In case you missed it, Microsoft is overhauling Hotmail. The new service, Outlook.com, features a spiffy Windows 8-inspired interface and will eventually have tight integration with Skype, Office Web Apps and SkyDrive (the service is still in “preview mode” and many of the new features are incomplete).
One of the coolest features of the new service is that you can create multiple aliases for your account. Say you created your Hotmail account 15 years ago, back when you were in college. And, like a bad tattoo, you picked an email address that’s slightly embarrassing today, like ChumbawumbaFan4Ever@hotmail.com or SchlitzChugger@hotmail.com. Now you can add a more professional alias to your account, like email@example.com (live.com and hotmail.com domains are also available, but are pretty picked over by this point). So your friends can continue to email you at the old address, but you can also send and receive mail with your new firstname.lastname@example.org address as well.
If you’d rather just rename your account altogether you can do that too. In that case, Outlook.com will make your new alias permanent, and you’ll have to log in with the new address. Outlook will retain your old address as an alias, so you will still receive mail addressed to the old account.
But what if you don’t want your old address? What if, like me, you used your Hotmail account just enough to get a lot of spam, but not enough to really care about any email you receive there? In my case, I used my old Live account mostly to sign up for free music downloads. So the only things I ever got at that address were newsletters from bands I might (or might not) care about these days, and a bunch of spam. And the spam from the Live.com address was clogging up my new Outlook.com account. Can’t I get rid of the old Live address and start fresh with just the Outlook address?
Yes, although the feature is hidden because it hasn’t been transitioned from the old service yet. To delete any alias from your account, login to your Outlook.com account and do the following:
1) Click the “gear” icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Choose “Switch back to Hotmail” (you may be asked to provide feedback as to why you’re switching back; click “Skip feedback”).
2) Click on your name in the upper-right corner and choose “Options”:
3) Click “Email Addresses” under the “Account” section:
4) Click “Remove” for any addresses you no longer want.
5) Sign out of Hotmail, then sign back in at Outlook.com to go back to the new UI.
Aaaaannnddd there you go: a new Outlook.com account, minus the old Hotmail or Live address that was getting so much spam. I was receiving 4-5 spams a day from my old address, but haven’t received one since I got rid of my old address last week!