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How to Use Aliases and Filters to Avoid Spam in Gmail

Gmail has a really great feature that few people know about -- aliases. When using aliases, you can append a plus symbol (+) to the end of your email for easier filtering later. For example, an email that looks like this, joe@gmail.com, would go the same place as this: spam+joe@gmail.com. You can also add a period anywhere in your email address and it’ll go to the same spot, but today we’re going to keep it simple.

When combined with filters, it’s even more powerful. Here’s how to set it up.

1. Login to Gmail, if necessary.

2. Click the gear icon and select Settings.

3. Click Filters and Blocked Addresses.

4. Select Create a new filter.

5. In the To field, add your alias. In this case, it’s spam+joe@gmail.com. You can use whatever you’d like, just make sure the alias goes first, then a plus sign, and then @gmail.com.

6. Click Create filter with this search.

7. Add checkmarks to Skip the Inbox (Archive it) and decide what you’d like to do with it. You can add a label and move it to a folder, send a canned response, or mark it as read and archive it. I’m going to delete it.

8. Click Create filter.

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