Twelve years later, Apple is still trying to erase mac.com email addresses

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
If you've been around the Mac long enough to have an @mac.com address, you've seen Apple trying to migrate you to @icloud.com. Now it's removed yet another trace of the old, favorite email address.

Apple would rather you forgot Mac.com or me.com
Apple would rather you forgot Mac.com or me.com


Apple is steadily removing even references to the old @mac.com and slightly less old @me.com addresses from its support documents. They may date all the way back to iTools and the iBook SE, but if you've got one of those addresses, you're probably hanging on to it no matter what Apple does.

It isn't a surprise that Apple would rather you thought of its successful iCloud service more than you did its quite disastrous predecessors, including MobileMe. Nothing before iCloud truly worked, but MobileMe was the one that saw Steve Jobs exploding inside Apple.

Apple email history

It used to be that if your email addressed ended in @mac.com, you were telling the world that you are an Apple user. Now while it's only that part of the world which is extremely geeky, you're actually telling them that you were an Apple user on or before July 9, 2008.

This email address was once championed by Apple as part of its iTools service back in 2000, and if you still have one, you have some bruises from the days of iTools, .Mac, and MobileMe before you got to today's iCloud.

If your email ends in @mac.com then you got it somewhere between 2000 and 2008. If it ends in @me.com, you got it during the briefer opportunity between then and 2012.

To be exact, you have still got an @mac.com address because you had it and were actively using it on July 8, 2008, plus you kept your MobileMe account and - there's more - you moved to iCloud before August 1, 2012.

Things are a little woolier about when you would have started to get an @me.com address. However, if you had one, you were using MobileMe, and you moved to iCloud before that August 1, 2012 date, you got to keep @me.com. Alternatively, if you created a brand new iCloud account before September 19, 2012, then you'd have both @me.com and @icloud.com

We're not making this up. All of the changes were cumulative, too, so if you hung on to your @mac.com address from all that time ago, you still have it -- and an @me.com one. And an @icloud.com one.

If you joined iCloud any time after the dust settled on September 19, 2012, you got @icloud.com and never had to know the difference.

Both @mac.com and @me.com users did have to know. In each case, though, the battles were 8 and 12 years ago. It's long enough ago that we cannot remember what we had to do to say, "Apple, no, we're keeping our @mac.com addresses."




Apple changed your email address

We did have to uncover settings and fathom out what was going on, though, because Apple helpfully changed our email address. Twice.

At some point in 2008, we would find that we were apparently emailing people from the new @me.com address that we didn't even know we had. In 2012, we were seemingly emailing people from our @icloud.com addresses.

In both cases, we were all notified of how the service was changing from, say, .Mac to MobileMe, but there wasn't anything about email addresses. There definitely wasn't anything where you could say yes or no to the change.

What there was, was email aliases. This is the feature that lets you give out basically a fake Apple Mail address and know that emails sent to it will appear in your regular inbox.

The idea is that you could create an email alias called [email protected] and then if you did get a lot of spam to that address, you just turned the alias off. It was a good idea with seemingly not much take up from users because it was limited to a few aliases, and you also had to do it via iCloud.com.

That same feature, though, let Apple decide to add an @me.com alias to your @mac.com account. And then later to add an @icloud.com one.

So if someone did choose to email you on @icloud.com, their mail would get through to you. That was nice.

What was less nice is that Apple initially changed it so that emails you sent out were being marked with this alias as the return address. Some of us had been giving out our @mac.com email address since the year 2000 and now clients were asking which address we wanted them to use.

Deleting .Mac and MobileMe

Whatever we had to do back on our iMac (Early 2008) machines, or later on our Mac Pro (Mid 2012, Dual CPU), we did it and we got to keep using our @mac.com addresses without further difficulty.

But it's as if Apple bears a grudge. Even as it let us continue using @mac.com or @me.com, it put limits on those. If you discovered you liked email aliases, for instance, you had to be careful which you created and which you then deleted.






"You can change or delete an email alias," says one Apple support document, but if you delete an @mac.com or @me.com email alias, you can't add it back to your iCloud account."

Apple's latest moves

Your Apple ID is tied to an email address and Apple gives you some flexibility about this, because it recognizes that we sometimes lose access to a previous address. You can change the address associated with your Apple ID and there's a current support document about how and why you might do that.

For some years, though, that page has said you're out of luck if you want to change to an @mac.com or @me.com address. You can't do it unless you somehow already have that address associated with your account.

And then in late August 2020, even that helpful information is gone. That same support page still lists what you can do with third-party email addresses. But gone are any references to @mac.com and @me.com

Hanging on to @mac.com

Microsoft has arguably done a similar thing with email addresses since it retired the old @hotmail.com one in favor of @outlook.com, starting back in 2012. In that case, though, the change was practically from embarrassment at what a bad reputation Hotmail had for spam.

Even though iTools and .Mac were less than stellar, and even though MobileMe was saddled with both a terrible name and worse bugs, the email was comparatively fine. There isn't a stigma to having an @mac.com address, quite the opposite.

Maybe we're just hanging on to a piece of Apple history. But maybe there's nothing wrong with that.



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CyclistePhobos7anantksundaram
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    pslicepslice Posts: 126member
    I love the @mac.com. I won't give it up totally. I also use the @me.com.  I would love to dump @gmail.com. I've been with the Mac since 1985. Every few years Apple screws around with emails. You would think they would be happy with us old-timers using @mac.com. It's advertising. I wish they'd stop acting like children. They need to get over it.

    flyingdpCyclistemacseekerelijahgCaffiendplanetary paulbloggerblogbaconstangBeatsrazorpit
  • Reply 2 of 71
    I'll give you my .Mac address when you pry it from my colddead hard drive!!
    spock1234flyingdpCyclistemknelsongrayskyzanantksundaramheadfull0wineelijahgCaffiendsteven n.
  • Reply 3 of 71
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 310member
    I have an @mac.com email address that's my personal address, known only to a few friends, and a gmail address that I use on web sites. The gmail address, needless to say, collects all of the spam.
    planetary paulrazorpitrepressthistrackerozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 71
    I still actively use my .mac address. In fact, I was so early doors with iTools that my email is simply my first name, just four letters, before @mac.com. ;

    I still also log in to my iCloud account with my .mac. 

    I have noticed though, as the article suggests, that I periodically need to revert some settings to my .mac address from iCloud after the odd iOS updates. I definitely get the feeling I’m being pushed.

    But I’ll never give it up willingly!
    Cyclisteelijahgplanetary paulbloggerblogBeatsrazorpitrepressthistrackerozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 71
    I not only still have and daily use my mac.com email address, but also my hotmail.com email. I use the mac.com address as the main user for my Apple ID and the hotmail address as the main user for my Office 365 account. This story makes me feel like an old geezer.
    gregoriusmBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 71
    Never give up. Never surrender. That is how I feel about my .mac-address. I prefer it over the .me and .icloud variants that I also have.
    edited August 2020 entropysflyingdpCyclisteanantksundaramelijahgplanetary paulbloggerblogBeatsrazorpitrepressthis
  • Reply 7 of 71
    Personally, I love my @me.com address. It is nice and short (only 7 characters for the username). I also have one for my name using both @me and @icloud. I might have an .Mac account as well, just not 100% sure about that... 😜
    baconstangBeatssuperklotonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 71
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,328member
    I use my @me.com address all the time and it very often generates discussion from people who like it.  Simple and intuitive, kinda like Apple products, despite the MobileMe fiasco.
    baconstangBeatssuperklotonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 71
    darkpawdarkpaw Posts: 207member
    Holy hell, it's difficult to read this story.

    If you had X then Y happened unless you had Z in which case A*B-(4/C) would happen unless there was a goat in the country in which you were born. Jeez.
    pscooter63gregoriusmspock1234randominternetpersonpembrokeanantksundaramuraharabaconstangBeatsrazorpit
  • Reply 10 of 71
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,105member
    I still actively use my .mac address. In fact, I was so early doors with iTools that my email is simply my first name, just four letters, before @mac.com. ;

    I still also log in to my iCloud account with my .mac. 

    I have noticed though, as the article suggests, that I periodically need to revert some settings to my .mac address from iCloud after the odd iOS updates. I definitely get the feeling I’m being pushed.

    But I’ll never give it up willingly!
    My @mac.com address is just my surname, signed up the day Jobs announced it. It is my known, main email address and I intend it to stay that way..
    Cyclisteanantksundaramplanetary paulrazorpitrepressthissuperklotonspice-boywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 71
    I disagree with William about .mac being "disastrous", I've had my @mac.com email address since 2004. .Mac was a great performing service that I had no issues with, and gladly paid $100 a year for. MobileMe on the other hand was quite the screwup, I still don't understand the need to rebrand their online services. (I guess I understand iCloud, fits with the branding of some of the other products)
    I still use my @mac.com as my Apple ID & main personal email address, while like some others using gmail as a junk/bulk address.
    entropysanantksundaramuraharaplanetary paulBeatsrazorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 71
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,255administrator
    I disagree with William about .mac being "disastrous", I've had my @mac.com email address since 2004. .Mac was a great performing service that I had no issues with, and gladly paid $100 a year for. MobileMe on the other hand was quite the screwup, I still don't understand the need to rebrand their online services. (I guess I understand iCloud, fits with the branding of some of the other products)
    I still use my @mac.com as my Apple ID & main personal email address, while like some others using gmail as a junk/bulk address.
    I'm glad you had a good experience with mac.com, but man, I'm with William on this one. The first seven or so years was rough.
    edited August 2020 repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 71
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    Signed up to iTools same day Steve Jobs mentioned it on stage. Before my mac.com account, I used yahoo (still have it in fact). And as others have said, I prefer my mac.com address, but only use it for personal and “official” reasons. i do have several aliases for different things... shopping, member/service accounts, and comment boards.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 71
    jimzipjimzip Posts: 446member
    A year or so ago, I went into an Apple Store to get some support and giving the specialist my email address, he raised his eyebrows and said, "Oh! Cool, you have a mac.com address!" I'd never really thought about what a relic it was until then. I'd really like to keep the address though. It's still my main address and I was lucky enough to have created some aliases I still use, as well.
    edited August 2020 anantksundaramplanetary paulBeatsrazorpitrepressthisspice-boywatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 71
    I got the a great email address with my first initial and surname for my wife and I. I then got mobile me family account and signed my daughters up with personal @mac.com before they were born.  Just to make sure they could keep them  :D #parenting101
    bageljoeyrazorpitmarklarkrepressthissuperklotonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 71
    hmlongco said:
    I have an @mac.com email address that's my personal address, known only to a few friends, and a gmail address that I use on web sites. The gmail address, needless to say, collects all of the spam.
    I'm betting you (and I) aren't the only one(s) in that situation.

    I honestly didn't know a LOT of info in this article - specifically the parts about Apple trying to kill the .mac and me.com off. I suppose the only clue that I've had over the years was giving my AppleID to Apple Store employees and seeing their raised eyebrow reactions (also possibly because it's [firstname last initial])

    I literally have never used .icloud with mine - to the point that I know that anything addressed to @icloud.com is spam.
    entropysspice-boywatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 71
    Not giving up my dot mac address either.

    I still have the original iTools sign-up email dated December 19, 2000:

    Congratulations! You've successfully signed up for iTools,
    a new class of Internet services from Apple created exclusively for Mac users.

    This email contains your account settings for iTools.
    You may want to save this email for future reference.

    ...
    ...

    iTools.  At your service.

    (c) 2000 Apple Computer Inc.

    elijahgrazorpitktappeheythatsalexwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 71
    A friend of mine thought it was really cool that I had @mac.com. A week or so after he found out about it he was at my house complaining that Apple wouldn’t give him one. I had to explain to him that you had to be on a Mac to get one and his Dell wouldn’t cut it. He was PISSED. To this day he refuses to get an iPhone or iPad because Apple denied him an @mac.com address. His wife has an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch and he always has a different Android phone (no lie, they break on him so he gets a different one), some Transformer tablet and a Fitbit watch (another thing he always has a new one of because they break).
    repressthisheythatsalexwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 71
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 824member
    I'll give you my .Mac address when you pry it from my cold, dead hard drive!!
    Ditto!

    Although just about every month I get emails meant for somebody else from a range of businesses. The twits keep giving out my icloud.com email by mistake/stupidity!
    planetary paulrazorpitspice-boywatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 71
    Maybe it’s time for a change? Perhaps, let’s wait and see. 🙂
    watto_cobra
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