Following up on yesterday’s email aliases topic, here’s some information about how you can rename a Hotmail account using an alias, turning that alias into a full Outlook.com account. You can also use that alias address for a new Outlook.com account, but you’ll have to wait 30 days.

At the end of yesterday’s tip—Use Email Aliases—I had one major unanswered question about this useful Outlook.com feature: What happens if you have made an alias—say, whatever@outlook.com—and then later decide you like it so much you’d like to turn it into a full-fledged Outlook.com account? Can you do this?

Thanks to some timely reader emails, I’m happy to report that the answer is yes. But as is so often the case with this kind of thing, there is a major caveat.

If you wish to simply create a new outlook.com account using an address that was previously used as an alias, while keeping your original Hotmail account, you can delete the alias, but then you’ll have to wait 30 days before that account name becomes available. Obviously, it’s possible that someone could snag it before you, and there’s no way to prevent this.

If you wish to rename your current Hotmail account to the outlook.com address you’re currently using as an alias, you can actually do that immediately, but you must follow the steps noted below, in order. These steps come from a Microsoft post in the software giant’s Microsoft Answers web site, so I can’t really take responsibility for this. In other words, there is a chance, I suppose, that you could give up the outlook.com address you use as an alias and then just lose it.

Understand the risk? OK, here are the steps:

1. Delete the alias from your account. (You can do so here.)

2. Immediately rename your Hotmail account to the address you previously used as an alias. You do this through Outlook Options: Settings (gear icon), More mail settings, Rename your email address (under Managing your account).

rename

Good luck!  And thanks to everyone that wrote in about this tip.