Get 20% OFF for your first month with the Starter Plan – Start today 🎉
Table of contents

What is a catch-all email address? How to set it up ?

damien ceo mailreach
David Chastanet
Email Deliverability Expert

A catch-all email address is made to receive all messages that are addressed to an incorrect email address for a domain. Learn more about its benefits and limits !


Ever heard of a catch-all email address ? It's basically like having a super mailbox for all your emails.

If you have different email addresses for work, personal stuff, online shopping, and so on, your emails might end up getting sent to the wrong address. A catch-all email swoops in to gather all those stray emails that might otherwise get lost in the digital world.

Setting it up is pretty simple. You just need to configure your email server to accept emails sent to any address at your domain, regardless of whether that specific address exists or not. It's like telling your mailbox to accept mail for any name on your street, even if it's not listed. Once it's set up, any email sent to your domain will land in your catch-all inbox. 

The main goal ? Make sure you never miss an email, even if someone forgets your exact address or misspells it.

What is a catch-all email ?

A catch-all email serves as a safety net for your inbox. Ordinarily, emails are directed to specific addresses like « » or « ». However, errors in typing or addressing can result in emails being sent to nonexistent addresses or variations of legitimate ones, such as « » or « » instead of « ». 

In such cases, a catch-all email collects any email sent to your domain, regardless of the precise address intended. This feature ensures that no emails slip through the cracks due to address variations or typos, enabling uninterrupted communication and information retrieval.

Advantages and disadvantages of catch-all emails

Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of implementing a catch-all email system : 


✅ A comprehensive inbox : With a catch-all email, you ensure that all emails sent to your domain are captured in one centralized inbox. This eliminates the need to monitor multiple email accounts, simplifying email management.

✅ Reducing the risk of missed communication : By catching emails addressed to non-existent or misspelled addresses, you minimize the risk of missing important communication.

✅ Flexibility and Adaptability : A catch-all email system offers flexibility in accommodating changes to email addresses or additions without requiring individual setup adjustments.


❌ Increased Spam : One significant drawback is the potential for an augmentation of spam (but not of your own Spam Score). Since the catch-all inbox gathers emails sent to any address at your domain, it becomes susceptible to receiving a higher volume of unsolicited emails.

❌ Information Overload : Another concern is information overload. Without specific email addresses for different purposes, the catch-all inbox may become inundated with irrelevant or low-priority emails, making it challenging to identify and prioritize critical messages.

❌ Security Vulnerabilities : Since catch-all emails accept messages sent to any address at your domain, they may inadvertently receive sensitive information intended for specific recipients. This poses a security risk, especially if the inbox is compromised or accessed by unauthorized parties.

Learn more about our Free Email Spam Test and Checker

How to set up a catch-all email address ?

Establishing a catch-all email address for your domain involves a few straightforward steps : 

  • Access your domain hosting platform : Begin by logging in to your domain hosting platform, such as Namecheap or GoDaddy, where you'll manage your email settings ; 
  • Navigate to your email settings : Once logged in, locate the email settings or management section within your domain hosting dashboard ;
  • Set up your catch-all email : Within the email settings, look for the option to establish a catch-all email address. This feature may be labeled as "Catch-All" or "Default Address » ; 
  • Enable the catch-all email option : Enable the catch-all option to instruct your email server to accept emails sent to any address at your domain ;
  • Configure the destination : Specify where you want the catch-all emails to be directed, whether it's a specific email address or a dedicated catch-all inbox ; 
  • Save your settings : After configuring the catch-all email settings, do not forget to save your changes to finalize the setup.

If you're using Gmail and want to simulate catch-all functionality within your account, you can achieve this through Gmail's filtering system. Here's how you can set it up : 

  • Access Gmail settings : Log in to your Gmail account and navigate to the settings menu by clicking on the gear icon located in the top right corner of the interface ; 
  • Navigate to filters and blocked addresses : Within the settings menu, select "See all settings" and then proceed to the "Filters and Blocked Addresses" tab ; 
  • Create a new filter : Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "Create a new filter" to initiate the filter creation process ; 
  • Set the filter criteria : In the "To" field, input your domain name preceded by an asterisk, such as "". This wildcard () signifies that Gmail should catch all emails sent to any address at your domain ; 
  • Choose the filter action : After specifying the filter criteria, proceed to choose the action you want Gmail to take with these emails, whether it's forwarding them, labeling them, or applying other actions ; 
  • Test your filter : Finally, send a test email to an arbitrary or non-existent address at your domain to ensure that Gmail captures all emails as intended based on your filter settings. 

Best practices to manage a catch-all email address

Efficiently managing a catch-all email address requires implementing certain best practices to ensure your inbox remains organized and productive : 

Regularly monitor your catch-all inbox to stay updated on incoming emails ; 

Establish filters or rules to automatically categorize incoming emails based on their content or sender, directing them to relevant folders for easier management ;

Periodically review and clean your catch-all inbox to remove unnecessary clutter and prioritize important messages ;

✅ Set up notifications or alerts for urgent emails to ensure timely responses ; 

Do not forget to review and update your catch-all settings to adapt to changes in your email usage patterns and requirements !

Common questions about catch-all emails

Is Catch-All Email a Good Idea for Your Business? 

Catch-all emails can be advantageous for businesses in certain scenarios ! They ensure that no emails are missed due to typos or variations in addresses, enhancing communication reliability. 

However, you must consider the potential influx of spam and the need for effective management against the benefits of a catch-all system.

How to Verify and Clean Catch-All Email Lists?

Maintaining a healthy email list with catch-all addresses requires regular verification and cleaning processes. 

For example, periodically reviewing the catch-all inbox, identifying invalid or outdated email addresses, and removing them from the list is crucial. You can also implement email verification tools to ensure the accuracy and relevance of your email contacts, minimizing bounce rates and improving your email deliverability.

MailReach is compatible with any inbox / SMTP

No items found.
No items found.

More resources for your deliverability

Made with ❤️ and 🥖 in Paris, France 🇫🇷