As everybody with multiple email accounts will know, it’s a hassle trying to remember all the requisite information – which name is the one for the Gmail login? Which password is the right one? Is there a dot in my gmail account?
While Google can’t automatically help you with the first two, its Gmail email service certainly can do something about the last issue.
Turns out all those nights you spent tossing and turning, worrying about whether you signed up for Elton John ticket updates with an incorrectly-typed Gmail account or not, could have been avoided.
Google provides a definitive answer as to whether dots matter in Gmail email addresses
That’s because Google doesn’t care about the dots in your gmail login. They just aren’t that important.
On Google support, the company out right says that ‘Dots don’t matter in Gmail addresses’. But what does that actually mean?
Do dots in Gmail addresses matter to Google?
The dots in question are the ones everyone naturally assumed are important and distinguish between two separate email accounts.
An email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org is surely not one that wouldn’t end up in the inbox of email@example.com, right?
As Google points out: ‘If your email is firstname.lastname@example.org, you own all dotted versions of your address’.
This means that the following gmail address variations all lead back to the same account:
Google does not recognise characters and periods in Gmail addresses.
It also means that the reverse is true: if you own the email@example.com address, then you own the firstname.lastname@example.org as well.
So it turns out it’s not only dots that are not as important as you think. According to Slate, Google will ignore a plus sign and anything that comes after it in a Gmail address. So anything sent to a email@example.com address will still make its way to poor John’s gmail inbox.
The tech company reveals if firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com are different
However, this does lead to a potentially useful inbox sorting tool. Even though it will all go to the same account, by providing variations of your email account, it can be a good way of manually sorting out your inbox: a firstname.lastname@example.org for spam emails and email@example.com for anything ticket-related.
However, Google does point out: If you use Gmail through work, school, or other organization (like yourdomain.com or yourschool.edu), dots do change your address.
Do dots in Hotmail accounts matter?
While dots in Gmail addresses don’t matter, they certainly do on Microsoft Hotmail accounts. In a Microsoft community reply to this question, the company said:
Adding a period (.) to your email address will be recognized as a different account in Outlook/Hotmail.