Want to create new email addresses on the fly and use them to cleverly filter mail to boot? Find out here how to create Gmail email alias addresses, and how to make good use of them.

First, Are you Creative?

Let me answer that for you: yes, you are very creative. Not even half way down this page, you will have created at least one new email address—by just thinking of it (and typing it perhaps, so people can actually use it). Take that, law of attraction!

All right, let’s get started. Because…

Who does not like free?

Free email addresses, for example: you got about a million when you set up that Gmail account.

Really, you can create unlimited email alias addresses on the fly.

How to Create (and Use) Infinite Gmail Email Alias Addresses

You have two options to create a new email alias in Gmail: the dot method, and the plus method.

Using Dots

To create a new Gmail address on the fly:

  1. Add a dot (.) anywhere in front of the @ sign in your Gmail address.
    • Tip: You can use more than one dot.

If your email address is “[email protected]”, for instance, all of the following will still deliver to your standard inbox:

Using the Plus Sign

To create a new Gmail email alias:

  1. Insert a plus sign (+) followed by any word (or just characters) in front of the @ sign in your Gmail address.
    • Tip: You can use the plus sign more than once.

If, again, your email address is “[email protected]”, email sent to all of the following addresses goes right to your regular inbox:

How to Create (and Use) Infinite Gmail Email Alias Addresses: FAQ

Which method to create an alias should I use?

Use the plus sign method.

While it’s nice to know that you can make up Gmail addresses that deliver to yours on the fly by adding dots, serious use requires the plus sign:

  • Using the plus sign offers way more options, and
  • you can be descriptive in what you add to the address.

[email protected] tells you nothing about how it differs from [email protected], while [email protected] explains itself.

What can I do with my new Gmail alias?

You are more than creative, of course. Your creation is also useful.

That Gmail address you just made of, for instance: let’s put it to good use with one Gmail feature in particular: filters.

You can set up a rule in Gmail that treats all mail sent to a specific alias (created with the plus method above) in a special manner.

The Basic Gmail Alias Filtering Process

To set up a rule in Gmail that treats all messages sent to one of those aliases you so creatively thought up:

  1. Use a plus Gmail alias (see above) instead of your regular Gmail address.
  2. In the Gmail search field, type “to:” followed by that Gmail alias.
    Example: Type “to:[email protected]”.
  3. Now click the Show search options button (a triangle pointing downwards, ) at the end of the search field.
  4. Click Create filter with this search ».
  5. Choose the action or actions you want to be applied to emails sent to the alias:
    • Skip the Inbox (Archive it): Avoid seeing the message in any of your inboxes but keep a record.
    • Mark as read: Useful in particular in combination with Skip the Inbox.
    • Star it: Mark the message with a yellow star. Who does not like stars?
    • Apply the label: This makes it particularly easy to spot certain emails right in the inbox, or to find them later.
    • Forward it to: Copy or redirect—in combination with Delete it—an email; can also be used together with Skip the Inbox, for example.
    • Delete it: You might use this if an alias is receiving nothing but junk.
    • Never send it to spam: This is probably better left unchecked. Gmail’s spam filter is usually good at picking the good from the bad.
    • Send canned response: Yes, you can set up an auto-responder. Make sure the reply is sent from your main Gmail address (or a different alias), or the sender might receive your auto-response more than once.
    • Always mark it as important: Give VIP treatment to messages sent to an alias.
    • Never mark it as important: Make sure these emails are not highlighted as important.
    • Categorize as: Pick an inbox tab for these emails.
  6. Click Create filter.

For example, you can use aliases plus filters to have Gmail handle newsletters your way (or “unsubscribe” from obnoxious ones).

Set Up an Auto-Responder in Gmail

Using Gmail email alias addresses, you can even automate Gmail and have it reply automatically in a specific manner.

(Gmail email alias addresses tested in a desktop browser; updated January 2019; title image: StockUnlimited)