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April 21, 2010

Dots No Longer Required When You Log in to Gmail

Until recently, if your Gmail username included one or more dots, you had to add them to your username when logging in. Now it's no longer required to include the dots, so you can type johndoe instead of john.doe.


It's important to keep in mind that Gmail ignores the dots from your username when receiving a message, so you'll get all the messages sent to johndoe@gmail.com, john.doe@gmail.com, john.d.o.e@gmail.com and other similar addresses. The requirement to enter the same username you used when you created the Gmail account might have helped you keep the account secure, but it was really annoying.

There's an interesting urban legend about the dots from Gmail usernames: some people claim that Gmail initially allowed users to create different accounts using usernames that were identical if you ignored the dots. That's why you'll hear many users complaining that they receive someone else's mail. Google even created a page which debunks the myth, but that doesn't stop users from talking about the "dot problem".

Update: Apparently, it's not a recent change.

{ Thanks, Michael. }

17 comments:

  1. You noticed it too late. I am using my gmail id from a long id. I just thought its obvious to put any number of dots in user name . Here any can be zero.

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  2. I haven't been putting the dots in for ages.

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  3. You've been able to log in to Google without the dots for a long time now.

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  4. I stopped putting in the dot about a year ago, and it's been letting me login though I do have a dot in my email address. I don't know exactly when it changed, but here's several people on Google Blogoscoped talking about being able to login without the dot about a year ago too:
    http://blogoscoped.com/forum/151684.html#id151686

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  5. or john.doe@googlemail.com if you really want to type a lot more ^^

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  6. It's nice to see that you're so observant. I only found about this a couple of days ago and a Google search didn't return many helpful results.

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  7. yea, ive been loggin in without the dots too

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  8. Maybe this is the reason for the urban legend: "One last thing: Google Apps does recognize dots."

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  9. Yes, the dot-option has apparently been around for a while, but I found out about it only about 3 months ago. It's great as a spam filter--my email address is (like) xxx.xx@gmail.com , and I noticed once that a lot of my spam was going to xxxxx@gmail.com . Since I never gave out my address without a dot, I just created a filter to automatically delete anything sent without the dot. I honestly saw a decrease in spam of about 99% since!

    Another point which I haven't tried: apparently anything sent to xxxxx+anything@gmail.com goes to xxxxx@gmail.com . (and you can have dots too). What I should be doing when I have to give away my address to someone I don't want email from, is give them something like xxxxx+bestbuy@gmail.com and then I can always filter out that (and either label it or delete it).

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  10. You've been able to do this for ages. Agreed. Old news.

    I dunno about using "John Doe" as an example name: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Doe. How about Jo Citizen (gender neutral, no reference to being a corpse and/or un-nameable character in a law case etc). Just sayin...

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  11. I remember that a page from Google's help center included this text: "For security reasons, when you log in to Gmail, you must enter any dots that were originally defined as part of your username".

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  12. removing the dot lessens the number of usernames.. For instance, where 2 different people could have decent looking usernames, john.doe and johndoe, the second one would now for some ordeal to get a decent username.. more so since with dot was already in vogue (yahoo/hotmail)

    Varun

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  13. Didn't know anything about this until I started getting mail from someone I didn't know. I send her a short message telling her that she's emailing the wrong me and all is well. What if someone had a . in their email address but someone with the same name only without the dots came along? Surely there must have been instances of that i.e john.smith@gmail.com and johnsmith@gmail.com. Wonder how they sorted that out?

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  14. I believe the whole reason i choose my email address is becuase the one i wanted was already taken :S What happended to that guy??

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  15. I have the same question with Snaver (I guess...): when I've chosen my john.doe@gmail.com adress, the johndoe@ it was already taken. now, what was happend with the other guy?
    anyway, now I can login with johndoe@ in the same time with john.doe@.

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  16. yes slightly confusing here, how does it determine who is who?

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