2 Gmail Tricks I Bet You Didn't Know About

Posted by Artem Russakovskii on August 17th, 2009 in Awesomeness, Google, My Favorites, Technology, Tutorials

OK, maybe you did know them – just see for yourself.


The tricks I am going to describe allow you to create unique gmail addresses that still hit your existing gmail inbox, without actually making new gmail accounts.

This can be useful in a variety of situations when you need to use multiple email addresses without having the pain of maintaining them, such as

  • using unique emails while registering for the same service more than once (say, paypal)
  • giving out a unique email address to see if you start getting spam to it later – that way you know exactly who to blame for it
  • more generally, easily create email rules to sort incoming emails into folders, delete them, mark as important, etc.

The hints are not new by any means but it seems like most gmail users are not aware of them. So, without further ado:

Gmail Ignores Dots In Gmail Addresses

Did you know this? I sure didn't, until today, when I read a blog post by a fellow Russian blogger streetmakarov. Apparently, gmail completely ignores dots, so you can insert them anywhere you want in your email address.

Thus, [email protected] is the same as [email protected], which is the same as [email protected], etc – they will all arrive in the same inbox.

This begs the question – what if I registered [email protected] while someone else already owns [email protected]? Well, some digg and arstechnica users got their panties in a bunch over this a while ago, just to realize that gmail doesn't allow registering accounts that would clash in any way – so if I already own [email protected], nobody can register [email protected] or any other combination.

You Can Append a "+ANYTHINGYOUWANT" To Your Username

I think this trick is even more awesome and flexible than the previous one. If your email is fo[email protected], then you can use [email protected], [email protected], etc and those will still land in your original inbox.

This makes it even easier to track the addresses you give out. For example, when I register new twitter accounts, I enter my email as [email protected] and then set up a filter in Outlook to filter those out to a separate folder. Simple, painless, and effective.

The only downside to this method is some sites foolishly (or purposely) disallow plus signs in email addresses. Oh well, you can use trick #1 for those.


Do you know other tricks related to "uniquefying" your gmail address? Feel free to share in the comments.

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Artem Russakovskii is a San Francisco programmer and blogger. Follow Artem on Twitter (@ArtemR) or subscribe to the RSS feed.

In the meantime, if you found this article useful, feel free to buy me a cup of coffee below.

  • Unfortunately I DID know about both of these tricks.

    Trick 2 is true for all email providers, not just Gmail.

  • empire technology

    raely i can use this trick for all email provider?

    thank you

  • Kay

    Good tricks for controling spam in your inbox, but problem is that some websites won't allow you to use "+" character so you can't always use it.

  • Mr. Juegos

    I didn't know about these tricks, both are new for me, I avoid the dots to elininate as much the confusion.

  • Debra Wilson

    I knew about the first one, and I hate it. I get tons of email from people every day using my email as I first chose it minus the dots… None of which can understand the explanation of why I am getting the emails unintended, even when directing them to the Gmail help pages that explain it. (These are legit emails, not spam- just misdirected) Its annoying at best, but I get a lot of email from someone who is part of a group of older people- I am constantly being alerted to one of their deaths or hospitalizations. Though I guess if people knew what their own email address actually was, I wouldn't have this problem. :-/

    • BigJohnL

      Simple…block them.

      • Frank B.

        Block you jackass!

  • ниггаДяй

    здарова земляк) как тебя занесло в сан фран? меня тоже кстати артем зовут, я в санта крузе живу. вк есть?

    • BigJohnL

      That's what I said.

  • Daniel J. Tripathi

    Really Good Tricks

  • You can also use + to track email campaigns.

    Thanks for the tips.

    The sky is not the limit. The limit is your vision.