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How to create and use an email alias

Sometimes it makes sense to send and receive email using a different address than your original MIT email account address. For example, if your name is changed, or if you are sending mail in the capacity of a specific role. In this case you can make an email alias, which is like a synonym for your original email address. It is not a separate inbox. It is just a mailing list with you as the only member.

There are three main stages to setting up your alias.

1. Create a new mailing list and add yourself to it.

First, visit the list creation page at Because you won't need all the features and potential complication of a Mailman type list, choose the relatively simple Moira type.

Now for the name of your list. Your email alias will be <your alias> where <your alias> is the name of your list. You can always change this or go through this process again to create another alias later, so don't worry too much about what name you choose. The description is simply a short text description of the list. Feel free to leave it blank or enter something like "<username>'s alias" where <username> is your kerberos username.

Finally for the options. Make yourself the owner. For the options checkboxes, you can leave the default settings.

The web form may complain that the list name is already in use. In that case keep trying until you find a good one that's available.

Now that your list is created, let's add you to the list. You can edit the list using WebMoira. You can simply add your kerberos username as the sole member. Now any email sent to <your alias> will be delivered to your MIT address.

2. Configure your mail client to send "from" the list address.

This can be a little tricky as each mail client program (like Apple Mail, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.) has their own configuration procedure and menus for setting this up. Fortunately you only have to set this up once on each email program and computer setup you use. Please see How do I send mail FROM a mailing list when using Exchange? for details and feel free to contact the Help Desk for questions.

3. List the alias as your preferred address.

Now your email alias is all set. You will receive messages sent to <your alias> and you've configured your mail program to send with the "From" address as <your alias>

Finally, you may want to make it so that when others try to find your contact info they find your alias instead of your original address. In addition to the central MIT directory (How can I update information displayed in the MIT Directory? ) your department or other groups may have their own directories. In that case you'll have to ask the directory maintainer how to update your information. Also note that the procedure to change your MIT directory information, and whether you have the ability to do so, will depend on your affiliation with the Institute (student, faculty, staff, etc.).

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

August 13, 2015

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