Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

E.g.: If your Gmail ID is abc.xyz@gmail.com, it considers this the same as abcxyz@gmail.com.

Why is this so?

share|improve this question

migrated from superuser.com Apr 20 '11 at 10:13

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

Not sure I understand this - my personal mail has a . in it. – Kyle Rozendo Apr 20 '11 at 9:11
And what is your question? – Majenko Apr 20 '11 at 9:17
Eg: abc.xyz = abcxyz accepting username while login – Srinivas Tamada Apr 20 '11 at 9:20
What can we do if they want that? Do you know that some providers does not allow different characters than alphanumeric? Gmail accepts "." and "+". "+" is for address aliases (e.g. your.addr+alias@gmail.com , where "alias" can be any alphanumeric string (with some limitations I don't know). – kokbira Apr 20 '11 at 12:15
Very early accounts are affected by dots in the names though – Eight Days of Malaise Apr 20 '11 at 16:54

It's done that way to prevent confusion (and possibly impersonation). I'd rather not have brianwhite@gmail.com get my mail simply because somebody left a dot out when typing my address of brian.white@gmail.com. (Note: Neither of those are actually me; I was too late registering to get anything even remotely close to my real name. :-)

Also, you can append anything to your username with "+something" and it'll still come to you. With this you can create unique email addresses for certain things and then filter on it or just be able to tell which sites are selling your email address to spammers. (Note: some broken sites don't allow "+" in an email address even though it's supposed to be allowed.)

share|improve this answer
He beat you to the Gmail username and now you punish him with spam, fair enough I guess. :) – Trufa Apr 20 '11 at 14:39
@Trufa Not a big deal, since he has the Gmail spam filter protecting him. – Yahel Apr 21 '11 at 3:16

From Gmail Help:

Gmail doesn't recognize dots as characters within usernames, you can add or remove the dots from a Gmail address without changing the actual destination address; they'll all go to your inbox, and only yours. In short:

homerjsimpson@gmail.com = hom.er.j.sim.ps.on@gmail.com
homerjsimpson@gmail.com = HOMERJSIMPSON@gmail.com
homerjsimpson@gmail.com = Homer.J.Simpson@gmail.com

All these addresses belong to the same person. You can see this if you try to sign in with your username, but adding or removing a dot from it. You'll still go to your account.


One last thing: Google Apps does recognize dots. If you'd like to have a dot in your username, please ask your domain administrator to add your preferred username as a nickname.

share|improve this answer
What is the use accepting dot while creating new registration. – Srinivas Tamada Apr 20 '11 at 9:46
e.g., when adding someone as an user of a shared document using Google Docs. – kokbira Apr 20 '11 at 12:14
The question is: Why? – user8720 Apr 20 '11 at 13:11
I'm guessing for some reason they took a design decision not to treat dotted addresses differently to avoid emails being routed to the wrong person. E.g. if barack.obama@gmail.com was getting barackobama@gmail.com's emails. – 8088 Apr 20 '11 at 13:16

Gmail likely supports this use of periods in email address in order to comply with the IETF's email address formatting standards. If you'd like something less verbose, Wikipedia's page on email addresses simplifies understanding their use (and probably reasoning) well.

share|improve this answer
lol there is a standard 4 that – kokbira Apr 20 '11 at 14:51
The standard says that a.b@foo.com must be accepted by intermediate systems, but not that foo.com must assign that name to anyone, or to the same person who owns ab@foo.com. – Random832 Apr 21 '11 at 15:32

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.