At its annual Worldwide Developers Conference last month, Apple introduced a bunch of features coming to iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and other platforms. Among the changes that are on their way, there are several privacy-focused improvements that will be available across all Apple devices in the fall. One such addition is Hide My Email – a new feature that helps you create bogus email addresses to sign up for apps and websites so that you can keep your original iCloud address private.
In this post, we’ll help you understand what Hide My Email is all about, where can you use it and how do you set it up on your iPhone or iPad.
What is the new ‘Hide My Email’ feature all about?
As a move to focus more on privacy, Apple has introduced Hide My Email – a feature that allows users to mask their actual email address when signing in to an app or a website that requires access to your Apple account. The functionality is designed in such a way that you can avoid giving away your actual iCloud email address to websites and apps by using another random email address that Apple creates for you.
When an app/website sends you messages, they’re directly automatically forwarded to your original iCloud address. You can respond to them from your actual email account but it will still be kept private. With the ‘Hide My Email’ feature, you don’t just keep your actual iCloud address hidden from apps and websites but also get the option to decide whether or not you want to receive emails from them. This way you can filter out all spam messages from a service and prevent that from cluttering up your iCloud email.
Apple also lets you create multiple ‘Hide My Email’ addresses to give you a better sense of privacy and make sure none of them can be linked to your original Apple ID account. Whenever you’re done with an app or a service, you can stop receiving future emails from them entirely by deleting that email address from your account.
Where can I use Hide My Email?
The Hide My Email feature is available as part of your Apple ID account for all iCloud+ users. The feature will be activated inside Safari, Mail, and iCloud. Because of this, you will be able to use the ‘Hide My Email’ for:
- Sending emails with your actual iCloud address kept hidden.
- Signing up on websites on Safari privately.
- Signing-up for apps you install on your Apple devices.
What do you need to use ‘Hide My Email’?
You can use Apple’s Hide My Email only if you fulfill the following requirements:
- You have a device running iOS 15 and iPadOS 15: The new ‘Hide My Email’ feature is only available for iPhones and iPads running the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. Both iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 are currently only available as developer beta on select iPhones and iPads. Unless you’re absolutely okay with running into bugs and issues on your device, we’d advise against installing the beta software, at least for now. If your device is running iOS 14, iPadOS 14, or older versions, you won’t be able to access the feature on it.
- You are subscribed to Apple’s iCloud+ service: Apple is offering the ‘Hide My Email’ feature as part of its privacy-focused services coming to its iCloud+ subscription. You can upgrade your Apple ID account to iCloud+ for as low as $0.99/month and in addition to the ‘Hide My Email’ feature, you get access to Private Relay, more storage, and HomeKit secure video service.
How to Upgrade your Apple ID account to iCloud+
If your device is running iOS 15 or iPadOS 15, you will need to upgrade your Apple ID account to iCloud+ before you start using Hide My Email on your iPhone or iPad. To do that, open the Settings app on your device and tap on your Apple ID card at the top.
This will take you to your Apple ID screen. Here, scroll down and tap on the ‘iCloud’ option.
Inside iCloud, select the ‘Manage Storage’ option under ‘Storage’.
You will now be taken to the iCloud Storage screen that will show you the space occupied by everything on your iCloud. On this screen, select the ‘Change Storage Plan’ at the top.
A new popup will show all the iCloud+ options available to you along with their prices. Select the plan that suits your requirement and then tap on the ‘Upgrade Storage’ option at the bottom.
In the next step, you will need to authenticate your purchase either using your Apple ID password, Touch ID, or Face ID.
Alternatively, you can also upgrade to iCloud+ directly by going to the Hide My Email screen inside Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Hide my email and then tapping on the ‘Subscribe to iCloud+’ option at the top.
Once your payment has been processed, you should see a “You’re All Set” message along with the list of additional options you have unlocked with iCloud+.
You can now start using the Hide My Email however you want by following any of the steps provided below.
How to Create an Email address for Hide My Email
Once you have upgraded to an iCloud+ subscription, you can start using the Hide My Email by first creating a new Email address with Hide My Email. To do this, open the Settings app on your iPhone/iPad and go to your Apple ID Card at the top.
Inside your Apple ID screen, tap on ‘iCloud’.
When the iCloud screen appears, select the ‘Hide my email’ option.
On the next screen, tap on the ‘Create new address’ option.
Apple will now create a new email address that you may want to use to sign in to websites and apps. You will be able to see the email address in the ‘Hide my email’ popup that appears on the screen.
If you’re satisfied with the address that has been created for you, you can tap on ‘Continue’. In case you’re not happy with the newly created address, you can tap on ‘Use different address’ to get suggested with a new address.
When you confirm a newly generated address, you will be asked to label it so that you can find and view it easily at a later time. Enter a name you want to give for this address and then tap on ‘Next’.
Once your new address is ready, you will see a message that says you’re “All Set”. Tap on ‘Done’ to get back to the mail Hide My Email screen. You can use the above method to create as many new addresses as you want and label them differently.
You should now be able to see the newly create ‘Hide My Email’ address on the screen along with your original email address where mails will get forwarded to.
How to use Hide My Email when signing in with Apple
With Hide My Email, Apple lets you sign up on websites and apps using a randomly generated email address and forwards all emails for that service to your main address, all the while preserving the identity of your original iCloud address.
To use Hide My Email for websites and apps, open a service that supports signing in with Apple and tap on the ‘Continue with Apple’ or ‘Sign in with Apple’ option as available on the screen.
iOS or iPadOS will now prompt with a new popup screen. On this screen, select the ‘Hide my email’ under the ‘Email’ section. Optionally, you can change the name you’re providing to the service by tapping on the ‘X’ icon adjacent to your ‘Name’ and then entering your preferred name.
You will then need to complete the sign-in process by authenticating your identity by either entering your iCloud password or through Face ID or Touch ID.
Once you’re successfully logged into the service, all the websites and apps you have used Hide My Email on will appear inside Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Hide my email.
How to Stop receiving email from an app or service
The main purpose of Hide my mail is to get emails from services without giving them your personal address. But what if you no longer want to receive emails from a particular app or website? In such cases, you can disable email forwarding for the website you have signed up with using Hide My Email so that you no longer get forwarded messages from that particular service in the future.
To stop receiving email from an app or service, open the Hide my email screen on your iPhone or iPad by going to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Hide my email.
Once you’re inside ‘Hide my email’, select the service you no longer want to receive emails from.
On the next screen, toggle OFF the ‘Forward to’ option to make sure you don’t get mails forwarded from the selected service.
Confirm your decision by tapping on ‘Turn off’ in the dialog that appears on the screen.
Email forwarding will now be disabled for this service but you’ll continue to receive other emails forwarded by Hide my email unless you manually disable forwarding for them as well.
How to Change Forwarding Address for Hide My Email
If you wish to change the email address you want to receive emails from services you signed in to using Hide My Email, you can do that by selecting another destination address for your forwarded emails inside Hide My Email. For this, you need to first open the Settings app and go to Apple ID > iCloud > Hide my email.
Once you’re inside ‘Hide my email’, select the ‘Forward to’ option on this screen.
On the next screen, select the email address you want to receive mails at and then tap on ‘Done’.
From now onwards, you will receive all forwarded messages from Hide My Email-enabled services to the new email address you selected.
How to Remove a ‘Hide My Email’ address
If you no longer want to use your ‘Hide My Email’ address, there are many ways you can remove it from your iCloud account.
Deactivate a ‘Hide My Email’ address
You can deactivate an email address you’ve created using Hide My Email by going to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Hide my email.
Inside ‘Hide My Email’, select the email you created by tapping on its label.
On the next screen, tap on the ‘Deactivate email address’ option at the bottom.
In the prompt that appears, select the ‘Deactivate’ option to confirm your decision.
When you deactivate an email address, you will be able to view it inside the ‘Inactive addresses’ section on the ‘Hide my email’ screen.
Delete a ‘Hide My Email’ address
If you wish to completely delete the ‘Hide My Email’ address you previously created, you will have to delete it after it is deactivated. To do that, open the ‘Hide My Email’ screen by first going to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Hide my email.
On the ‘Hide My Email’ screen, tap on the ‘Inactive addresses’ option at the bottom.
Now, select the address you want to delete on the next screen.
You can delete this address by tapping on the ‘Delete address’ option at the bottom.
Confirm your decision by selecting the ‘Delete’ option in the dialog that appears.
That’s all you need to know about using Hide My Email on your iPhone or iPad.