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

Why is this so?

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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

It is a lesson in human nature that so many experts simply recite Google's pat answer on this as if an assertion were identical to an empirical reality. I am one of the early account holders with the firstname.lastname@gmail.com accounts. About three years ago, I began receiving email directed to firstnamelastname@gmail.com. By triangulating the information I was able to glean from their dry cleaners, car dealer, etc. I was finally able to contact these people (about 3,000 miles from me, BTW). The DO have the same account as me, minus the period. We were able to determine that only a portion of email "leaks" across accounts. Unfortunately, the fact that I had my account 10 years before they had theirs did not convince them to leave the account to me. Thus, I live with the occasional notice from the bank, school, etc. Because of this, I no longer use Gmail for anything important or confidential.

The most disturbing thing to me is Google's insistence that they could not have made a programming mistake when they clearly did. These folks are arrogant in their faux humility.

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Except for the ranting, this might be a useful answer. – Al E. Mar 1 at 16:33
This was already acknowledged in a comment: "Very early accounts are affected by dots in the names though" – ᴡᴏʀᴅs Mar 2 at 1:18
+1: I have the same issue myself (mutatis mutandis), at least in the sense that I receive email (such as Amazon purchases, some adult dating 'connections', etc.) which are intended for a different user. My name is a common one, apparently. In most cases, I have no way of contacting these folks. I hope they do not receive my email, your answer seems to dash that hope. I have received all manner of email such as secure military documents (US, UK), political documents (EU, IRL), etc. – copper.hat Apr 9 at 20:44
I started facing the same problem - yes I am receiving someone else's emails - since 2011. But a lot of my social networking profiles (including stackoverflow profile) are built using this email address, so I am finding it difficult to move to a newer email address. And I also doubt I've missed some important emails that were meant for me but reached the other recipient. It sucks! – Amar Duplantier Apr 22 at 11:14

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