the many masks of Gmail Business IT Support Georgetown TXThe Many Masks of Gmail

With over 246 million unique Google users in the United States alone, Gmail remains the most popular email platform with over 1.8 billion users worldwide. There are numerous articles out there on various tips and tricks one can utilize to take full advantage of Gmail’s features and services, but one bit that I feel is often overlooked is that we can have (basically) INFINITE email addresses with just a single Gmail account! This trick allows us to perform actions that multiple email accounts would accomplish with the convenience of a single inbox.

For example: we can sign up for sites/services with specific unique emails, which, in the future, can allow us to easily categorize, sort, and, if needed block and delete incoming mails. Intrigued? Read on to learn how to turn a single Gmail account into however many email addresses your heart desires!

1. Use
As far as mail delivery is concerned, works the same as and can be used interchangeably. This means that and will send/deliver mail to the same inbox.

2. Add Periods to the Username
The username portion of an email address is the section that comes before the @ symbol. Within the Gmail environment, we can add periods to the username with no impact to delivery. There are some limitations to this trick though. While we can add as many periods to usernames that we want, we cannot ‘double stack’ periods next to each other. Also, the email domain (the bit after the @ symbol) is off-limit for editing – except for the googlemail change listed above. In practice, this means all the following emails would be valid and deliver to our example inbox:

… and any other combination we can come up with.

For further illustration or would be invalid.

3. Add Plus Signs to the Username
In addition to the period trick covered above, we can also add plus signs to the end of our username. This allows us to append anything our heart desires to our existing account name. Adding various identifiers to our email address when we sign up for site and services can allow us to easily sort and identify incoming mail. Keep in mind, we cannot stack or use more than one plus sign for this to work. What this looks like in practice is this:

All the above can be used as signups for websites, with the option text being replaced with a relevant description, and all would deliver to our primary inbox without any issues.

4. Put it all together

All the above tricks can be combined with one another, which is where things really start to get wild. Periods can be added to the username, and any additional appended text to really open a world of infinite unique email addresses that all deliver to our primary inbox. To further illustrate the flexibility of these tricks, all the below email addresses are completely valid for use with our primary mail account as far as Gmail is concerned:

You now have the ability to mark every incoming work email with an appropriate label, with no manual effort required—not only will your inbox look tidier, but it will make searches much more efficient. You can restrict queries to one particular label and leave yourself with fewer results to sift through. One important thing to note is that, while you can receive emails to these addresses, you can’t send mail from them. This is important to note if you ever need to send mail to a service you’ve signed up for - such as to unsubscribe from an automated mailing list.

Now that our Gmail is squared away, if you're concerned about securing your business email, give us a call today or schedule a free IT consultation to give you a better idea of where you stand from a cybersecurity perspective and how we can help you get to where you want to be: (512) 388-5559.


By Brandon Kaylor
Desktop Support Technician
Central Texas Technology Solutions