Changing Email Addresses

When it is time to change your email address, there is a lot to consider. You'll need to notify people you correspond with, but also update a lot of online accounts that use that email address as an ID. The key is to continue to monitor your old email address for a while to make sure the transition is smooth.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Changing Email Addresses.

Hi, this is Gary with On this episode I'm going to talk about changing your email address. I get a lot of questions from people that say they're about to change their email address. What do they need to think about before doing so. Let's take a look at the process of changing from one email address to the other.

So if it's time to switch email address here's how to do it in the most painless way. The first thing you want to do is create your new email account. So say you're switching from an ISP email address which is a bad idea to use your cable or telephone provider's email service. But you're switching to something better like iCloud or gmail. So you create that new account. Make sure it is working. You have it all set up and you like it.

Now, important, don't delete your old one. There is no reason to. You can keep using it. As a matter of fact it's going to be important to keep using it for a little while to make sure everything gets switched over.

If you haven't had more than one email account before you may not know this but you can set up multiple email accounts on any Apple device. So, for instance, on your Mac you can have both your old email address and your new email address coming into your Mac Mail app and they'll both actually have the new email appear in the Inbox. There's no problem.

What I do is I would have my old email account only come into, say, my desktop Mac and have all my other devices like my iPad and my iPhone just get email from my new email address. The one I'm moving forward with. That way I'm not bothered with dealing with stuff coming into my old email account while I'm on the go. Only when I'm sitting at my desk.

Next you want to start the change. So you want to think of the obvious people, the people you've actually emailed with on a daily or weekly basis. Let them know. Send them an email and tell them you have a new email address and what it is. Make sure you send that from your new email address. As a matter of fact you should probably never send anything from your old email address unless you need to do that to confirm something while changing an account. So get these obvious people onto your new email account. So you're on your way.

After that you want to think about online accounts because, of course, email addresses aren't just email addresses anymore. They are ID's for all these important accounts. So think of all the most important accounts. The ones that obviously come to mind like the ones listed here and start to go through those websites and update them in Settings, in the Profile. It is different for every website where you can go and update your email address. If you can't find it then look at the support section, look at the Help section, even search Goggle for the name of the service and how to change my ID or something like that. Get the important ones out of the way.

Now to go beyond the important ones you may want to consult your Password Manager like if you use One Password or LastPass or if you don't use any of those look in Keychain access or even easier just the Preferences section in Safari under Passwords and just see what's listed there just to trigger your memory as to what other accounts you use. Now there's going to be a lot on the list so don't be overwhelmed. The first time you go through it just look for the major ones, the ones that are really important to you and change those. Then come back later and maybe the next day or the next week and look at the minor ones and go and change those.

You never have to get it exactly right because how we're going to deal with things that we missed later on.

So Newsletter subscriptions are a little different because a lot times you don't have an account that you can log onto. For instance with the MacMost newsletter you would go to the bottom of the last one that you've got and there you would see an Unsubscribe link. Sometimes newsletters have a little change my email address link but a lot of times it is just an unsubscribe. Unsubscribe and then go back to the website like you were somebody who is newly signing up for the service and subscribe with your new email address. It's as simple as that.

Now, for finishing everything off what you need to do is to monitor your old email account. So you're still getting it, say, on your desktop and you want to go and check that maybe everyday for awhile and then after awhile only every week and then just to monthly and see what comes in there. If you get an email from a friend make sure they know you have a new email address. If you get an email from a service that you use log onto that website and change it. Eventually you'll stop getting email altogether, at least email that is important to you.

Now one tip I've got is don't reply when you get something to your old email address because you're replying from your old email account and you don't want to send an email from there. Instead forward it to your new email account and reply from there. Or reply but then make sure you change which account it's coming from which you can do in Mail on Mac. So just make sure that anytime you are sending an email out it's coming from your new email address instead of your old one. This will avoid confusion say if somebody gets something that says I've got a new email address but it's coming from the old one they may not know which one is new and which one is old. It may not be as obvious to them as it is to you.

So there are two other functions you may see with you old email account and may be tempted to use. One is Forwarding. If you look in your old email account under Settings maybe on the web interface for your ISP there may be a way to simply forward all your email from your old account to your new one.

This is a bad idea for a number of reasons. First of all think about it. If you're getting a lot of spam at your old email account do you want all that spam forwarded to your new one? Probably not. So you don't want to have Forwarding turned on for that reason alone. But also it will mask if an account is using your old email address. So say you are using your cable modem provider's email account as your old one and you have something important, like a bank account, that's using that as an ID. All your email is forwarded so you don't even notice that it's going to the old account. Then you move and you lose that email address. Now you no longer have access to that bank without some difficulty.

So forget about Forwarding. Just continue to monitor that old account until you're not getting anything to that old account except spam.

Likewise Auto Responders the same way. You can set your old email account perhaps to automatically respond to email and tell people I've got a new email address. But do you really want spammers getting those auto responders? Probably not. So it's best just to continue to monitor that rather than having the auto responders set. It's also misleading because a corporation like a company that you have an account with, they may get those auto responders but there's not going to be a human on the other end to actually read it and change your email account for you. You're going to have to do it. So it really doesn't do very much good.

So stop with the Forwarding and Auto Responders and just pay attention to that old email account for awhile until you're sure that everything has been switched over.

Comments: 12 Responses to “Changing Email Addresses”

    Charles Pinneo
    3 years ago

    I have been trying to get rid of my old email address and switch to for about two years. It’s nearly impossible. I wanted to get rid of ***** because Yahoo allows Bulk Email allowing juck email. When you switch you lose all your old friend and vendors. You have to go through hundreds of Contacts to send them a change of email address. Plus many incoming emails are not recorded in your contacts. Switching email address is not easy.

    Cindy Janssens
    3 years ago

    One of my concerns about changing addresses is that I have so many important emails filed in folders on my old account. I use My Mac Mail shows I have 15000 emails….even though I have killed most of them them from my Outlook account. Can I kill them all out on Mac Mail….and will they still be on my Outlook account online? (Does that make sense?)

    3 years ago

    Cindy: Why not just save that email in some other format that you can search through if you need it? You can select them all and drag and drop them to a file to store in your Documents folder. Or, File, Export as PDF.

    3 years ago

    Excellent BUT! Verizon just caused many who used a “” account for their email in Florida, California and Texas to loose their accounts if they didn’t meet a deadline to change. What do those folks do?

    3 years ago

    Shirley: I don’t know the details of that, but if they forced you to change and you didn’t change in time, then I guess you are out of luck. Seems like a bad thing for them to do if true. Did you contact them to see if there is a way to have your email forwarded? If not, then just start a new email address (NOT at your ISP) and move on.

    Cindy Janssens
    3 years ago

    Back to my second question, if I have 15000 emails in my MacMail account for….if I kill all of those, will the Outlook account online be affected? Guess I want to know if those 15000 have been downloaded to my Mac and are taking up hard drive.

    3 years ago

    If Outlook works like regular IMAP email, then deleting them will delete them from your account. So they will be gone everywhere. You’d need to ask Outlook or an Outlook expert for an exact answer. Typically with a service like that whether all 15000 emails are copied to your Mac or not depends on your settings. Either way, they probably don’t take up much space.

    Cindy Janssens
    3 years ago

    I guess my real question is does the MacMail app actually download the emails to my machine and store them there. Guess I better to head to the Genius bar for that answer?

    3 years ago

    Cindy: The answer is “It’s complicated.” With Gmail, you can set specific labels (folders) to behave in specific ways on the Gmail server. You can specify the number of emails to download (last 1000, for instance). I’m not sure what your email provider offers in terms of those settings.
    Thinking practically: If you get an email that has an important attachment then save that attachment to your drive or cloud storage. If an email comes from someone you want to continue to correspond with, then save that contact to your Contacts list. Otherwise, treat your email like any Internet service — it is a hybrid of what you have locally (for speed) and what is on the server (everything).

    3 years ago

    You mentioned that it’s a bad idea to use an email account from your ISP. Can you explain why? Thanks

    Phil Porter
    3 years ago


    How do I put a picture from Picasa in my emails?



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