A better way to manage aliases and primary email address for your Microsoft account

As we’ve talked about before, we’re focused on delivering connected devices and services to you, our customers. And Microsoft account makes your experiences on devices and services more personal and relevant. When you sign in to any device or service with your Microsoft account, your personal settings, contacts and other information meet you there. It keeps you connected to the people you care about on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other services. It all just works, wherever you go.

One of our principles is that we should adapt to how you want to work, not vice versa. This is why we allow you to use any email address to sign in to your Microsoft account. We’ve also heard from you that over time things change with your account–you might get married, start a new job, move or any number of life events that make you want to change your email address. We want to make it easier to keep your account up to date as these life events happen.

Several years ago we launched the ability to rename or to add aliases to your account, which gave important flexibility to manage these changes. But we found that these tasks were a little too monolithic. For example, sometimes you wanted to sign in with one alias but use another to send mail or display on your Xbox. So we started working to break these tasks down to give you more flexibility.

In April, we added the ability to sign in with any alias on your account. At that time, Rename was left unchanged; and it walked you through an experience to add a new alias and switch which one was the “primary” alias on your account.

Today, we’re replacing rename with a simpler and clearer choice to make any of your aliases a primary alias. We’ve also made it clearer why you might want to do this (and why you might not). Now that you can sign in with any alias, really the only reason to make a different alias your primary one is if you want a different email name to show on your Microsoft devices, like the background of your Xbox or your Windows 8 PC.

To manage your aliases (or make other changes to your account), go to https://account.live.com/, click on “Account aliases” in the left navigation bar, and then follow the instructions.

Account alias page

This change will roll out to all accounts in the next few days.

Thanks for all the feedback and for using our products. Keep the feedback coming.

Eric Doerr, Group Program Manager, Microsoft account