Regex for an Email Address

It’s something that I’ve come up against several times and each time I google for it I turn up a different result.

How do you validate an email address?

Obviously you want to use a regular expression, but given the specification for email addresses that’s going to be one really complicated line of code.

Following a user’s complaint that they could not register with our site with their (perfectly legitimate) address because of our validation, today’s search yielded more success than usual. Near the bottom of the source of the Perl Email::Valid module there is a very long regular expression which I have lifted directly and placed in this page.

Email regex (email_regex.pl) download
1
/^[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|"[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*)*")[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:\.[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|"[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*)*")[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)*@[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:\.[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)*|(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|"[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*)*")[^()<>@,;:".\\\[\]\x80-\xff\000-\010\012-\037]*(?:(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)|"[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*)*")[^()<>@,;:".\\\[\]\x80-\xff\000-\010\012-\037]*)*<[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:@[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:\.[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)*(?:,[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*@[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:\.[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)*)*:[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)?(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|"[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*)*")[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:\.[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|"[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*)*")[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)*@[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:\.[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)*>)$/

I won’t lie to you: I haven’t dissected it to manually confirm that it does what it should, but it has been successful so far in the tests I’ve thrown at it. It also works in Javascript which, for me, is a massive win.

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