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It seems strange that Outlook and Exchange made it difficult to work with more than one email address in an account. It turns out that there are many good reasons to use multiple addresses or even hide a personal address. You can share a customer contact mailbox in a CRM system with several different users, work through the merger of two different companies, or simply want to protect customer contact information from leaks when working on a confidential product.

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Aliases in Exchange

Whatever the reason, providing more than one address to staff is becoming more common. But until recently, Exchange made it difficult to send messages using alternate identities.

Much of this was due to the design of the Exchange Mail Transfer Agent, the code that transmits email to the chain of mail servers that make up the Internet. It was originally designed to work with only one user email address, and everything is related to that identity. If you try to send an email with an alias, an alternate email address, it will be overwritten with the primary email address before being sent via SMTP.

If you’re using Exchange for business, this approach is good: support emails seem to come from a support alias, as they won’t leave the server or cluster. There is a vague justification for allowing aliases to be received but not used for sending, as users can then redirect mail by replying to their correct address.

However, email now has to do much more than connect parts of the business – that’s a lot of the way we do business. Aliases are also part of these processes, especially as email-powered tools, such as the Microsoft 365 Reservation Service, become more common

Inbound aliases have long been embedded in both the local Exchange and Exchange Online. You can give an individual user up to 400 different nicknames, regardless of how much you are charged. Aliases are not shared mailboxes or distribution lists: These are individual addresses that can be used to route mail to specific mailboxes.

Although you can use distribution lists to receive, route, and send emails, they do not give you the same level of control as individual user aliases and shared mailboxes. There were sophisticated low-level techniques that allowed Exchange users to send mail as aliases, but they required custom email applications that used specific SMTP commands instead of the familiar Outlook.

Alias ​​management in Exchange Online

Aliases for active users

It’s easy enough to add nicknames using the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. If you are using alternate domains, make sure they are configured before adding an alias to a user.

In the Administration Center, select Active Users under Users in the navigation pane. Once this page opens, select a user and click on their name to open the user panel. Here you can select Manage username and email to add a nickname. You can enter any username and select any currently configured domain. Once configured, click Save Changes to set the alias.

Alternative domains

Alternate domains must be set up with all the correct DNS settings for Microsoft 365 accounts. This requires you to add them to your Microsoft 365 account using the Central Tools setup tools.

After you add the domain, link it to your account by verifying it with a TXT record in the domain’s DNS records before configuring MX records to send mail to Microsoft 365 Exchange Online. If you plan to send mail through this domain, you must first configure its SPF, DKIM, and DMARC anti-spam features on your DNS host.

Change of company name

After changing your business name, you can set up an address like as an alias for, with mail sent to the old business name address arriving in its usual new business name account. It’s a good idea to use aliases to redirect mail sent to common aliases in a mailbox, so can be an alias for the more formal

In the same way, you can give aliases to team accounts, so that all possible team name variants, such as “accountspayable”, “accounts”, “accounts.payable” and any other versions, will end up in the same email account. It’s worth looking at your email logs to see if there are common errors for important addresses that you can catch and redirect with an alias.

Send mail as an alias from Outlook

Recent Exchange Online update finally, preview support has been added for sending messages using aliases. You must first use PowerShell to set the SendFromAliasEnabled parameter on the Set-OrganizationConfig cmdlet. When you set this, you can enable full alias support for all mailboxes; there is currently no way to set it up for individual users or groups.

Once enabled, you use a new version of the Exchange SMTP service. As Microsoft points out, it is currently under preview, as there are some issues that may be causing issues in some cases. Local Exchange does not receive the new feature, which means that not all local users will be able to send using aliases.

Not all Exchange email clients support the new feature. It is currently supported on Outlook iOS and Android mobile clients and Outlook on the web. Support for Outlook for desktops is expected sometime in the second quarter of 2022, but has not yet arrived.

On the web, you need to display the From field when composing messages, with a drop-down menu of available aliases. On mobile devices, you must manually enter an alias, but it will be saved for future use. When released for desktop Outlook, you will be able to maintain a list of commonly used aliases, which should make it easier to choose and choose which alias to use.

Once you’ve set up support, users need to find working with aliases simple enough. When necessary, they can keep personal addresses hidden or use nicknames or alternate mail domains to ensure that the email reaches them, no matter how it is addressed.

Microsoft’s plan to integrate Outlook Online with its desktop version should speed up the delivery of features like this. One Outlook code base in all versions will avoid situations where different Outlook have different or different implementations of the same feature.

How to use aliases in Exchange Online so customers don’t know your real email address

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