Multiple Google Email Addresses – One Gmail Account

by Mike McEvoy on September 24, 2010

Multiple-google-email-addresses

Google Gmail is a very slick, free email product. One Gmail feature that you may not be aware of is that multiple Google email addresses can be created from one Gmail account. These bonus email addresses are easy to create and manage and can take a few different forms.

Multiple Google Email Addresses from One Gmail Account

Having multiple Gmail addresses can provide a range of uses including easily separating personal and business email and tracking incoming email from specific subscriptions and mailing list. There are three main methods for expanding the number of usable Google email addresses that you can have from a single Gmail account:

  1. Using the @googlemail.com domain.
  2. Using the “dot” or period in your email name.
  3. Using the plus sign “+” at the end of your name and adding extra characters.

Using the “@googlemail.com” Domain Name
Let’s start with the use of the @googlemail.com domain name. With every Gmail account you actually get a second email address – one is the regular @gmail.com address while the second address has @googlemail.com as the domain. So Gmail will actually see myname@gmail.com as the same as myname@googlemail.com. All email messages that are sent to myname@googlemail.com will be delivered to your

Using a Dot or Period in the Email name

Another interesting facet of Gmail addresses is what is sometimes referred to as “Dot Blindness”. In an interesting twist Gmail does not recognize dots, ”.”or periods as characters in Google email address user names. This means that Gmail “sees” my.name@gmail.com or myna.me@gmail.com as the same address as myname@gmail.com. You can also use multiple “dots” in the username such as my.na.me@gmail.com.

The same “dot blindness” also applies to email addresses using the @googlemail.com domain name with my.name@googlemail.com or my.na.me@googlemail.com being routed to the same Inbox as myname@gmail.com.

Using the Plus Sign and Additional Characters
The third trick for extending the use of your Gmail account is the ability to add extra characters to the end of your username by inserting a plus sign, “+” after your name. Google does not recognize these characters but Gmail search filters do. The characters after the plus sign can be either letters or numbers. So myname+abcde@gmail.com or myname+abcde@googlemail.com will end up in the same Inbox as myname@gmail.com.

Test these out for yourself and see what works best for you. All the variations below are from the same Google email account and will all end up in the myname@gmail.com Gmail Inbox:

myname@gmail.com

myname@googlemail.com

my.name@gmail.com

my.name@googlemail.com

my.na.me@gmail.com

my.na.me@googlemail.com

myname+abcde@gmail.com

myname+123abc@gmail.com

my.name+abcdefg78@gmail.com

my.name+abcdefg78@googlemail.com

Benefits of Multiple Google Email Address from One Gmail Account

So you say, “OK, these Google email address tips are interesting, but what would I use all these variations for”?  One use is to track where mail is coming from. When you sign up for a newsletter subscription or mailing list you can create a specific email address by using the plus sign and some specific characters or “dot” pattern. You can then track incoming email based on the specific email name that you created.

For example, you sign up for a subscription to a newsletter using my.name+456news@gmail.com and then in addition to the newsletter you signed up for you start receiving email from a number of other different sources to that specific address. This could indicate that the specific mailing list might have been compromised or even sold.

Another use of these address variations is for sorting out spam or unwanted email from a specific Google email address. By using Gmail filters you can automatically direct mail to a specific address, such as myname+666@gmail.com to the spam folder.

Variations on your address can also be used to separate out personal and business messages and automatically identify each with a different label and sorted to a different folder.

Simplified Google Email Address Management

Having multiple Google email addresses is a useful tool for addressing a number of different email needs. The benefits of having a centralized email account that can easily process a number of different email addresses without having to go out and set up numerous new accounts with additional usernames and passwords can be a real plus. And they are all managed from a single Gmail account. Kind of reminds of the J.R.R. Tolkien verse: “One ring to Rule Them all, One Ring to find them.”

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{ 10 comments }

shashank chinchli October 2, 2010 at 5:18 pm

awesome post sir!
happy blogging!

Tom November 11, 2010 at 7:43 pm

The whole “+” is an old trick that predates gmail by at least a decade. The old Sendmail MTA has offered site administrators the ability to enable reserved tokens (the default is “+”) as a means of allowing system users to create filterable addresses.

Petrvs January 6, 2011 at 9:57 am

Let’s say that sometimes in the future these tricks wouldn’t be available anymore. How could we recover all the different subscriptions’ accounts?

I intend to totally migrate from Yahoo!Mail to Gmail and to use all the above tricks for subscribing to different web services (Flickr, Photobucket, etc.) with multiple accounts but I am a little bit concerned takin into consideration what I’ve said at the beginning of the comment.

asmozero April 22, 2011 at 5:38 am

If they all get routed to the same inbox, then they’re not different email addresses. At all. They’re just different ways of playing with the same email, because you can.

I could see calling them “different email addresses” if they all got routed to separate inboxes accessible from the same gmail account, but playing with how the address is typed out, and being able to add extra “invisible” characters, while cool, is definitely not the same thing as a separate email.

Kearn telias June 14, 2011 at 5:54 am

Hello,
I heard that you can have a gmail adress that does not end in gmail.com or googlemail.com, but lets you choose the ending, is that true? if so…how do i do it?? i am a small buisness manager , we work with outlook and its infernal, and i would very much like to switch to gmail, but would like to have my company name instead of gmail, is that at all possible?

SG July 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Yes it absolutely is. It is a google business account. They have a free and paid version

Peter July 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm

The ‘dot blindness’ is not perfect, Google have allowed up to 3 other separate addresses with my name differentiated with a dot. Our mail does end up in other boxes occasionally…

Rajesh August 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Now, spammers know how to get your real email address and distribute your email id to others without you knowing that they did it:

just remove dots from the email address and ignore the plus sign and everything after that if the email entered is …@gmail.com or …@googlemail.com

sudha October 27, 2011 at 4:00 am

It seems as though nearly everyone has at least two email addresses these days, and it’s not uncommon to have upwards of four that are used on a regular basis for separate purposes.

Thank you for this excellent write-up!!

Liz January 11, 2012 at 8:07 am

Good post. I noticed the “dot blindness” but thought it was a mistake I was making. Now I understand it.

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