Child accounts on Gmail using labels and filters

Here is a neat trick using several features of Gmail to create email accounts for kids that are parentally supervised.

Gmail forwards all emails of the form username+[sometext] to The original goal for this feature was to make it possible to track where an email addressed was sourced. However, you can also use this feature to create “sub” accounts within your master account.

Let’s say that Jenny wants her daughter Rebecca to have an email account, but Jenny wants to be able to supervise it. Her current email address is, so she decides that Rebecca’s address will be

Jenny first created a label by going to Settings > Labels, typing Rebecca into the Create New Label box, and clicking Create. She then went to the Filters tab and clicked Create A New Filter. Then she entered into the To: box. She clicked next and selected Apply the Label and Rebecca. She decided that she didn’t want Rebecca’s email cluttering her inbox, so she also selected Skip the Inbox.

After clicking Create Filter, she went to the Accounts and Import tab and clicked Send Email from Another Account. She entered Rebecca into the Name field, and into the Email Address field and clicked Next Step. The box disappeared, and she went back to the inbox.

Now, there is a label below the inbox on the left side of the page that says Rebecca and shows the number of unread emails the Rebecca has received. When Rebecca wants to send and email, she goes to Compose Mail and selects Rebecca from the dropdown box next to the From label.

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