From the KnowledgeBase
Email alias addresses: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Please read the following questions and answers for details about email alias addresses.
- What is the difference between a netID-based email address and an email alias address?
- Will my old netID-based email address still work?
- What if my netID-based email address is subscribed to a mailing list?
- What if I set an email alias address and want to change it?
- Does setting an email alias address change my netID?
- Can I pick any name I want for my email alias address?
- I have an email alias address -- do I still need to know my netID?
- What if I used my Princeton University netID email address to sign up to Facebook or Amazon or in the Cloud?
- What if I have a Princeton University Gmail account?
- How can you find someone's email address, whether netID or alias?
- How can I get an email alias address?
When a new account is created for a member of the University community a netID-based email address is automatically assigned when the account is created. For example: Ann Expert was assigned a netID of expert and her netID-based email address is expert@Princeton.edu. Once the account has been created the user may wish to set up a more friendly or readable email address. We refer to that address as an alias as it is adding an additional name to the account rather than changing the email account address. For example if the name is available Ann Expert would be able to have the email alias email@example.com. Mail sent to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com will be delivered to Ann Expert’s email box.
After establishing an email alias address, you will still be
able to receive email that is sent to your netID-based email address.
However, when you send an email message, your new email alias address
will appear in the “from” information. You will no longer be able to
send from your old netID-based email. If you configure your mail
application to use your netID-based email address, the mail system will
automatically convert that address to your new email alias address
before attempting to deliver the message.
You should unsubscribe from any mailing lists prior to
establishing an email alias address and then re-subscribe to those
mailing lists after you have established your email alias address.
Failure to do so may limit or remove your ability to send email to
those mailing lists. Note that once you have set an email alias address
it may be extremely difficult to unsubscribe from a mailing list as you
will not be able to send an UNSUBSCRIBE command from your old
netID-based email address as required by many mailing list servers.
We only allow changes to email alias address names due to a
name change caused by marriage, divorce, or other legal name changes.
You should be absolutely certain that you wish to establish an email
alias address before submitting your request.
An email alias address only changes your email address. Your
netID stays the same. Thus, if Ann Expert married John Novice, she
could then change her email alias address to ann.novice@Princeton.edu.
However, her netID of expert would not change.
Your email alias address must be based on your name. The alias must be available (not used by anyone else).
Your email address, whether it is an alias or netID based, is separate from but related to your netID. Your netID along with your secure password are how you identify yourself to various University systems. Your email address is your identity to others. For example Ann Expert will use her netID “expert” to log into her email application, however when she sends email it is sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. And email sent to email@example.com will be delivered into her account, which she logs into using her netID “expert."
What really happened is the account you created on Facebook or Amazon used your netID email address as their account ID. This is convenient for them because they can then send email to you because they have your address. It’s also convenient for you because you likely won’t forget your Amazon account ID because it is your email address. However if you create an alias for your University email account it won’t have any effect on any external systems where you have used your Princeton University email address as your account ID. So if Ann Expert created a Facebook account with the ID firstname.lastname@example.org and now has an alias email account email@example.com her account ID on external systems will remain firstname.lastname@example.org and mail sent from that external system will continue to be delivered to Ann’s emailbox, which now has 2 labels email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Log in with your netID, not your email alias...
Your Princeton University Gmail account will receive email sent to your email alias address and your netID email address, but you must to continue to log into Gmail using your Princeton University netID email address. For example, if 'Ann Expert' had a Gmail account that has the alias email@example.com she will need to log in to Gmail using firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Then... send mail with your email alias as the return address
- Click the gear in the top right
- Select Settings
- Select the Accounts tab, if you're using Google Apps
- Under Send mail as >> select Add another email address
- In the 'Email address' field, enter your name and alternate email address.
- Click Next Step >> and then click Send Verification. Gmail will send a verification message to your Princeton Gmail account.
- Go to your Inbox and click the link in the message Gmail sent, or enter the confirmation code in the Accounts section of your Gmail settings.
- To have your email alias as the default sender when composing new messages, return to your Princeton Gmail settings by clicking the gear icon.
- Select Accounts and click on “make default” next to your email alias.
- Note that when composing a new message, you can change your “from” address by clicking on the dropdown icon in the “From” field.
You can find the email addresses of Princeton University faculty, staff, students and some affiliates by accessing either the Search option on the Princeton University home page, the Advanced People Search or the Address Book within your email client. Note that students have the right to request, via the Office of the Registrar, that their address information be confidential. Those students selecting this option will not appear in the University Directory.
- Prior to submitting a request for an alias you should make sure that it is available by using the Email Alias Address Availability tool (University log in required). Remember that you may only have one alias and further changes will only be considered based on a legal name change.
- Request an email alias using the Alias Request form.