Apple iCloud Logo on blue background

Sharing an email address is risky; it might lead to getting spam. To prevent that, a feature called “Hide My Email” on iCloud+ allows you to create a unique email address for each site, forwarding those messages to your regular email account. Here’s how to use it on iPhone and iPad.

What You’ll Need

To use the “Hide My Email” feature, you need an iCloud+ or Apple One subscription. (Even the $0.99 per month subscription works.) You’ll also need an email address already set up and ready to receive email on your device. Also, your iPhone or iPad must be running iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 (or higher).

As of September 2021, you can’t manage iCloud+ features on macOS, but that will probably change with the release of macOS 12 (Monterey), which is expected later in 2021.

It’s worth noting that “Hide My Email” originally debuted as part of the “Sign in With Apple” service that shipped with iOS 13 in 2019. If you don’t have a paid iCloud+ account, you can still use Hide My Email as part of Sign in With Apple for free.

RELATED: How to Convert a Login to "Sign in With Apple"

How to Create a “Hide My Email” Address on iPhone or iPad

To use Hide My Email, you’ll need to access your iCloud options in the Settings app. First, open Settings on your iPhone or iPad by tapping the grey gear icon.

At the very top of Settings, tap your Apple ID name.

In Settings, tap your Apple ID.

In Apple ID settings, tap “iCloud.”

Tap "iCloud."

In iCloud settings, tap “Hide My Email.” If you don’t see it listed, then you aren’t subscribed to iCloud+ or Apple One.

Tap "Hide My Email."

Next, Settings will present a potential email address that has been randomly generated for you to review. If you don’t like the address, tap “Use Different Address,” and a different random email address will be generated. When you find the one you like, tap “Continue.”

Tap "Continue."

On the next screen, type in a label for the address you just generated. We suggest using the name of the service you’ll be providing the random email address to (“Facebook,” for example). You can also make a note in a text box below the label. When you’re done, tap “Next” in the upper-right corner of the window.

Enter a label for the random email address.

On the “All Set” screen, Settings will confirm that a unique random email address has been created. Tap “Done” to continue. After that, you’ll see the address you just created listed on the “Hide my Email” screen.

If you want to create another address, tap “Create New Address.” Or if you need to adjust which email address your “Hide My Email” addresses will forward to, tap “Forward To.”

Tap "Forward To."

After tapping, you’ll see a list of available email addresses. Select the one you’d like to use, and it will apply to all of the random email addresses you’ve created. (At the moment, all random addresses you create must forward to the same email address.)

After that, you’re ready to use your new email address. When a service asks for your email address, just type in the random one provided by Apple. You’ll receive emails from it as you normally would, but with one exception: It will have “Hide My Email” listed in the “To” field.

A "Hide My Email" test message.

Please note that if you reply to an email forwarded from “Hide My Email,” the recipient will see your regular email address, not the random one, so you can’t use it to hide your identity in a two-way conversation. Apple designed Hide My Email as a one-way system, mostly for protection from commercial spam.

RELATED: What Is Apple iCloud+?

How to Delete a “Hide My Email” Address on iPhone or iPad

If you need to remove or delete a “Hide My Email” address on your iPhone or iPad, you can either deactivate it or delete it completely. Here’s how. First, open Settings and navigate to Apple ID > iCloud > Hide My Email.

Tap "Hide My Email."

On the “Hide My Email” screen, tap the entry for the email address you’d like to deactivate or delete.

Tap the email address you'd like to deactivate or delete.

On the detail screen for the email address, scroll down to the bottom and select “Deactivate Email Address.” Then confirm again in the pop-up by tapping “Deactivate.”

Tap "Deactivate Email Address."

After that, Settings will move the deactivated email address into an “Inactive Addresses” section on the Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Hide My Email screen. To reactivate the address later, tap its name in that list, then select “Reactivate Address.” To delete the “Hide My Email” address permanently, tap “Delete Address.”

Tap "Delete Address."

After confirming, that particular “Hide My Email” address will be deleted. It will not affect any emails you have in your inbox or any of your other email accounts or addresses. If you need to delete another “Hide My Email” address, repeat the process laid out above. Good luck, and happy emailing!

RELATED: Why Is Email Spam Still A Problem?

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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