Hide My Email: What It Is, How to Use It, & Alternatives [2024]

March 15, 2024
·
5 min
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Spam emails are a big problem, especially in the United States. In fact, the U.S. holds the record for sending the highest number of spam (around 8 billion) emails in a day. That’s not all. Over 350 million Americans became victims of a data breach in 2023. This is why Apple created Hide My Email.

Hide My Email is a built-in feature on Apple devices. The feature generates a new email that masks your primary email, giving you more control over who has your primary email and the ability to cut off people or companies sending too many spam emails.

In this guide, we explain how to use Hide My Email and why you should probably consider a more comprehensive privacy solution instead.

What is Hide My Email?

iCloud Hide My Email is an iCloud+ feature. The feature allows you to generate random email addresses that forward emails to your primary email account.

The feature is only available on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. If you’re an Android or Windows user, you don’t have this option. However, you can use third-party solutions. In fact, third-party software can make more sense because Hide My Email:

  • Doesn’t offer additional privacy features
  • Only generates emails, not phone numbers
  • Sometimes has deliverability issues

There are other services you can use to generate a second email address on Windows, Android, and even Apple devices.

How Hide My Email Works

Suppose you use an email generated using Hide My Email to sign up for a software trial. The software company regularly sends updates and promotional emails and Hide My Email forwards these emails to your primary account. But you’ve decided to discontinue the trial.

Also, you no longer want to receive emails from the company, but you suspect that the company might sell its email list. You can deactivate your Hide My Email address if you suspect that. And just like that, your inbox is spam-free.

Hide My Email iPhone

Here’s how you can use the Hide My Email feature on an iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Hide My Email.
  2. Tap on Create New Address.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up Hide My Email.

Once this feature is set up, you’ll see the option to generate a new email at the top of the keyboard when the active field asks for an email.

Hide My Email with Gmail

If your Gmail account is set up on the Mail app on your iPhone or iPad, and the Hide My Email feature is enabled on your device, you can generate emails from within the app. Here’s how:

  1. Launch the Mail app and create a new email.
  2. Tap the From option. This will open a drop-down menu including emails set up in your Mail app as well as the Hide My Email option.
  3. The feature will generate a unique email address and automatically fill it into the field.

Hide My Email Android

Android doesn’t offer a built-in feature to generate email addresses on the go. However, you can always use a third-party service like Cloaked.

Cloaked is a comprehensive online privacy platform. With Cloaked, you can generate a new email identity (or “Cloak” your email) within seconds. The app also lets you create unique logins and phone numbers (as well as offers an entire host of privacy features). 

Cloaking your number is a great way to protect your privacy when using online dating platforms. If you want to interact with a Tinder match but don’t feel confident about sharing your number, cloak your number and discard it if things go south.

hide my email-android

Here’s how you can hide your email on Android:

  1. Download Cloaked from the Google Play Store and sign up once the app is installed.
  2. Tap on Create at the bottom of the app to create a new identity.
  3. Enter a name.
  4. Click on the Generate option to the right of each field to generate a new email, phone number, password, and username.

Join Cloaked now to generate your new email.

How to Turn Off Hide My Email on iPhone

If you no longer want to use the Hide My Email feature, here’s how you can turn it off:

  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Hide My Email.
  2. You’ll see a list of email addresses created using Hide My Email and the app or website they’re linked to.
  3. Select the emails you want to deactivate.

Hide My Email Limitations

Hide My Email is convenient, but not perfect. While it can help you generate a second email in an instant, here’s why Hide My Email isn’t the best choice:

Still clutters your inbox

You can’t manage a separate inbox for your Hide My Email alias. All of those emails ultimately end up in your mailbox, causing clutter.

You need a separate mailbox for your alias for better organization. This gives you greater control over which emails reach your primary inbox. Plus, even if you’ve configured a secondary mailbox to forward emails to your primary inbox, you can always change this setting or discard the email altogether.

Could impact email deliverability

Email deliverability has been a common problem among Hide My Email users. For example, one user complained that only some of their emails were forwarded to the primary account after setting up Hide My Email.

Not receiving emails can be frustrating. If you don’t receive emails on time, you could miss an important business notification or a software renewal date—you might feel embarrassed having to explain yourself to colleagues or disrupt regular business because you missed the renewal.

No additional privacy features

Hide My Email doesn’t do much except generate emails. But you need a lot more than a second email to steer clear of identity theft, financial scams, and other types of cybercrime.

Apps like Cloaked offer a comprehensive privacy solution. You can generate phone numbers, manage passwords in a password vault, and even store confidential documents—all using a single dashboard.

Tricky to manage generated email aliases

Hide My Email is not the most intuitive when it comes to organizing and managing your aliases. Since Hide My Email generates aliases rather than email addresses with full working inboxes, you may find you have a smattering of generated aliases that you can’t revisit or make changes to. 

The interface to control these features are buried within your iPhone settings, rather than as a full built-out product or app. 

Not compatible with Android

The Hide My Email feature is only available on Apple devices. Android and Windows devices don’t have Hide My Email or any similar built-in feature. However, signing up for a third-party service like Cloaked is just as easy–and you get access to more features than the Hide My Email app.

Hide My Email Alternatives

Apple users often jump straight to Hide My Email by default. It’s an easy choice because it’s a built-in feature. But if you’re serious about protecting your privacy, here are the alternatives you should consider:

1. Cloaked

cloaked

Cloaked is a comprehensive privacy solution. If you’re looking for an app that quickly generates emails and phone numbers, manages passwords, and stores data securely, Cloaked is your best bet.

Say goodbye to a cluttered mailbox! Cloaked helps you organize your emails by giving you more control over which emails make it to your primary inbox. You can choose to forward emails from your cloaked email to your primary email, and cut off the sender when you no longer want to receive emails.

Cloaked is also loaded with a range of privacy features. For example, Autocloak Beta lets you generate new login information for multiple accounts at once. If you already have accounts on Spotify, Pinterest, and Etsy connected to your primary email, you can cloak your email and replace the login information across all accounts in seconds.

Why share sensitive account information via text or email when you can share it securely through an encrypted server? Suppose you cloak your email, sign up to try a new business app, and you want to share the login credentials with a colleague.

Instead of texting this information, you can use identity sharing on Cloaked to minimize the risk of interception.

Key Features: 

  • Cloaked identities: Generate unlimited working email addresses and phone numbers to use for your online activities, including making purchases and filling out surveys
  • AutoCloak: Cloaked supports batch replacing of identities for multiple online accounts in one click. All you need to do is add identities (online accounts) to your Cloaked dashboard and generate new usernames, email addresses, and passwords for these accounts. 
  • Password manager: Cloaked supports strong password generation and storage and also auto-fills these passwords on sites that you’ve added to your Cloaked dashboard
  • Secure password filling: With Cloaked, your passwords are securely auto-filled when you access online accounts and apps that you have added to Cloaked.
  • Identity sharing: Share sensitive account information with trusted persons via an end-to-end encrypted link that can be customized to expire when you want (1 hour, 8 hours, or 1 day)
  • One-time passcodes: Generate time-based passcodes as a secondary authentication method to access your account instead of relying only on passwords
  • Additional storage: Cloaked stores more than just log-in details and passwords; there’s also provision for you to store your home address and even API keys and bank account information securely

Looking to hide your email? 

Just get Cloaked

2. DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo email protection tool lets you create unlimited private email addresses. You can create two types of email addresses: personal duck addresses and unique private duck addresses.

Personal duck addresses filter out all types of email trackers and forward them to your primary email. Unique private duck addresses are useful when you want to prevent a website from profiling you. Like personal duck addresses, they also filter out trackers.

Key Features: 

  • Free email forwarding
  • Unlimited private email addresses
  • Removes hidden email tracks
  • Link tracking protection

3. ProtonMail

Protomail

Proton Mail secures your communication with independently audited end-to-end encryption and zero-access encryption. This protects your email data against breaches—no one, including Proton, the government, or your internet service provider, can access your inbox.

You don’t necessarily have to use the ProtonMail app. ProtonMail Bridge can help use a third-party email client like Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, or Mozilla Thunderbird via IMAP/SMTP.

Key Features: 

  • End-to-end encrypted email with ProtonMail users
  • Access to VPN, password manager, cloud storage, and secure calendar
  • Protects your IP against image-based trackers
  • Send encrypted messages with an expiration to non-users

4. SimpleLogin

simplelogin page

SimpleLogin lets you generate a random password. You can choose between generating random words or UUID. Using the former makes more sense and is easier to remember. You can even create a custom email if you own a domain. For example, you could get a [email protected] email once you set it up with SimpleLogin.

The platform lets you secure your account with 2FA using Google Authenticator or a similar app. SimpleLogin goes a step further than competitors when it comes to 2FA, allowing you to use a hardware security key like Yubikey or Google Titan. Upgrading to SimpleLogin’s paid version gives you access to more features like PGP encryption and custom domains.

Key Features:

  • Supports custom and random email addresses
  • Can forward emails to multiple emails
  • Browser extensions and mobile apps
  • Multi-factor authentication using a hardware security key (Yubikey or Google Titan)

5. AnonAddy

AnonAddy dashboard

AnonAndy (now known as Addy.io) is an open-source email forwarding service—the source code is available on GitHub. While it doesn’t offer much else except email forwarding, it offers a range of email forwarding features to help you hide your primary email.

You can generate a standard email alias or set up custom domain emails if you own a domain. The service has a forever-free plan that comes with restrictions. If you want to receive emails to more than one email address and remove the 10MB/month bandwidth limit, you’ll need to switch to one of the paid plans.

Key Features: 

  • GPG/OpenPGP encryption
  • Custom domains
  • API access
  • Forever-free plan

More About Apple Hide My Email 

Now that you know how to use Apple Hide My Email, let’s clear out some common questions about Hide My Email.

How do I Hide My Email address?

There are two ways to hide your email address. The first, less secure way is to use the Hide My Email feature available on Apple devices. 

If you’re not an Apple user or want more privacy features, use Cloaked to hide your email address. Join Cloaked, create a new identity, and generate an email—it’s that easy.

How do I access Hide My Email?

Hide My Email is available on Apple devices. If you’re on an iPhone:

  1. Head over to Settings, tap on your name, and select iCloud.
  2. Select Hide My Email.
  3. Tap on Create and follow the instructions.

If you’re on a Mac:

  1. Launch the Mail app.
  2. Click the New Message button and add a recipient and subject.
  3. Hover your pointer over the From field, click on the pop-up menu, and select Hide My Email.

If you’ve never used a Hide My Email alias to email this recipient, a new, unique email address will appear in the From field. If you’ve used a Hide My Email alias to email this recipient, the same address you used last time will appear in the From field.

Is Hide My Email permanent?

Hide My Email is not permanent. You can deactivate and even reactivate Hide My Email aliases at any time. You can also change the personal email address to which you want to receive the forwarded emails.

Can Hide My Email be tracked?

It’s not possible to trace a Hide My Email back to your primary email for most people. Apple says, “All email messages are deleted from our relay servers after they're delivered to you, usually within seconds.” However, Apple can probably trace an email back to you if it wants. Whether that will ever happen is a different story.

What happens when you hide your email?

When you hide your email, all emails sent to your alias are forwarded to your primary email. For example, you generated a new email [email protected] on Cloaked. You configure the account so all emails received to this new email are forwarded to your primary email. The sender never sees your real email.

Hide Your Email with Cloaked

Cloaked makes generating emails a cakewalk, just like Hide My Email. The problem with Hide My Email? There’s no feature to manage multiple emails.

All Cloaked emails are associated with an identity. For example, if you need to create a new email to sign up for and test project management software for business, you can create a separate identity and more easily manage all emails from project management companies.

Of course, Cloaked offers a range of other privacy features like password management and secure account sharing—join Cloaked for comprehensive online privacy!

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