Gmail: Unlimited email addresses

Feb 9, 2015

When we are developing applications for our customers we are always very careful to check and test everything as part of our sign off process. This often means setting up a number of test user accounts, each needing a different email address.

As you can imagine setting up email accounts, forwarders or aliases can easily become rather laborious, especially when you run into the hundreds as our tests often do. In our hunt for alternatives we were pleased to find that Gmail offered a free, elegant solution to unlimited email addresses that would allow us to test using a single account.

The principle of multiple accounts in Gmail lies in the use of the plus + operator. This can be used after your email username and allows you to write any text to identify where it came from. Doing this allows us to register with our test sites using, for example,

[email protected]

We keep a log of the testing numbers so we can always check we’re getting the correct emails and responses from each account.

When the email comes into your inbox you will need to hover over the “to” detail in order to see which specific address it was sent to (otherwise it just shows “me”).

That’s all very well for testing but in a broader sense do keep in mind that you can use it to sign up for newsletters, alerts or anything else that you may want to stop or filter in the future. Using Gmail’s filtering tool you can force emails that carry any specific alias to do different things such as delete themselves, adopt a tag or file themselves neatly away.

Finally, do note that if you have a Google account with a domain name the same thing still works. You simply do [email protected]

We hope this reduces the amount of time you spend eliminating spam as well as giving you a way to use Gmail in a new way.

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