Several people ask me how to change an email address and they give primarily three reasons (in that order) – dissatisfaction with the current services, too much spam and junk in the inbox and the email address is long or “weird”.
Depending on how long you’ve been using the old email account, changing an email address can be either a simple and quick process or slightly more convoluted and time consuming. The options are many and, sometimes (trust me on this), it will make more sense in continuing with your old email account.
Thus, the questions you should be asking yourself are: “What should I do with the older email account when I get a new one? Should I close it or keep maintaining that email address?“
By the way, there is not direct option of changing the email address in popular free email services like Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo Mail! But there is no need to feel disheartened because there are other ways and I shall let you know about these. The best is to get a new email address and either forward messages from the old one or delete the previous account altogether. We’ll hit upon this point once again below.
If you have a new email account, created by you or someone else, your best bet is to create a new email address and forget about the old one. Since the account was new it’s unlikely that you would have informed many people about it… and even if you have, you can tell them about the change in your email address. Though recommended, you don’t need to delete your previous email address. Accounts from services like Gmail or Hotmail will automatically be closed after a specified period of inactivity – just remember never to sign in at the old account.
Having said that, most, if not all, free email services let you delete your email address and close the account quickly. Please refer the links below:
What if you have an account from a service that doesn’t let you close an account? This is not such a big issue. Remember, email addresses are not social security numbers of which you can have only one which stays with you till the day you die. Don’t like the email address? Heck, go to one of the free services and create a second email account – refer that link for instructions or pick up one from below. But, as I mentioned in the beginning, if you’ve been using an email address for a long time there are other options you should look at.
The most common reason users cite for changing an email address which they have been using for a long time is spam, aka junk email. Unless the email account comes with a good automated filter, stopping junk messages from reaching your inbox can be quite an ordeal. FYI, even though email service providers work very hard at this, it’s virtually impossible to curtail a few junk messages slipping through each day. But being deluged with spam should not be the sole reason for changing an email address because the solution to this problem is quite simple – use the free spam filter of Gmail or purchase one. So if you do want to change an email address that you’ve been using for a long time, I suggest one of the following:
As you would have guessed, I do not recommend deleting an email account which you’ve been operating for a decent bit of time. Why? Because its time consuming. Firstly, all the people whom you know will have to be informed of the change; secondly, you’ll lose all the information including email messages and contacts data; and thirdly, you may face horrendous problems if you’ve used that email address as the username or as the primary contact address at other services. The last point, especially, should not be taken lightly.
Any ISP worth its salt will give an email address with the internet connection. This free email account is part of the packaged deal that you bought from the ISP. The problem with most ISP email accounts is that if you ever want to change the address, you would need to change your internet username too… and this is not that straightforward. Anyway, call up your the providers support and ask them if it is possible.
A word of caution: If you are changing ISPs and had been regularly using the email account provided by the earlier company, I suggest you download all the email messages and store them on your computer using an email client such as Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, Zimbra, Thunderbird etc. Once you remove the internet connection from an ISP, your email account will also be deleted – depends on company policies, however.
Conclusion: To change a new email address, simply create a new one and delete or ignore the previous account. Nothing stops you from create a second email address from services like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail etc. Also, you can maintain two or more email accounts. Thus, to reiterate, if you’ve been using an email account for a long time, I would not advice deleting it but forwarding messages from it to the new email address.
Mike Lazaridis, the founder of BlackBerry, is of Greek origin. He was born in Turkey and moved to Canada with his parents when he was 5 years old. [more...]