One of the most common things I notice when I am taking an email address from somebody is that they will often follow up the dictation of their email address with the statement “And it’s all lowercase”.  There is a very common misconception that many people have that an email address is case sensitive, and this is simply not the case (pardon the pun).

No email server anywhere differentiates case. What this means is that you could use any of the following:

  • INFO1@EXAMPLE.COM
  • info1@example.com
  • Info1@example.com
  • INFO1@example.com
  • info1@EXAMPLE.COM
  • InFo1@ExAmPlE.CoM

and so on.  They all form the same combination of letters and numbers and that is all the incoming mail server is looking for.

Why is this the case? 

Well to answer this is made up of a couple of different elements. The first thing to understand is what the components of an email address are. An email address is made up of 2 different parts, the domain name (in the example above this is “@example.com”) and the alias (in the example above this is “info”).

Domain names are completely case insensitive. Often when providing my email in writing to someone I will present it as info@BigGrizzlyOnline.com. Not because the caps in the domain name are in anyway required, but it does make it easier to read. But at the end of the day domain names are not case sensitive.

For the alias - case did used to matter, but as email protocols have evolved they no longer do. In other words, some very outdated email servers which use outdated protocols, could potentially have seperate email accounts for INFO@example.com and info@example.com. BUT these are very outdated systems and would actually be very difficult to find in use anywhere.

All current email systems use protocols that no longer allow for these distinctions. In short - case no longer matters. So when asked the question does case matter, we can say with confidence “NO” (or maybe “no”).

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