Both Gmail and Google Apps for Gmail support aliases thus allowing you to maintain almost an infinite number of email addresses per user.

To quickly recap, if your Google Apps email address is hello@example.com, you can also have hel.lo@example.com and hello+me@example.com as Gmail doesn’t recognize periods in usernames and ignores everything that’s after the plus symbol.

Email Aliases and Google Apps

Lately I have noticed that emails addressed to an alias username in Google Apps are getting bounced. The plus based addressing still works but not the ones with periods.

It turns out that Google Apps now requires its users to enable a catch-all address else the messages that are addressed to an alias are discarded (returned to the sender).

To re-enable aliases in Google Apps for Gmail, log into your Google Apps dashboard and under Email settings, choose “If received email does not match any existing address, forward it to ..” under the “catch-all address” settings.

This should fix the issue but this change practically make the alias feature useless for Gmail users who are on Google Apps.

That’s because if you have multiple users on a Google Apps domain, all their “alias” emails will get forwarded to the same “catch-all” email address. Thus, as an admin, you can’t give access to that email account to anyone since it has everyone’s private mail now.

Related: Get Nicknames in Gmail for Google Apps