It is rare for anyone to be happy with the first email address that they made. When we make our first email address we usually do not realize how much of a role it will play in our lives. This is also a major problem faced by people who are about to leave school. When kids are in school they create email addresses that often include crude language or immature jokes. Sometimes the email address has drug references, or is just a poorly thought out phrase. You can’t change Gmail addresses as easily as you can make them.
All this happens because, well, they are kids and they aren’t intelligent enough to realize what they are doing is wrong. That is how someone ends up with an email address like D4rk5mokepunch3r420.
These people then start facing problems once they leave school. They have to use the same email address to apply to colleges. It is even worse for kids who don’t plan to go to college and instead want to start looking for a job.
Imagine sending your resume to a company when your email address includes drug references. You will be surprised to know how many people actually make this mistake and get rejected from jobs because of it. Then, realizing that their old email addresses aren’t going to be useful anymore, people end up making another email address. However things are still a mess. All your friends and family still have the old email address so you cannot abandon it. You also used the previous email address to make accounts on many different websites, which makes it even harder to abandon it. Then there’s the fact that you now have to manage and check two different inboxes.
So, what is the solution? Here’s how you can effectively change your email address.
How to Change Gmail Addresses
In order to understand how you can effectively change Gmail addresses, you first need to understand how email addresses work. The part that comes after the @ is the domain, and the part that comes before is your username. So when an email is sent to firstname.lastname@example.org from any email service in the world, the email is sent to gmail.com, and then gmail.com makes sure that the email reaches the user example that is registered with it. Your email address is your address.
This is why you cannot just change a Gmail address – the same way you cannot change an address. Imagine living on house number 321 and changing its name to house number 123. Any mail that is sent to you will not reach you, because the mailman will be looking for house 321, and will just ignore house 123 as it isn’t the address the mailman has for the mail. The same is true for email. You cannot change an email address because an email address itself is what identifies you.
However, at the same time, you can effectively change your email address. What do we mean by effectively? Well, let’s look at what you are trying to achieve.
You want people to be able to send email to you, but you don’t want to give them the email address you have a problem with, you want emails sent to a new email address to still reach your old inbox. While you may not be able to change Gmail addresses, your original goal is still perfectly achievable without much trouble. Here is the process to do it.
Create a new email account
There are many different solutions which we can employ to change a Gmail address, and all of them will require you to create another account at first. We know that creating a new Gmail account sounds a bit ridiculous – what is the point of changing an email account if you are just making a new one? – but it will make perfect sense once you see the solutions we have in store for you.
Create a new account with Gmail and make sure you choose the right email address this time around. This is the email address which you will be giving to people from now on.
Once you have made a new account, we are ready to move to the next step.
The next step is to allow people to send you emails using the new address you just made, while at the same time making sure that the people who have your old email address stay connected to you. There are two main solutions to this problem. Once is to use this new email address purely as a forwarding email address, and the other is to use multiple inboxes found in Gmail labs.
Forwarding Email Address
You can set it up so the new email address ends up forwarding all the email that reaches it to your old email address. This will effectively solve all of your problems. You will be able to use your email address the way you have always used it. At the same time, you can give out your new email address to people, and when they send an email to that address, it will end up in your original email address. You don’t need any extra software or any hacking to do this – the option to forward messages is available right in Gmail.
Login to the new account and go to settings. On the settings page you will see a tab titled ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP”. Click on it and you will be given the option to forward email automatically.
You simply have to enter the email address and then receive an email confirmation on the address you entered to enable automatic forwarding. From now on all email that comes to this email address will now be forwarded to your email address.
Managing through filters
One problem is that your main inbox will now be disorganized, since it will contain emails from two separate inboxes. There is a really easy solution to this as well. You can use Gmail’s filters option to make your life easy. Setting up filters is very easy. Open the settings page by clicking on the gear icon on the upper right side of your screen. Here you will see an option called Filters and Blocked Addresses. Open this page and you will see an option to ‘Add a Filter’ on the bottom of the page. Click on this and a dialog box opens, asking you to create a filter.
These are the basic parameters on which you can create filters for your Google Mail. Note that by default there is a search button on the dialog box instead of a create filter button; this is because Google wants you to test the filter out and make sure it works before you apply it.
Now all you have to do is create the right filter.
In the above dialog box, add your other email address (the new one), and click the “Create filter with this search” button. When it asks you what to do with the email, tell Gmail to move it to a specific folder and to skip the inbox. This way your inbox will not be clogged with emails on the new email address, and all the emails that come from the new email address will be neatly organized in one folder.
Use Multiple Inboxes
One of the most interesting parts of Gmail is Labs. Go to the settings page in your Gmail inbox and you will see Labs as one of the tabs.
Labs is the section of Gmail where Google puts in experimental features for users to check out. Don’t worry – you aren’t using any instable features. Many of the features in Labs have been there for years and they work flawlessly. Open the Labs page and you will see an option for multiple inboxes. Enable it to start using it.
Multiple inboxes is a fantastic feature which allows you to control multiple email inboxes in one Gmail account. Thus you can add the new email address that you just created as another inbox within your inbox. The best part about this is that you don’t have to do anything once you have set this up. The forwarding trick we use above is a bit simpler but it is a workaround, not a proper solution. Using multiple inboxes you can simply check all your email from the new address in your old inbox. You can give people your new email address and it will reach you at your old address – which means you have effectively changed your Gmail address.
Changing Google Related Email Address
Here’s the deal – if you created your email address on Gmail, there is now way for you to really change your email address. However there are certain people who are using Google services that may be able to change their email addresses. If your school or your company uses Google services to provide you an email inbox – basically a Gmail inbox but with an email address on the domain of your company or school, then you may indeed be able to change your Gmail address. If this applies to you then you simply have to talk to your IT administrator, or whoever is responsible in your organization for setting up email addresses. They will be able to make the changes that you need.
Why creating a new email is a bad idea
You may be tempted to simply abandon your old email address and create a new one. This is not a good idea for several reasons.
Your old email address is on all your services
The biggest problem that you will keep running into is that you will have to update each and every service you signed up for and tell them that you changed your email address. So you will have to make changes to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Netflix – pretty much every account you have. If you have given your old email address to your bank then you will have to go to the bank and have your email address changed their as well. It is much better to just have two active email addresses at this point. If you use the techniques we told you then you won’t even have to bother with checking two different email inboxes.
You will be out of touch
There are many people who will have your old email address only, and they may be sending emails to your older email address without knowing that you changed your Gmail address. You don’t want to miss out on any important emails, do you? Maybe an old friend from the school days sent you a heartfelt email full of nostalgia on your original email address and you never got it because you are using a different email address now.
You will have to change the account on your Android device
The biggest problem when it comes to changing a Gmail address is for people who use Android phones. When you use Android, you login to it using your Gmail address. Everything is tied to your Gmail address. Your contacts are stored on the Gmail account, your photos are backed up on that account, your messages are also backed up on that account. If you change the account on your phone you will lose touch with all your old backups.
Your phone will think that a new person is using the phone and will act accordingly. That is why it is much better to use the forwarding method or the multiple inbox method instead of ditching your old email account completely.
As long as you follow the steps given above, you shouldn’t face any problems managing two different email accounts anymore.
You will no longer have to be embarrassed giving out the Gmail address you made while you were in school – you can be as professional as needed when looking for a job with your new email address. Just make sure your new email address doesn’t have the same problem as the old one and you are good to go.
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