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Dots don't matter in Gmail addresses

If someone accidentally adds dots to your address when emailing you, you'll still get that email. For example, if your email is johnsmith@gmail.com, you own all dotted versions of your address:

  • john.smith@gmail.com
  • jo.hn.sm.ith@gmail.com
  • j.o.h.n.s.m.i.t.h@gmail.com

Note: If you use Gmail through work, school, or other organization (like yourdomain.com or yourschool.edu), dots do change your address. To change the dots in your username, contact your admin.

No one else gets your emails

No one can take your username

Your Gmail address is unique. If anyone tries to create a Gmail account with a dotted version of your username, they'll get an error saying the username is already taken.

For example, if your address is johnsmith@gmail.com, no one can sign up for j.o.h.n.s.m.i.t.h@gmail.com.

No one sees your mail

Your account is still private and secure. Emails sent to any dotted version of your address will only go to you.

For example, johnsmith@gmail.com and j.o.h.n.s.m.i.t.h@gmail.com are the same address and go to one inbox.

What to do if you get someone else's mail

Adding dots doesn't change your address, so dots aren't why you got someone else's mail. Instead, the sender probably mistyped or forgot the correct address.

For example, if someone meant to email john.43.smith@gmail.com but typed john.smith@gmail.com, the message went to you because you own johnsmith@gmail.com.

Notify the sender

If the email seems irrelevant but not suspicious, reply to the sender saying they have the wrong address.

Report a suspicious email

Don't click any links or share personal information. Report the email as spam or phishing.

Unsubscribe from newsletters you didn't sign up for

Learn how to unsubscribe, or contact the website to remove your address from their mailing list. 

Note: Unfortunately, we can't prevent people from accidentally or maliciously using a dotted version of your address to sign up for subscription emails.

Michelle is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.

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