How to Change Your Email Address without Screwing Everything Up

When you move in the real world, you usually go to the post office and fill out a change of address form and they do everything for you. But when you change your email address – whether it’s for work, getting out of an obsolete service or anything – things become surprisingly complicated. Here is how to make the transition without screwing anything up.

Choose an email that stays in time
First, let’s ensure you migrate your email address to one that you will actually use. We discussed how to actually test your email address before and we also talked about what people think about you and your email address. What is best for you really depends on what your email needs.

In an ideal world, the best option is your own domain and email address with your name. Something like yourname@yourname.com has much more staying power than yourname@compuserve.com. This way, you will not have to deal with an email provider so you do not have to worry about ever changing your new email address. If that sounds horrible, do not worry, one of five domain registrations is worth it, and the process is not as complicated as it sounds. Also, if you are a fan of Google, you can get it from Google Apps (like Gmail) in your own domain quite easily. The advantage is that if Google Apps becomes obsolete (or if you just want to stop using them), simply deactivate your account and move to another location.

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However, if you do not want to spend money on a domain, we recommend you go with a leading provider like Gmail or Outlook.com (they were compared before and both are great in their own right). Basically, you want to avoid the email address you receive from your school, the email address your ISP gives you, or your company’s email address. Work and school emails are fine, but they will not last forever, and you need something you can always get back to.

As for your actual email address, they make it easier to remember and also “big” as possible. This means avoiding embarrassing names like “thorinsparkles2000@gmail.com” or “zeldafan1969@outlook.com” if you can. Instead, stick to your name wherever possible. If this is not possible, add your name to something that will not be embarrassing or give you something too personal. That is, avoid adding your year of birth, your political affiliation or your favorite sports team.

Migrate your old mailbox to the new one
In many cases, you can easily migrate your old email and contacts to your new email address. We can not cover how to do this with every single webmail and domain provider, but here is how to migrate to a new account with Gmail and Outlook. It should be quite similar to other services.

Migrate your mail to Gmail

Once you have set up your new Gmail account, you can easily import email and contacts into this account with Google Getting messages:

Log in to your Gmail account and click on the gear icon, then select “Settings”
Open the “Accounts” tab
In the “Check mail from other accounts section”, select the “Add a POP3 mail account is the owner”
Enter your previous email address and select “Next Step” and enter your password
Select the desired options (label incoming messages, archive old messages, etc.)
Click on “Add account”