your e-mail address using an alias. Outlook, like Hotmail before it, allows you to set-up alternative e-mail addresses called aliases that can deliver e-mail to the same inbox as your primary account. The beauty of this approach is that you can use your alias as your default address and still receive e-mail sent to your old address. And, if you ever get tired of your new Outlook.com alias, you can just trade it in for a new one without much hassle. The downside is that your aliases can't be used from a smartphone app or a mail client like Windows Mail. In these situations, you will only be able to send mail from your primary Hotmail address. You can create five new aliases per year up to a maximum of 15 aliases.

To get started, login to Outlook.com and click on the settings cog on the upper right side of your inbox screen. Then, in the dropdown window, select "More mail settings." On the next screen, select "Create an Outlook alias" under the "Managing your account" heading.

Now, just make sure "Outlook.com" selected in the drop down menu and then enter the alias you want to use such as your.name@outlook.com. When you're done, click "Create an alias."

If the address you're looking for is available, you will be taken back to your inbox and Outlook will ask you if you want mail sent to this address to go to a separate folder or to just throw it in the inbox. Since you plan on using your new e-mail address permanently, select "An existing folder:Inbox," and press "Done."

Now you've got your new e-mail address, but you need to tell Outlook to automatically send new mail from this address by default. Go back to you settings cog and select "More mail settings" again. Go back to the "Managing your account" heading and select "Your email accounts." On the next page, scroll all the way to the bottom and under the "Default 'From' address" heading, select your new alias from the drop down menu.

That's it, you're done. Now, all e-mails you send from Outlook.com will come automatically from your new address.

 

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