Understanding Gmail Domains: gmail.com, googlemail.com, and google.com

Whether or not you use GMass, it’s useful to understand the difference between the three different domains that Google uses for email: gmail.com, googlemail.com, and google.com. Let´s take a quick look at how these three differ.

The “gmail.com” Domain: What most of us have for email

The most well-known domain for email is, of course, gmail.com. This is for regular Gmail users, and takes the form of “name@gmail.com“.

The gmail.com email domain in use.
The gmail.com email domain in use.

Before we get to the other domains, here are two fun facts about using your gmail.com domain.

One is that you can put one or more dots within the name part, however you want, and it won’t affect anything. So, for example, happy.hippo@gmail.com is treated exactly the same as happyhippo@gmail.com, though the first one might be slightly easier to read, because the words are separated with the dot.

Another is that you can put a plus sign (“+”) anywhere in the name portion and Gmail will ignore everything to the right of that plus until it gets to the “@” symbol. So, emails sent to happyhippo+parakeet@gmail.com will be sent to the happyhippo@gmail.com inbox (although I should also note that when I tested this by sending an email to myself, for some reason I didn’t receive the email at all—but it did work when someone else sent me an email using the same address with the plus symbol in it).

One possible use for this “+” trick is that you can “tag” email that are coming in from certain sources. So, for example, your friends might write you to happyhippo@gmail.com, but you could give out to business contacts happyhippo+consulting@gmail.com and it will also go to that same inbox. This way, you could immediately know which incoming emails were personal and which were business related. Plus, if you see you are getting spam sent to a particular “name+suffix” email address, you will know which sources have somehow gotten your email address in the hands of spammers.

The “googlemail.com” Domain: For two countries

Alternatively, googlemail.com is for Gmail users of a particular country where “Gmail”, as a trademark, was already taken. Those countries originally were Germany, the Russian Federation, and Poland. In each case, the Gmail trademark was unavailable, so Google was forced to use “googlemail” and therefore googlemail.com instead.

An email to the googlemail.com domain.
An email to the googlemail.com domain.

In Poland, the Gmail trademark domain is owned by a Polish poet group, Grupa Mlodych Artystów i Literatów—which is abbreviated “GMAiL”. In the Russian Federation, the trademark is owned by a Russian mail redirect service, Gmail.ru. So, with the Gmail trademark already taken, users there were assigned an email address of the format: name@googlemail.com.

As of 2012, the situation with Germany was straightened out and new users to Gmail there get assigned a gmail.com domain. People who signed up for Gmail prior to this switch have the option to switch to using gmail.com as well. In order to do that, they would go to the Accounts tab under Settings. The good thing about this change—if you haven’t already done it—is that Gmail will smartly update everything, so that there will be no disruption in receiving emails. For example, if someone emails you to your old name@googlemail.com address, it will automatically arrive at your name@gmail.com inbox.

In fact, name@googlemail.com and name@gmail.com point to the same mailbox. You can test this out right now by sending an email to yourself by taking your normal email address and using the googlemail.com domain. You’ll get the email instantly, proving that these domains are the same.

What’s also good about this is a new person can’t register your name at the other domain. For example, if you use HappyHippopotamus1990@gmail.com, no one would be able to register HappyHippopotamus1990@googlemail.com–which prevents someone using a very similar email as yours without your permission.

The “google.com” Domain: For Google employees

Finally, the google.com email domain is used for Google employees. So, as a fictional example, an email address like “HappyHippopotamus@google.com” would mean that Happy Hippopotamus was a Google employee.

What’s useful about this fact is that if you receive an email with a google.com domain, it should mean that the person who sent it does actually work for Google—as opposed to being a scammer or hacker doing a phishing attack for information about you.

The final option: your own domain with G Suite

The final way with which to use Gmail is to bring your own domain and set it up on G Suite. About half the world’s companies and almost all of the world’s startups bring their domain to G Suite to let Google manage their email.

The Upshot: They all work with GMass!

Whichever domain you use, they will all work with GMass. So don’t let these options stand in your way from making effective email marketing campaigns, whether for politics, recruiting, or any other way you can use GMass to automate reaching out to many people easily with Gmail.

26 Comments
  1. Thanks for this interesting article and for highlighting such attractive google domains opportunities. This information should be useful for me during searching.

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Please contact our support team at https://www.gmass.co/blog/how-to-get-support-from-the-gmass-team/

    1. Hi Ramesh,

      We’re sorry, we don’t understand what you meant by opening your Gmail account. Could you provide us with more details on what issue you’re experiencing?

  2. I opened a Gsuite mail account with special domain name for a short-term project and always access it using my iPad. How do I set it up so I can access it by way of my other devices such as laptop pc and desktop Mac?

  3. Hello, I know that gmail and googlemail are meant to be the same. However, I am confused because in my emails i have an inbox for gmail and another for googlemail (not sure why). They are not the same as for example recently one didn’t have anything for the last couple of months and the other (googlemail) had up to date ones. Gmail keeps asking me for a password but the one for googlemail doesn’t work. How can I get past this muddle and have one address and not two versions of it. Is one blocking the other? At the moment gmail seems to be blocking me sending emails by saying I need to put in the password. Thanks

  4. Hello. Can I retrieve an email sent to google.com instead of my gmail.com? My account registered is gmail.com.

    1. Hi Jay,

      If you’re referring to an email sent to @googlemail.com rather than @gmail.com then that is not possible since they are 2 different email addresses.

    1. Hi Caroline.
      I’ve just spent a few days trying to work out why my Outlook account kept requiring login details for my gmail account, accepting them so I could retrieve emails, but then forgetting them and asking for the login again soon afterwards.
      To cut a long story short, it appears Google have done something which now treats the logins the googlemail and gmail separately.
      It turned out my account was set up as googlemail, but I’ve always been able to login as gmail without any issues. But last week it appears that something changed, and whilst if I login in as gmail it will work for a short time on some operating systems (although not at all on iPad now), if I login as googlemail it works fine.
      This may be the same issue you are having

  5. Hi. I’ve been receiving emails from Apple in German. This is the latest which is translated below. My comments in [..]. I did not initiate this download. Further my concern is could someone in Germany share my email? If I send an email to my.email@googlemail.com I would get it in my in box. Does this mean all my emails sent to gmail also goes to this other person???

    Hello Marie Ammermann, [not my name]
    Your Apple ID, [xxx]@googlemail.com [my email address except ends in googlemail] has just been used in the App Store to load Microsoft PowerPoint on a computer or device that was not previously associated with this Apple ID. You may also receive this email if you have reset your password since your last purchase.

    If you have initiated this download, you can ignore this email. It is only for your information in case you did not authorize the download yourself.

    If you did not initiate this download, we recommend that you change your password at iforgot.apple.com and read the information under Apple ID: Security and your Apple ID for further assistance.

    Yours sincerely
    Apple

    1. Hi Marie,

      Google offers its service under two different domains- Gmail.com and Googlemail.com. While a @gmail.com address is most common among users, for people from some countries @googlemail.com address is the only option to use Google’s email service. There is no difference between the two addresses as they both end in the same mailbox. If you own an email account abc@gmail.com, try send an email to abc@googlemail.com and you will see the magic.

      Some countries use googlemail.com instead but messages sent to Gmail and googlemail.com are the same.

      With regard to your Apple ID, we suggest to contact Apple support. As it states, you may want to change your password to your Apple ID and see if the problem still persists.

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