Use special Gmail addresses to redirect and filter incoming mail or bypass unique email checks

Published on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

If you have a Gmail account, there's a sweet feature you might not know about.

Let's say your email is:

johndoe@gmail.com

First tip: adding dots (.) does not change the email. The following emails are identical to Google and will route email to johndoe@gmail.com:

  • john.doe@gmail.com
  • john....doe@gmail.com
  • etc.

Next tip: you can add a plus sign to the end of your email and then type in whatever you want. It'll still get sent to you. You can use this to your advantage by filtering mail sent to that specific tagged address or you can bypass "unique email" checks on websites but still get email sent to you:

  • johndoe+medium.com@gmail.com
  • johndoe+microsoft.com@gmail.com
  • johndoe+spam@gmail.com

So you could filter incoming mail based on those addresses above. This comes in really handy for sites you don't care about but still need at least one email from them--the rest can be filtered. It can also be useful to identify spam email sources--who leaked your email? If you saw spam addressed to johndoe+spamsite@gmail.com, you know spamsite was responsible for leaking/sharing your email.

Happy power-Gmailing!

About Kamran
I'm a technologist, speaker, and Pluralsight author and I specialize in building full-stack solutions with a focus on modern web technology and cloud native architecture.
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