How to Change Your Gmail Address – Everything You Need to Know

There are a number of scenarios in which you might need to change your Gmail address: you’ve switched jobs, gotten married and changed your name, or perhaps the email address you set up back in 2003 looks a bit tired all of a sudden.

Whatever the reason, here’s how to change your Gmail address and make sure you don’t lose any important data along the way.

Creating a New Gmail Address

Within Google, it’s not possible to change your email address – therefore you need to create a new one.

To create a new email address, you need to set up a new Gmail account:

Step 1. Go to the Google Account creation page.

Step 2. Enter your first and last name and choose your new username. This will be your new email address.

Step 3.  Choose and confirm a Gmail password.

Step 4. Click Next.

Step 5. Select a phone number and recovery email address, and enter your date of birth and gender.

Step 6. Agree to the Google Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and click Create Account.

Setting Up Email Forwarding in Gmail

Once you’ve created your new email account, you may want to still continue receiving emails that are sent to your old email address. To do that, you’ll need to forward those emails to your new account.

To set up email forwarding follow these steps:

1. Go to Gmail, and sign in using your previous Google ID (i.e. the email account you want to forward messages from).

2. In the top right, click on the cog, and then Settings.

3. Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.

4. In the Forwarding section, click on Add a forwarding address.

5. Enter the email address to which you want to forward messages (i.e. the new address you’ve just set up).

6. Click Next > Proceed > OK.

7. You’ll then be sent a verification to that new address, so click on the verification link within the email.

8. Return to the Settings page in your old account, refresh your browser, and navigate to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.

9. In the Forwarding section, select Forward a copy of incoming mail to.

10. It’s recommended that you choose to keep a Gmail copy in the inbox.

11. Click Save Changes.

To reverse this and cancel forwarding, go back into Settings, and in the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, click Disable forwarding.

Changing Your “Send Email As” Name

You have the option to change the name that shows up in someone’s inbox when you send them an email. For example, let’s say you currently show as “John” in your recipients’ inbox, but you’d prefer your full name of “John Smith” to appear instead.

1. Go to Gmail.

2. In the top right, click on the cog and then Settings.

3. Click on the Accounts and Import tab.

4. In the Send email as section, click on Edit info. 

5. Add the new name you want to show up when you send messages.

6. Click Save changes at the bottom.

Additional Reading: How to Change Gmail Account

Removing or Adding ‘dots’ in Your Email Address

As mentioned above, you usually have to create a new Gmail account in order to set up a new email address. There’s one exception, and that’s if you want to tweak your email address slightly to remove the dots, if you have them.

If your email address is john.smith@gmail.com, but you want it to be johnsmith@gmail.com, you don’t need to do anything. Google understands them as the same address, so you can just start using the email address you prefer and your emails will reach your inbox.

Adding another login email to your account

1. Log in to your Gmail account.

2. Click on your profile picture in the top right, and click on Google Account. 

3. In the Personal Info tab, click on the arrow next to Email.

4. Click Advanced.

5. In the Alternative Emails section, click Add Alternative Email.

6. You then need to enter your password to confirm it’s you making changes.

7. Enter your alternative email and click Add.

8. Return to your inbox, where you’ll receive a verification email with the new changes. Click on the link to confirm the change.

How to Change your Recovery Email in Gmail

Your recovery email is the email address you would use to access your account should you get locked out; for example, if you forgot both your username and password, you’d need to use your recovery email address.

To change it:

1. Log in to your Gmail account.

2. Click on your profile picture in the top right, and click on Google Account.

3. In the Personal Info tab, click on the arrow next to Email.

4. Click Recovery email, and then enter your password to confirm it’s you.

5. Enter the new email address you’d like to use as your recovery email.

What You Need To Do Once You’ve Changed Your Gmail Address

1. Update Your Email Address on All Your Accounts

The annoying part of changing your email address is updating the information on all of your online accounts. First of all, you have to remember the accounts you’ve signed up for using your previous email address, and secondly, you need to log in and update your details.

This step is infinitely easier if you’ve used a password manager, which holds all your login details in a central account. If you have a password manager, then set aside some time to go through all your online accounts and update your email address.

If you haven’t been using a password manager, then open up a spreadsheet and list out all your online accounts – your social media, online banking, shopping sites, blog subscriptions, and so on. One way to remember them is to perform a search in your email account using keywords such as “unsubscribe,” “thank you for registering,” or “welcome to,” and you’ll be able to locate emails from some of the accounts you’ve registered with.

2. Tell Your Friends and Family

This step is often overlooked, but it’s important that you let your friends and family know that you’ve changed your email address so that they can update their address books.

The best way to do this is to email them directly using your new email address. Depending on the number of contacts, you could email everyone individually, send a blanket email to everyone, or set up smaller lists – say, one for your family, one for your friends, one for your work colleagues, etc. Be careful to BCC everyone on your lists so you don’t end up sharing email addresses of those who’d rather stay anonymous.

Once you’ve broken the news, it’s time to set an autoresponder on your old email address, redirecting your contacts to your new address. Eventually, you’ll find that fewer and fewer people will be contacting your old address and it’ll gradually cease activity.

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