Get a burner email address with Apple's Hide My Email feature

Get a burner email address with Apple’s Hide My Email feature

Most of us live with an inbox packed with advertisements we don’t want, which leaves us with the time-consuming work of deleting or unsubscribing from each one. But there’s a better solution. You can minimize spam with Apple’s Hide My Email tool, which keeps your inbox lean by preventing junk emails from showing up in the first place. First unveiled at WWDC last June, the Hide My Email feature arrived with the release of iOS 15 in September. (Here’s how to download iOS 15 and how to check if your iPhone can run iOS 15.)

The feature is part of a trio of privacy-focused services for iCloud users with iCloud Plus. For access to the Hide My Email tool, you’ll have to pay for the premium iCloud tier — which ranges from $1 to $10 per month, depending on how much cloud storage you need. (If you’re already a paid iCloud subscriber, your account will automatically get upgraded to iCloud Plus when you upgrade your device to iOS 15.)

With Hide My Email, you’ll be able to generate a random email address when you fill out an online form or sign up for something on a website, so you don’t always have to give out your real address. In effect, you’re scrambling your tracks. We’ll walk you through how Hide My Email works and how to set it up in this article.

How does Hide My Email work to protect me from unwanted spam?
With Apple’s Hide My Email feature, you can generate random, unique email addresses when you need to provide your email address on a website. It will then forward mail to your actual inbox, while reducing the number of lists your legitimate email address appears on.

Hide My Email also allows you to create and delete as many addresses as needed at any time, giving you more control over who can contact you. This is similar to Sign In with Apple, which uses your iOS device to verify credentials instead of your social account logins (thus making it harder for others to track you online).

It can be a bit confusing, because Sign In with Apple also includes a feature called Hide My Email, which does not require a subscription to iCloud Plus. The difference is that Sign In with Apple’s feature only works for signing up for apps and services, while the Hide My Email feature that’s part of iCloud Plus lets you create and delete email addresses any time you need to. In other words, the “old” feature is an option you can only activate when signing up for a service with your Apple ID, but the iCloud Plus feature allows you to do the same thing on demand for any purpose.

Hide My Email helps you keep track of all the random email addresses you generate.

Where is Hide My Email on the iPhone?
Hide My Email is built directly into Safari, Mail and iCloud settings. It arrived as part of the 2021 software update to iOS 15, iPadOS 15, MacOS Monterey and You can try it out now as long as you’ve downloaded iOS 15.

Read more: Digital Legacy: How Apple’s iOS 15 feature protects your data after you die

How do I set up Hide My Email?
Here’s how to set up Hide My Email in iOS 15 once you have it downloaded:

You can find and manage a list of all the random email addresses generated by Hide My Email.

1. Go to Settings, and tap your name at the top to access your account.

2. Tap iCloud > Hide My Email.

3. Tap Create New Address. Apple will automatically generate a unique, random address that ends in and forwards to your personal inbox. If you don’t like the address it creates, you can tap Use Different Address to see a new one. If you’re satisfied, tap Continue.

4. On the next screen, you can label your address and add a note to help you remember what it’s for. Tap Next in the upper right corner.

Your random address has now been created, and you can use it wherever you please.

How do I manage or delete email addresses created through Hide My Email?
To manage all of these random email addresses, here’s what to do:

1. Go to Settings, and tap your name at the top to access your account.

2. Tap iCloud > Hide My Email. You’ll see a list of all the addresses you’ve created with the labels you input.

3. Tap any of the items in the list to see the label, the random address Hide My Email created, and where it’s getting forwarded to. Tap Label to change the name, or Note to add any notes.

4. To delete one of the email addresses, tap Deactivate Email Address at the bottom. A box will pop up confirming your choice, and letting you know you can reactivate the address from an Inactive Addresses list. Tap Deactivate.


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