How to Send an Email with Any From: Address in Outlook

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Outlook lets you edit the From: line of any email you send freely.

Be Who You Want to Be

You can set up multiple email accounts in Outlook, and they can all have their (or your) own email address associated with them. This address will automatically appear in the From: line of messages you send using the account.

You do not have to set up a new account to send an email from a certain address, though.

Let us assume you want to unsubscribe from a newsletter you still get forwarded form an old account, for example.

Send an Email with Any From: Address in Outlook

To use any email address in the From: line of a message you are composing in Outlook:

  1. Start with a new message, reply or forward in Outlook.
  2. Click From in the message's header area.
    • ​The From line is above the To… line.
    • If you do not see a From line and button (likely if you have not more than one account set up in Outlook and never changed the From: line):
      1. ​Open the Options ribbon of the message you are composing.
      2. Make sure From is enabled in the Show Fields area.
  3. ​Select Other E-mail Address… from the drop-down menu that has appeared.
    • ​If the email address you wish to use appears in the list, you can select it right away, of course.
    • To remove an address you no longer use from the list:
      1. ​Click the x that appears next to it in the menu.
  4. Type the email address which you want to appear in the From: line under From….
  1. Click OK.

What May Happen When You Send with A Custom From: Address in Outlook

Note that freely editing the From: line is allowed in the email standards and possible in Outlook—and problematic.

Depending on the outgoing (SMTP) email server used for the default Outlook email account and the address you use in the From: line, a number of things can happen, not all positive; they include:

  • Server such as Gmail's will let you send freely using any From: address configured in their own settings for sending (see adding custom addresses to Gmail, for instance).
  • If an address is not configured for sending in Gmail, Gmail will change the address in the From: line to the one used with the account you have set up in Outlook; the address you used in the From: line in Outlook will be preserved in the "X-Google-Original-From:" header line.
  • The outgoing mail server may let you send the message without problems or alteration, but the recipient's email server can still reject it because the server was not configured to send messages using the address you used in the From: line; you will receive a delivery failure notification email.

What can you do When a Message Fails to Send Using a Custom From Address?

If you do run into message delivery problems with using a different From: address in Outlook, you have essentially two options:

  • Set up an account in Outlook using the email account's SMTP server and proper authentication.
  • Send using an address that you have found to work in Outlook.

Send an Email with Any From: Address in Outlook 2007

To send a message with a different email address in the From: line from Outlook:

  • Create a new message in Outlook.
  • In Outlook 2007:
    • Go to the Options tab in the message's toolbar.
    • Click Show From to make sure it is enabled.
  • In Outlook 2003:
    • Select View | From Field from the menu to make sure it is checked.
  • Type the desired email address in the From... field.

(Updated March 2016)