Can an Email Address Have a Space?

Can an Email Address Have a Space (Whitespace Character)?

Can my email address have a space in it? Whether you wonder that for yourself or have seen an email address with whitespace on the internet, find out here how email addresses can (but should not) contain white space.

First, It Costs Something to Ask

Take heart and consolation, if you will, in game-theoretical playthroughs of asking—or, as it were, not asking—for help.

For there are, you will no doubt be pleased to read, numerous costs to asking. They include embarrassment both of yourself and the person you are asking, the obligation that comes from accepting help, the chance of appearing inconsiderate and, crucially, the cost of one’s plea being rejected.

So long as you don’t ask, you can revel in the thought that the other does not know of your plight. If they did, they surely would jump to your help immediately without your having to ask!

If you ask for help, you learn how important your issue is to the potential helper—and, by inference, how important you are to them.

Now that we are relieved and prepared, let’s ask: “Can an email address have a space?”

The answer might be “yes,” but there could be associated costs…

Can an Email Address Have a Space (Whitespace Character)?

No, not in a manner that is useful or practicable for day-to-day use.

The space (whitespace) is not a valid character to use in standard email addresses. An email address is always a continuous stream of characters not interrupted by whitespace.

Space in Email Address Examples

Email addresses that are broken up with spaces are quite obviously impossible: they turn into different addresses immediatly, only comprising the part that precedes the domain name and ‘@’ character immediately.

The immediate solution of traditionally escaping the space character (using a backspace) does not work either.

ex is not a valid email address as such, it becomes
"ex ample" is not a valid email address either.
ex\ is not a valid email address in its totality; that also turns into

How to Use a Whitespace Character in an Email Address

Using special encoding, it is still possible to include a whitespace character in an email address.

Using that workaround, an email address can have space as part of its “quoted” username.

Time needed: 3 minutes

To include space in an email address:

  1. Make the username part of the email address begin and end with double quotation marks.

    Example: ""

  2. In between the quotation marks, you can use a few characters more than are allowed in standard email addresses—including space.

    Example: "ex ample "
    Note: this is not yet a valid email address.

  3. Immediately preceding every whitespace character, insert a backspace to “escape” the space.

    Example: "ex\ ample\ "
    Finally: This now is a valid email address including space.

While addresses such as “ex\ ample\ “ are technically valid, they are not useful in any practical manner, of course. The exception are exceptional cases where the username needs to transmit information (including whitespace) in some way.

Whitespace Characters in an Email Address: FAQ

Can I use other space characters in email addresses?


Both the ASCII whitespace character (ASCII 32, Unicode U+0020) and other whitespace characters cannot be part of an email address, and only the ASCII space character is allowed in escaped form (see above).

The following space-like characters will not work in email addresses:

Unicode NameUnicode CodepointDisplay
Non-breaking spaceU+00A0 
Thin spaceU+2009ׅׅ
Hair spaceU+200A
Narrow non-breaking spaceU+202F
En spaceU+2002
Em spaceU+2003
Mid spaceU+2005
Thick spaceU+2004
Figure spaceU+2007

(Whitespace characters in an email address first published April 2020, last updated June 2024)

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