For a limited time, you can setup your own personal email address with your own domain name, using Outlook.com.
This personal email feature of Outlook.com has been around for years and but Microsoft has announced that it’s closing to new users from November 2023.
As usual, what looks like a nifty feature is more complicated and difficult once you get into the details. The feature is quite different depending on the type of Microsoft 365 plan you have.
What you need to get a personal email address
There are a few things you need …
- An Outlook.com account, which is free
- Microsoft 365 Family or Personal plan linked to the Outlook.com address.
- “Linked to Outlook.com” is VITAL.
- A domain name you own
- The domain must be registered through GoDaddy.com. Either buy a new domain through GoDaddy or transfer an existing domain to GoDaddy.
- The domain can only be linked to a single mailbox and email alias unless you’re sharing via a Microsoft 365 Family plan, see the ‘major limitation’ below.
Microsoft 365 Personal
If you have a Microsoft 365 Personal plan you can use any domain name you own.
Microsoft 365 Family
Access to personal email addresses is controlled by the Microsoft 365 plan owner who must setup a domain and link it to his/her Outlook.com account.
Others sharing the Family plan can then link their Outlook.com account to a personal email address in the same domain.
The Microsoft 365 Family plan owner must use an Outlook.com address as the main Microsoft account. Same goes for anyone sharing the Family plan.
How to setup in Outlook.com
Once you have a domain name registered with GoDaddy.com, go to premium feature settings in your Outlook.com account, look for “Personalized email address” then follow the steps.
Once a Microsoft 365 plan owner has setup their own personal email address, others sharing the plan will see the “Personalized email address” option in their Outlook.com settings. However they are limited to the domain name used by the plan owner.
One major limitation
Outlook.com/Microsoft 365 personalized email address has one major limitation … you’re limited to a single email address for the domain. Except with Microsoft 365 Family plans and even then, you’re limited to using email mailboxes with people sharing the plan.
That’s because Microsoft’s Outlook.com has management control of the entire domain for email purposes.
NEITHER of these options are available with Outlook.com .
Aliases aren’t possible with a domain controlled by Outlook.com.
Originally, the Outlook.com personal domain option required purchase of a domain name via Microsoft with limited options for managing the domain. That’s changed and now the domain ownership is direct to the owner via GoDaddy.com as registrar. It means you can control the domain fully, including moving the email hosting elsewhere and more easily setting up web hosting.
Better options with more control
If the Outlook.com personal email address feature seems too limited (you’re not alone) there are better options.
Once you have your own domain there are many things possible, either a domain for yourself or for a family.
A domain name for a family can setup email aliases for each person, for [email protected] [email protected] etc. The family member can have their mailbox on any service they like (Outlook.com, Gmail etc) with the ability to move to another mail host whenever they like.
If you want better email control, a Microsoft 365 Business Basic plan is one choice. It gives world-class email hosting similar to Outlook.com but with full control of the email aliases. We know plenty of individuals and couples who use Business Basic for email hosting @ about US$72 a year.
There are other Business Basic bonuses, like 1TB of OneDrive and full Teams access.