I receive e-mails for multiple e-mail addresses on my Gmail. In my Inbox, how can I see what e-mail address the specific e-mail was sent to?

If I choose "show original", the only relevant information I get is this line:

To: Undisclosed recipients:;

But that tells me nothing.

  • In this case the sender probably used BCC, so there is nothing you can do.
    – nwaltham
    Dec 21, 2011 at 15:40
  • @user859955: I don't agree. Gmail should know which of my addresses received the email.
    – Jonas
    Dec 21, 2011 at 15:42
  • Just looked on one of my messages and the first line of the message ,at the very top,that you get with "Show Original" says "Delivered-To" - not the case on yours?
    – nwaltham
    Dec 21, 2011 at 15:52
  • @user859955: No, I have my gmail-adress on that line. But I forward emails from other receiver-addresses too. If I send an email to one of my addresses (that forward emails to gmail), I can't find that email-address in "show original".
    – Jonas
    Dec 21, 2011 at 16:00

3 Answers 3


It is not always possible to know. I'll explain why, and how, when possible, to find the information you want.

First a bit of necessary background. When you "show original", you see the e-mail exactly as it was transmitted over the network. But what you don't see is the envelope. The envelope is like a paper envelope. It has a recipient address and a return address, and contains an e-mail. The envelope is discarded on receipt.

One way that you can receive e-mails for multiple e-mail addresses in Gmail is from a remailer, also called an autoforwarder. This covers a wide variety of circumstances. Mailing lists are one example: an e-mail addressed to the list is remailed to the list membership. Mail systems which let you give a forwarding order are another example.

These remailers take the e-mail out of the envelope and put it in a new envelope addressed to the forwarding address. The e-mail still reads as it did when it was sent. This is why, when you "show original", you don't see your Gmail mailbox in the recipient list. The sender addressed the e-mail to a different mailbox, so that's what you see.

You are in the same situation when you receive a blind courtesy copy (bcc) of an e-mail. The e-mail itself doesn't list the recipients of blind copies: that's what makes those copies a secret. This is why, when you "show original", your mailbox is not shown as a recipient.

E-mail often goes through several mail servers, like postal distribution centers, on its way to the recipient. Each one is a remailer. Each one discards the envelope, stamps the e-mail Received, puts the e-mail in a new envelope, and hands it off to the next mail server. The stamp shows the date and time and other tracking information. Some (but not all) mail servers include the recipient address from the envelope that it discarded. You can view these stamps when you "show original". Look for the for clause:

Received: from transmitting server by receiving server with protocol id unique id forrecipient address; date and time

For more information, start with RFC 5321: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, section 2.3, SMTP Terminology and section 4.4, Trace Information.


If you are using the ability of gmail to check other pop3 accounts, the setting for the account allow you to attach a label to all the email.

How to set it for an existing account you are pulling: gear:mail settings:Accounts and import: Check mail using pop3: then edit one of your connections

How to set it for a new account you want to start pulling: gear:mail settings:Accounts and import: Check mail using pop3: Add a POP3 mail account you own


I've a filter for each account I receive emails, then in the filter I assign an different label to each account, easy.

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