GMail – Unlimited Email Addresses

by venukb on September 7, 2006

This has to be the coolest feature of GMail. This post at Modern Day Alchemist explains how you can have unlimited GMail Addresses by using a plus-addressing scheme, i.e adding a + after your GMail user name.

Though the post covers details on how to use the feature, I will reiterate it again. (I had to read it 2-3 times to understand and once I did, I was amazed :) )

Here is my simple explanation:

  1. Say if your GMail address is onli...@gmail.com
  2. The User name here is : onlinediary
  3. You can add any valid sequence of character literal and append it to the user name via a + operator (You can use _ , . and combination of these also)
  4. So I can have unlimited number of valid email addresses like onli...@gmail.com, onli...@gmail.com, onli...@gmail.com, onlinediary@so_does.dot@gmail.com etc etc etc (Hopefully you guys are not thinking of onli...@gmail.com :D)
  5. And mails addressed to these “plus addressed” email address will still land on your normal onli...@gmail.com inbox !!!

How will this be useful ?

I can use this email plus addressed email to categorize or label my mails automatically. Say for all bank related mails I can give something like onli...@gmail.com. I can setup a filter that will label and archive mails having this address as a part of “To” field.

(Note that the “To” address will still be the plus addressed name, i.e. there is no stripping of the plus addressed characters)

So next time you signup for some newsletter or when you give your mail address while downloading some software, use the plus addressing scheme. If you receive any spam on this plus addressed email address, you will find out who the culprit is :D

Now why did I say this as the coolest feature of only GMail ?? Because I tested this with Yahoo and MSN and I got this response:

Yahoo

The e-mail system was unable to deliver the message, but did not report a specific reason. Check the address and try again. If it still fails, contact your system administrator. SMTP; 554 delivery error: dd This user doesn’t have a yahoo.com

Hotmail

The e-mail account does not exist at the organization this message was sent to. Check the e-mail address, or contact the recipient directly to find out the correct address. SMTP; 550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable

P.S. For Non-RSS readers of my blog, if you guys have still not subscribed to the newsletter of Online Diary, do it and remember to give the email address as your...@gmail.com :)

And if you don’t have a Gmail ID, its high time you had one. Let me know if anyone needs a GMail Invite, I have few to be sent out :D

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Prosenjeet September 7, 2006 at 3:13 pm

Wow Venu!!!
Thats really cool…

The only thing that I dislike about GMail is that there is no folder creation facility.
It only works on labels. So if do need to see all my mails that are label-less i can’t.

Cheers…

Reply

venukb September 7, 2006 at 3:18 pm

Prsonjeet, labels are logical folders in google, only thing is that very few people use it effectively. If you want to see all the mails without labels, best thing to do is Archive them

This removes it from Inbox, but they are still accessible via the specific labels and you can do this as a part of your filter also
When creating a filter, see that you apply a label and archive it (i.e skip inbox ! ) :)

Reply

SureshG September 7, 2006 at 3:36 pm

Hi venu..

Thats cool….
I had earlier tried these facility(+ addressing ) with some of the corporate email servers..and its working fine….Its also working in Huawei mail Servers… :)

So i think yahoo and hotmail delebrately provided some
filter for these kind of email address…

~ Suresh G

Reply

Vasuki September 7, 2006 at 5:26 pm

Venu,
I can specify a “filter 1″ and archive the mails that satisfy a filter. I can also add a “filter 2″, and archive the same. Now, I can see those mails going to each one of those labels. Is there a way where I can see the list of all mails archived (mails of filter 1 and 2 combined)?

Reply

Venu September 7, 2006 at 7:10 pm

Suresh, I didnt know..it was working on exchange servers.. I need to test it in my office also !!

Vasu, I didnt get the last line completely. As far as I know You can apply more than one label to a message. But all the archived mails go to one location i.e. All Mail, now there is no view combining both the labels I believe.. so you wouldnt be able to view archived mails of only lable1 and label2.

I even checked the search options, It again allows only to search only one label.
Even while creating a filter, it allows you to apply only one label. Probably we can suggest google to add the feature, again have to see how useful it will be..

(But I found that you can apply more than one label, using the above method, will test and probably write a post on it :) )

Reply

Nataraju A B September 8, 2006 at 10:17 am

venu,

its really a cool feature man…..

Reply

VVS March 22, 2007 at 11:30 am

Hi Venu,

This unlimited email addresses is a good point and now a days i am very widely using this for my labeling and filtering mails from particular entities.

But I think the web world is still not into this cos whenever and where ever I’m filling a form in any website the email validation still checks for (or) allows only _ so the form rejects my email id.
For ex. if my email id is email@gmail.com and if i try to give my email id as email_type1@gmail.com form validation says email id is not valid.

I don’t know when this change will come into effect in all the existing form validations in all the websites around the world.

V V S

Reply

nadeem August 12, 2011 at 10:53 pm

hi
freand
i want 250 g mail id plz help i cant understand……
thanks…

my e mail run.pk1@gmail.com

Reply

nadeem August 12, 2011 at 10:55 pm

my no is…009718297697

Reply

nadeem August 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm

run.pk1 gmail com plz send me email

Reply

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