I'm trying to use Email Filters in cPanel on mxroute to work around misbehaving sites that don't support email plus addressing (as described here). In short, replacing the "+" with another character that's commonly accepted like "-" and forwarding it just like it were a "+".

The rule part works great:

Any Recipient - matches regex

However, when I try to save the following action:

Redirect to email
[email protected]

I get the following error:

Filter destination paths cannot contain mailboxes that start with the “~” character or contain the following characters: “@”, “$”, “"”, and “\0”

It lets me save when I change it to [email protected], but that's not what I want since it prevents the email from being stored in the appropriate folder. I'd also rather not create a separate rule for each possible email address.

I figured I'd be able to do this with regex since I thought cPanel Email Filters were just a UI over Exim (which appears to support rewrite patterns).

Is this possible using Email Filters? Does the UI accept the pattern in some other format? Is there another way to do this in cPanel with limited access like is present in mxroute?

  • This email misbehaviour is a real bug-bear of mine. So many web forms are misconfigured and prevent valid email addresses.
    – Willtech
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 13:22

1 Answer 1


Why not create a cpanel forwarder? [email protected] -> [email protected] and you then use [email protected] where you need to.

FWIW, you could even do this in gmail. If you had an email [email protected], in settings > accounts and forwarders you can forward that to [email protected], In this case [email protected] is what you publish.

If you want to take it one step further, if you could get [email protected] a valid email address is [email protected] so it kind of matches the original, and you could publish that. This method is useful if you sign up at various sites, you can track if they pass on your email address e.g. [email protected]

  • Sounds like you're describing doing the opposite of what I'm asking. I'm wanting to give a service provider that doesn't support plus signs a different, but similar email and have cPanel forward it to the plus address (e.g. [email protected] goes to [email protected]). I said - because it's more supported than +. Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 6:50
  • @TaylorBuchanan No I'm not. Re-read what I said. Your non + email address will forward to your + email address.
    – Steve
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 7:12
  • I've read what you said. Please explain how forwarding [email protected] to [email protected] does anything I'm asking. That's exactly what is stated in your first paragraph. If you're suggesting I forward every variation of - email separately, I clearly stated this in my question: "I'd also rather not create a separate rule for each possible email address." Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 12:10
  • 1
    I think that's where the misunderstanding lies. You don't create email plus addresses. They are implicitly supported by cPanel. See here under Email subaddresses. Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 1:11
  • 1
    The problem is that many, many incorrectly written web forms and the like will not accept a valid email address like [email protected] so, the OP wants to submit [email protected] and have it handed as if it had the +.
    – Willtech
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 13:25

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