The “one email address, many alts” Google trick

Ever wanted to set up an alternative profile on a service but been unable to because you need another email address to register a new account?
If you use Googlemail / Gmail then you can sidestep that pretty easily…

This is really simple, and yet a lot of people don’t know about it. When you show people they go “Ooooh” like you’ve done a cheap parlour trick. Say your email is “” and you’ve already used it to sign up for Twitter. Well, you can use that address again at Twitter with this simple syntax:

By adding the + after your username you add a new email address to your Googlemail. When Twitter, or whatever service, emails a confirmation to the new address, it drops into Gmail’s inbox and you can action it. If you need to send from that address hit Gmail’s “settings” button (top right), go to “Accounts and Import” and select “Send mail from another address”; you can add your new gmail address in here, and then it becomes available to you to send from, every time you are in the compose email view.


By Jon Hickman

Hi, I'm Jon. I teach and research digital culture, social media and new media practice at Birmingham City University. Find out more about me with this lovely CV: Find out about my work at the Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research: