Techie Tip of the Week: Creating Email Aliases Using the + Key

Many email providers, including Stanford, Gmail, and Hotmail, allow you to use an email address by simply adding a + sign at the end of your username and then adding text before the @ symbol.

For example, if your email address is, you could use the alias

Regardless of the letters or numbers you put at the end of the + sign, the email will be sent to your Stanford email address (or Gmail or Hotmail, if you use those email providers).

So why would you use this?

Suppose you’re a professor in the Psychology department. You teach classes in psych1, psych2, and psych3. You could tell your students that your email address is:

  • for the students in Psych1
  • for the students in Psych2
  • for the students in Psych3

Then, using email filters (rules), you could divert email sent to to a folder or tag named psych1.

Or, you could use the email address when you sign up at banking sites, when you sign up for social media sites, etc.

Best part? You don’t need to sign up for anything to use this service — you can just go ahead and use it!

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