Stop People From Finding Your Gmail Address

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How handy and useful would it be to be able to contact people if you only know their name?

In Gmail, you can do that, of course, for contacts in your address book (and you probably do). How about an address book that contains the entire universe of Gmail and Google+ users?

You'd type somebody's name, and Gmail would suggest the Gmail email address to go with it. Does that seem exciting or creepy—or both?

If you feel queasy (and understandably so) about your email address being made accessible to possibly millions of people, you can restrict its easy availability to people in your circles (including their friends if you like); you can also turn Google+'s sharing of your email address off entirely, of course.

If you like and want to be easily accessible by email for other Gmail and Google+ users, you can also enable name addressing for everyone.

Stop Others from Finding Your Gmail Address 

To stop Gmail from allowing people to mail you at your Gmail address by merely typing your name in an email's To: line (without knowing your Gmail address):

  • Click the Settings gear near your Gmail's top right corner.
  • Select Settings from the menu that has appeared.
  • Go to the General tab.
  • Make sure No one is selected for Who can email you via your Google+ profile? under Email via Google+.
    • Select Circles to allow only people in your circles to find your Gmail address by name.
    • Select Extended circles to allow people you have in your circles as well as people in those people's circles to find your Gmail address.
    • Select Anyone on Google+ to allow everybody using Gmail and Google+ to address you just by name and without knowing your Gmail address.
  • Click Save Changes.