I've tried using Sign in with Apple to sign up with a web service, and I get assigned a @privaterelay.appleid.com address to use with that service as my username/login.

When I try to actually email that address using my regular address I get back 550 5.1.1 <[email protected]>: unauthorized sender

This makes little sense to me. If I sign up to a service, they must be able to communicate with me, right? And even if there's one single domain from which email is actually authorized, since when do large web services only use a single domain for all their communication? What about their customer support domain, etc.?

I was under the impression that this address would be an actual functioning relay, insulating my real address from the web service, but that doesn't work if it can't receive messages from arbitrary sources. I submitted this private relay address as a way to actually contact me in a support issue, but now I find out that I should probably have submitted my regular address insead.

This begs the question: what is the point of signing in with Apple and receiving this "private" address to begin with if it can't be relied upon for interaction? I'm rapidly losing sight of the value proposition.

After asking this I noticed this answer that kind of explains it, but as an end user I can then only conclude that I have no idea ever of whether I can actually use this address to interact with the company behind the service that was signed up for. Maybe their support department knows about this or maybe they don't. Maybe it'll work or maybe it won't.

Is that correct? If so, I still can't really use this in practice going forward...

1 Answer 1


Actually, the other answer on the question you link to explains this: the "Sign in with Apple" addresses can only be used by the service/company you log into with:

Apple uses Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to validate which email domains are allowed to send emails to the private relay email address:

"To send emails to users with private email addresses, you must register your outbound emails or email domains and use Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to authenticate your outbound emails. These mechanisms ensure that only you can communicate with your users through this channel, and they prevent spam from getting through."

For an email adress useable by everybody, you can you Hide my email addresses instead.

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