Quick Tip: One Gmail Account = Multiple Test Email Addresses

Don't know about you but a lot of what I do requires having access to multiple email addresses (testing websites that require signup etc). To aide my development I have a few email accounts I use - a Gmail, a Hotmail, a Yahoo and a Google Apps one (my main account). That's only four addresses though, which can be quite limiting at times.

In steps Gmail. If you have a Gmail account then you have access to "infinite" email addresses using that one account.

The Gmail account I use for general testing is:

jakehowlet@gmail.com (I left a t off on purpose)

But I could also use any of the following:

jakehowlet+returnfailuretest@gmail.com, etc etc

You get the idea. You can tack a + sign and then any random string after it to invent a new email address. Obviously it still delivers to your Gmail account and it lets you signup to a website over and over as a "different" user.


  1. +1

    Maybe you should add your own 'Like' Button here...

    • avatar
    • Richard Shergold
    • Thu 1 Dec 2011 08:12 AM

    Thanks Jake, wasn't aware of that.

  2. Thanks for the tip, I didn't realise that was possible.

    Another useful tip is that when you read the email in web interface you will see an "down-arrow" beside your name in the To: field of the email. If you click on this it will tell you which exact email address it was sent to.

  3. Not as flexible but worth noting, all the following are legitimate email aliases to my account:




    I.e: all dots/periods are also ignore.

    • avatar
    • Ferdy
    • Thu 1 Dec 2011 08:52 AM

    A real gem this tip!

  4. Nice! You could also use this to determine who leaked your email address to spammers, if you were so inclined.




    1. Indeed. And then filter out any compromised addresses using GMail filters (sending straight to trash?)

    • avatar
    • Sean
    • Thu 1 Dec 2011 12:08 PM
  5. This also appears to work for Google Apps hosted accounts such as mine.

    • avatar
    • Jorge Coelho
    • Thu 1 Dec 2011 06:56 PM

    I've used this trick for a number of years to segregate my e-mail from various sites. For example, I'll use jorge.coelho+tech@gmail.com for any tech sites that might require my e-mail address. I then setup all e-mail to be tagged with TECH in Gmail. This is also useful in finding out who is sharing your e-mail address.

  6. I wonder if the reason you left the t off Howlett is the same reason that IBM left an "L" off "Traveller"?

    Probably not. :-)

    • avatar
    • Samir
    • Thu 29 Dec 2011 12:05 AM

    @Jake - awesome tip

    @Jerry - useful suggestion


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Written by Jake Howlett on Thu 1 Dec 2011

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