For mailing lists or annoying people
Disposable email accounts have many benefits over a regular email account, but also some disadvantages. Disposable, or temporary email accounts, come in all shapes and sizes with different features.
We’ll look at the best free disposable email accounts that will get you online with a real email address in seconds that you can use just like a regular email account.
What Is a Disposable Email Account?
Disposable email accounts aren’t permanent ones like you’ll find with Gmail, Outlook.com, Yahoo, etc. They’re also usually anonymous email accounts, meaning that you can sign up for one without giving out your name, phone number, home address, etc.
You might use a throwaway email address if you’re signing up for a user account that you will only use temporarily or that you’re sure you won’t even need to read emails from.
For example, you’ll want to avoid using a disposable address for your bank account because you might need bank statements or access to a recovery email should you forgot your password.
However, if you’re trying out a service or planning on using a trial version of something, then a temporary email account will get you the email you need to complete the initial sign up process, and then you can forget about it completely (i.e., forget the email address and not write down the password).
The ideal is that you can use a “fake” email address if you don’t want to give out your real one. Avoid spam, sign up for something quickly, correspond with someone temporarily, steer clear from data breaches against your primary account, etc. If not for any other reason, just try a disposable email account to see how they work; you’ll probably find a few reasons to use one.
However, keep in mind that unlike a “normal” email service, disposable/temporary email accounts don’t usually have advanced features like the ability to see when someone has read your email, move emails to folders based on rules, save contacts, export messages, create fun signatures, and often even send email (most only let you receive them).
Important: To reiterate — it’s not recommended to keep temporary email addresses as your primary means of receiving email from important websites. You should use a secure account that only you can access, such as a private email service.
Best Throwaway Email Accounts
There are several services that offer temporary email addresses. These are the absolute best:
- 10 Minute Mail: Random email addresses that expires in ten minutes unless you ask for more time.
- MailDrop: Choose your own email addresses or get one that’s been generated randomly, and return to the inbox whenever you want.
- EmailOnDeck: Send anonymous emails to other EmailOnDeck users, receive messages from any email address. Accounts expire after several hours.
- Guerrilla Mail: Send emails (and attachments) to any address, receive emails from any address, scramble your email address, delete specific emails, choose your own username (the part before “@”), and pick from a selection of domains (the section after “@”).
- ThrowAwayMail.com: Short, throwaway email addresses that last two days.
How to Use Them
Let’s walk through a couple of these services to get a feel for how they work.
10 Minute Mail is easy to remember and should be a go-to if you often need temporary, expiring email addresses. The moment you open the website, you’re redirected to an email address with a 10-minute countdown until it expires, after which the emails and account itself is no longer accessible.
There’s a copy button to quickly copy the email address you’re given, and a refresh button to reset the time back to 10 minutes should you need it. You can refresh the timer as often as you want but if you leave the page and forget to refresh, you can’t get your emails back again; you’ll instead receive a brand new address with another countdown to its expiration.
MailDrop is a little different than 10 Minute Mail for the primary reason that there isn’t a countdown until the email account expires. You can also make your own username for the email address instead of being stuck with the random, often long username that accompanies 10 Minute Mail addresses — type a username in the box provided on the website and select GO to instantly access your new inbox.
Something else rather unique about MailDrop is that instead of erasing all the emails when a time limit is reached, the messages remain on the email account, seemingly forever. For example, when you choose your username, you’ll open that specific MailDrop account which might already have messages in it.
MailDrop also gives out an alias address that is different than the MailDrop one but still delivers messages to the primary inbox. This is useful if you don’t want to give out your already-anonymous email address!
What’s more is that with the MailDrop disposable email service, you can choose literally any username when you’re asked for your email address on another website, and then go to MailDrop.cc, enter the username you already chose, and see the messages.