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There are a number of people who have more than one email address and want to manage these multiple email addresses from Outlook.com. Linked accounts were introduced in 2006 as a way to quickly switch between different accounts each with their own email address. Over the next couple months, we will stop supporting linked accounts and instead help people move to a more robust and secure way of managing multiple email addresses: aliases.
There are many reasons people have multiple email addresses, some of the most common include:
We know there are lots of good reasons to have multiple email addresses. We also believe it's important to provide a more robust, secure and durable solution to meet your needs.
Why make this change? Well, a lot of things have changed since we introduced linked accounts. Most importantly, your email address is also often how you sign into the account that is your "digital identity." For example, your Microsoft account unlocks a broad array of experiences ranging from Windows to Xbox to Office365 to Outlook.com and more. Increasingly, devices allow people to connect their various accounts (Microsoft account, Facebook, Twitter, Apple ID, etc.) to their devices and have it all "just work."
That means that you want to have one Microsoft account that lets you light up your Microsoft devices and services with your stuff: your gamer score, your email inboxes, your calendars, your people, and your files, as well as to connect to all the networks you care about. That's certainly the system we're building, and why we've designed aliases to make it easy to have multiple email addresses (for receiving and sending) connected to a single Microsoft account.
On the flip side, we've increasingly found that linked accounts are less robust, and less secure than using aliases. With linked accounts, you can sign in to Outlook.com on the web and then switch to any other linked account without entering a password. It's a handy feature.
Unfortunately, this same feature benefits the bad guys, too. We've found that quite often, people who use linked accounts keep their primary account's security info (including password and proofs) up to date, but don't lavish as much care on their secondary accounts. It's easier for a malicious party to compromise one of those secondary accounts, which gives them full access to your primary account. Note that if we detect suspicious activity in your account, we automatically unlink accounts to try to help prevent this abuse, but we think we need to go further.
We believe that aliases provide a more robust and secure capability for managing multiple email addresses. You can send and receive email from different addresses and keep it all organized the way you like. And all of this is tied to a single Microsoft account that has your latest and most up-to-date security info.
A couple years ago, we began the process of delinking linked accounts and encouraging people to move to aliases. We got good feedback about some issues, and have been hard at work fixing these gaps. To give you a smoother transition, we've added two new features:
We've also heard from some of you that you'd like to just "move an alias" - move the email address and email from one account to another. We've heard you loud and clear. Stay tuned for more about this in the future.
In the next few days, we'll send email about this change, including the steps you should take, to everybody currently using linked accounts. Soon after, when you sign in with a linked account, you'll see a notice with the same info. We want to make sure that you aren't surprised by this change.
If you don't use linked accounts, there's nothing you need to do.
If you do use linked accounts, now's a good time to make sure each account has updated security info, and that you know the password for each one. It's much easier to do this now while they're still linked. But even if you forget your password later, you can always reset it.
If you're interested in consolidating email, here are a few additional things you can do:
In late July, we'll begin unlinking linked accounts.
I know it's a hassle to make changes when you have a setup that works. We wouldn't ask you to do this if it wasn't important for your security. Thanks for partnering with us to help keep you (and your neighbors) more secure.
--Eric Doerr, Group Program Manager, Microsoft account
DO NOT LIKE. I bounced around trying to find a working solution....fought with Live and Outlook email accounts, filtering, etc. and FINALLY set up the accounts I need to be most productive as linked accounts (3) a personal with aliases, a business and an office administrator email that were linked and all files/emails sorted within them....oh so efficient and now for naught......may have to reconsider as I am not at all happy with this upcoming change.
First, sorry for my english.
It's a great idea!! I just hope that my linked accounts which may be aliases. Why can't be created a linked account of a existing Oulook account but the Gmail or Yahoo accounts can be created as linked accounts.
The removal of this feature is a great loss for anybody using linked account facility. It is such a great utility. And the reason given i.e. for security purposes Microsoft is doing this is not valid. They could have done better than this like typing of password whenever you switch account instead of completely banning this facility.
If a password is required when account is switched then it would ensure security (as desired by microsoft) on one hand and also avoid the hassle of logging out and again logging in by person (s) using multiple accounts and linked account facility.
REQUEST MICROSOFT AND ITS ONLINE DIVISION TO SEARCH FOR WAY OUT RATHER THAN REMOVAL OF THIS GREAT UTILITY.
Can you enable send-and-receive another outlook.com account(s)? Hope this way will workaround the requirement to login every 365 days. There are still reasons I need to maintain separate accounts.
The alias are doing almost everything I need, almost. However, this won't be complete if I can't send as an alias through Outlook 2013. This needs to be updated. What's weird, it's that the Windows 8 app can do it.
Personally, I'd rather have alias (now 10) that typing the password to move among linked accounts (now 5). You can choose that account use to send emails, the same with separate accounts.
Although I think 10 aliases are very few compared to Yahoo (50 or 100, I not sure).
It's good to see measures taken to improve security. However, aliases have one severe drawback that I would like to see fixed when these changes are rolled out: They do not allow sorting into folders reliably. In order to receive emails sent to a certain alias in a specific folder, Outlook.com relies on rules that depend on the alias appearing in the TO or CC of the message. Obviously, this does not work for many emails received via BCC or mailing lists. As the dependence on aliases increases, the increased number of unsorted emails will become more of a problem, so please do fix this design flaw.
The point of multiple accounts is so my primary email box is not overloaded with emails. If I forward emails from my other accounts to my primary account, I do I sort them to go to a separate folder when the only option for sorting applies to the sender?? I need to sort my the recipient, or the email address it came to - which were my separate accounts. How would I do that??
I use this with my wife to easily connect to eachothers e-mail and agenda, it's not convenient to log off and on. But we can use one browser for her e-mail and another one for mine, like we did before. Skydrive is also not working nicely with two people wanting to share a computer and their files.
I have one issue regarding Outlook aliases and I really hope that you will take this issue into consideration. Initially, Outlook only allowed users to sign in their account with the main email address. Since you introduced two-step verification, you also started to allow users to sign in by any alias associated with that account. I know there are lots of people who wanted this for their sake. However, I believe that there are many users out there, just like me, don’t like this idea. This change just put my account at risk. In my case, I have one alias that I use to sign up for spam websites, forums, etc. and I do not wish to use this particular alias to sign in my account.
My suggestion is, you should make a change that allows users to choose which aliases they want to use to sign in. For example, I have 3 aliases and I just want to sign in with 2 aliases, not all 3 of them.
Thanks for reading my message and I really hope you will take action on this issue.
Really msft and fb is mostly taking over email on there way to the holy grail which is search.
You know this new outlook feature was difficult to get used to because I have used my hotmail account for almost 14 years now. I didn't switch when aol, yahoo, mindspring and the rest tried to lure me away neither was I swept up in the more recent gmail craze of just a few years ago. Again and again, I came back to hotmail because I was happy. Then the linking feature was introduced and I begrudgingly linked all my hotmail accounts not knowing what the consequences might be. So, imagine the intensity of my satisfaction when the account linking feature proved to a seamless and endlessly soooo gratifying. It was...and is one of the main features about outlook that has really and truly been a hit with me (and I have come to depend on it).
So, a couple of days ago when I got the notification that it was going to be discontinued, I felt that it was a clear indication that hotmai...outlook had lost touch with it's core users. I felt sure that the logical way to manage this problem would be to improve/increase security technology to ensure that users could continue to have their accounts linked. I felt sure that at the very least, users would be given the option of turning on or off the feature after being alerted to the risks. I could never have imagined that the feature would be removed altogether for all users, forever. I just feel like this might be the beginning of the end of a very long and intimate relationship and frankly, I am saddened by it.
I don't know if anyone reads these messages (I see that it's a "no-reply" account), but I hope you know that this is unpopular and that you may just have lost one of your biggest supporters!
Disgruntled ex-MS fan!
Any chance MS will come up with a method that allows us to change a currently linked account into an alias that doesn't require waiting months?
If we can't link accounts anymore, it would be really nice if we could have multiple email signatures to go with different aliases. Oh, and converting a separate email account into an alias (without waiting a whole year) would be great too!