Plus Sign in Email Addresses

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Plus sign in email addresses

The + has a very useful meaning in almost all mailers: stuff after it
is ignored. Ie, xyzzy@example.com and xyzzy+foo@example.com are
basically treated as the same email address by example.com’s
mailer. Both addresses deliver to the mailbox owned by xyzzy. This has
been a feature of sendmail for at least 10 years. It works in Postfix
and qmail, too.

The plus sign makes it easier to track how your email address is
spread around. If I ever get email to nelson+cheapviagra@monkey.org, I
know who to blame. It’s also helpful if you’re debugging webapps and
need to create email-keyed accounts.

From here

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6 Responses to “Plus Sign in Email Addresses”

  1. hide1713 Says:

    Very good tip. Thanks

  2. kweinert Says:

    Actually, it’s not ignored. The mail is first delivered to that address and if it fails then the info after the + sign is ignored and what’s before the plus is tried.

    Note that when the mail is delivered it will still have the full local part of the address on it though.

    And yes, it’s probably optimized so the local part is looked up and delivery is not actually attempted at that point. However, if you are on a place where you can create multiple email addresses it will get delivered to the longest matching local part of the address.

  3. Endian – ¬†Register EFW Community: watch your email addresses « The Wiert Corner – Jeroen Pluimers’ irregular stream of Wiert stuff Says:

    […] and fails. Using the plus sign is a neat way to distinguish incoming mails, as the plus sign and everything after it is ignored by almost all mailers. However, their initial step does not prohibit you from using an email address like this: – email […]

  4. Mike Mestnik Says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_addresses#Address_tags

    Some mailers, like Qmail, use – instead of + and I certainly would not presume that most, let alone almost all, mailers would have support for this or have this enabled by default, like with Postfix.

  5. dorothydorothy Says:

    Thank you for this tip, it will save me creating a whole lot of pointless mailboxes.

  6. Matalan.co.uk promotional code Says:

    http://www.ninjavouchers.co.uk

    Plus Sign in Email Addresses | Not So Frequently Asked Questions

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