How can I determine which exact alias of my many email alias was used when I get an email in?

I get a lot of spam, and sometimes cannot unsusbcribe, especially if the website asks me to put in the email address I wish to unsubscribe and does not do it automatically from the link. This is because I have maybe 50+ aliases set up over the years, which I have and still need to keep.
I use Office365 and Outlook 2016 as the client.
How can I determine which of my email address alias a message was sent to when I receive it. I don’t just wish to know I received an email sent to Any alias. I want to know which one of my aliases people used. For instance I wish to know if it was sent to office@ or accounts@ etc. But I can never know... Outlook does not tell you. From what I read, a possible solution is to create a rule in outlook to sort mail, but that means to to create 50 rules, and 50 inboxes and do new rules and new alias inboxes every time I add an alias is a headache.
Is there any way to know which of my aliases were used? Any third party software even or plugin? It’s stupid that Outlook only shows my main email name in the sent to field, Even when an actual alias that was used. Maybe I’m missing something?
Please help.
Thanks.
Don JayAsked:
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Andrew LeniartIT Consultant & Freelance JournalistCommented:
Hi Don,

I get a lot of spam, and sometimes cannot unsusbcribe

Just on that, have you looked at something like Mailwasher, which will allow you to pre-screen inbound mail as well as automatically mark messages for deletion before they get a chance to hit Outlook? I wrote a series of articles on Mailwasher here on Experts Exchange. Take a look and see if that might be something you like to use.

Also, just as a side note, it's often unwise to use Unsubscribe links to try and eliminate spam, because spammers often use that method to seek out live email addresses they can spam. You click a bogus Unsubscribe link and the other end automatically processes your email to save it to a spam list which can then be onsold as a confirmed live email account to other spammers.

How can I determine which of my email address alias a message was sent to when I receive it  ...  I want to know which one of my aliases people used

Looking at the email header will give you that info.

  • In Outlook, double click the email you want info on so that it opens up in its own message window.
  • Now in the email window, click File > Properties

That displays the email header information. Look in there to see which Alias the message was sent to. Just tested it here with one of my aliases and the "To:" field displays which alias was used to email to.

If your alias doesn't appear there for you, then there is no other way that Outlook can display that information because it won't have received the information to display in the first place.

Any third party software even or plugin?

Not that I'm aware of, however, you could set up a Rule in Outlook to move messages to any given Inbox subfolder based on the email alias that it has been sent to and revealed in email headers, and separate them that way. Could something like that help you out? Take a look at Rules in Outlook and if you need further help, feel free to ask.

Regards, Andrew

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timgreen7077Exchange EngineerCommented:
look at the email header. the header will show which email address or alias email the message was sent to.
Don JayAuthor Commented:
Thank you guys. Andrews email contained the solution and also how to use it and while time consuming as need to check each one, it’s a feature that Microsoft could have done better and be more helpful, perhaps added the alias in the To field instead of the final mailbox name as that’s the real To email it was sent to. Tim’s answered the solution but too short and I didn’t really understand what a header was or where it was so confused me, but I guess a much more technical person may have understood it.
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Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
@Andrew Leniart has given you the best advice (Unsubscribe links)

another thing to do is to block the domain of the sender so it goes directly to the Spam/Junk folder
Andrew LeniartIT Consultant & Freelance JournalistCommented:
Thank you guys
Glad I could help you out Don.
while time consuming as need to check each one, it’s a feature that Microsoft could have done better and be more helpful
Agreed, and it's been a sore point for many users for a long time now, which Microsoft unfortunately, appears not to care too much about. I've seen similar questions asked long before Outlook 2016 so I'm quite certain MS have been aware of the problem for a long time now.

That said, it need not be a time-consuming exercise for you Don. If you look into Outlooks Rules, there are ways around the problem. If you need further help in that regard, please do feel free to post another question.

Regards, Andrew
Don JayAuthor Commented:
Thanks Andrew. Yes I noticed rules and trying to figure it out (would be better if Office 365 did it before Outlook even if possible so things like IPhones would work and don’t have to have that Outlook open.

I played with it, but it would be very hard to write a rule for each one of the aliases and sending them all to an inbox called Alias-Inbox (and then remembering to add more rules as I add more aliases), so I can check them all at a convenient time.

I’m wondering if there can be set 1 rule (rather than 50 rules) that works the other way around. Eg could check To in header and send everything @domain.com Unless it’s to the main one (lets call it realemail@domain.com), so a rule that in English I guess would be IF EMAIL IS NOT realemail@domain.com ONLY THEN MOVE IT TO FOLDER Alias-Inbox.
Andrew LeniartIT Consultant & Freelance JournalistCommented:
Hi Don,

would be better if Office 365 did it before Outlook even if possible so things like IPhones would work and don’t have to have that Outlook open

That's actually possible to do for any email account that is under 365's control. If you go to your Outlook Web Access console and open the Outlook App, then you can configure rules there as well, which would be applied before downloading emails with Outlook. See below;

!Tip - click the images below for a full-sized view

Once in Outlook Web Access, click the Cog icon and then Options

OWA_Rules.png
Then on the screen that appears, click Inbox and sweep rules

OWA Rules 2
You can configure rules to be processed automatically in OWA here;

OWA_Rules3.png
I’m wondering if there can be set 1 rule (rather than 50 rules) that works the other way around. Eg could check To in header and send everything @domain.com Unless it’s to the main one (lets call it realemail@domain.com), so a rule that in English I guess would be IF EMAIL IS NOT realemail@domain.com ONLY THEN MOVE IT TO FOLDER Alias-Inbox

I'd have to give it a little thought, but what you want sounds doable to me. That said, I'd suggest opening a new question pertaining to this issue itself, as we've gone a little off track from the topic of this question and there are other experts who can chime in who have ideas on how to solve this new issue as well.

Regards, Andrew
OWA_Rules.png
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