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Google adds alias email addresses to Gmail search

Google has added to Gmail the ability to search all of a person's email addresses. The more comprehensive search results make it easier to find emails within inboxes.

Google has added email aliases to Gmail search results -- a move expected to save time when people search for information in their inboxes.

The new feature means employees who search for an email address in Gmail will also see emails from aliases associated with that address. The company announced the change in a blog post on Thursday.

Workers often choose to receive email from an alternate address, or alias, in addition to their primary email account. Google said there were several reasons this might take place -- for instance, an email address could change because of a company rebrand or acquisition.

Aliases are useful in other ways, Google said. A salesperson often has a personal work email and a separate one for corresponding with customers. Gmail lets email sent to either address appear in the salesperson's inbox, while allowing that person to send email from either address.

Google said the Gmail search improvements will free workers from remembering a co-worker's aliases when hunting for important emails or attachments. Those people who want to search for emails associated with only a particular address can use quotation marks to limit the results.

Forrester Research analyst Andrew Hewitt said simplifying access to information boosts productivity. A Forrester study found that one of the top drivers of burnout in the workplace is when employees have difficulty finding job-relevant information.

"It's very frustrating, and consistently leaves employees wasting minutes trying to find information," he said. "There's a long way to go [in making information easier to find], but this is a nice start."

Microsoft, which competes with Google on the office-productivity front, has made strides in email search in recent months. The company has improved natural language search in its macOS client and voice search in its mobile apps.

Google said the improved Gmail search feature is available to all Google Workspace and G Suite subscribers.

Mike Gleason is a reporter covering end-user computing topics such as desktop management. He previously covered communities in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts for the Milford Daily News, Walpole Times, Sharon Advocate and Medfield Press. He has also worked for newspapers in central Massachusetts and southwestern Vermont and served as a local editor for Patch. He can be found on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.

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