Change your email ad­dress

Up­date that clunky old email ad­dress you’ve been lum­bered with for years, with­out los­ing your lo­gins… or friends

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Things age fast on­line. The browser and search en­gine you drooled over a decade or two ago look rather dated now. But at least they up­date them­selves, un­like the flea-bit­ten old email ad­dress that’s been fol­low­ing you around since 1998.

Few of us had the fore­sight to fu­ture­proof our email ad­dresses and user­names back then. So here we are in 2018, stuck with mill­stone monikers that rep­re­sent us (of­ten badly) in all we do on­line. It’s like hav­ing an em­bar­rass­ing ex in tow, in­sist­ing on introducing you when­ever you walk into a room.

Well, you’re not stuck with it. You can cre­ate a new and im­proved email ad­dress in five min­utes, then take your time clos­ing the old one. Here’s how.

Get a new Out­ ad­dress - with­out cre­at­ing a new ac­count

Want­ing a new email ad­dress doesn’t mean you want to switch providers or cre­ate a new ac­count. It just means you want a dif­fer­ent set of let­ters in front of your ‘@’. Mi­crosoft, for all its faults, un­der­stands that. So it of­fers a smart and easy so­lu­tion: cre­ate a new email ad­dress (‘alias’), but keep the same Mi­crosoft ac­count and Out­ in­box.

You can cre­ate as many as 10 aliases ev­ery year, and they can in­clude ex­ter­nal email ad­dresses (Gmail, Ya­hoo, ISP de­fault email ad­dress, and so on). Mes­sages sent to any of them will ar­rive in the same Out­ in­box.

It’s very quick. Sign in at https:// ac­count.mi­, click ‘Your info’, then ‘Man­age your sign-in email or phone num­ber’. If you’ve set up two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion, you’ll need to con­firm it’s you. Click ‘Add email’ on the page that opens, en­ter the first part of your new email ad­dress (the sec­ond part is au­to­mat­i­cally @out­, then click ‘Add alias’.

To add an ex­ter­nal email ad­dress as an alias, click ‘Add an ex­ist­ing…’ on the ‘Add an alias’ page, en­ter the ad­dress (see screen­shot left), click ‘Add alias’, Ver­ify, and then ‘Send email’. Once you’ve ver­i­fied the ad­dress, you won’t need to use the ex­ter­nal email ser­vice again – all your mes­sages will come to Out­

Re­tire your old email ad­dress the smart way

Mi­crosoft lets you set any of your aliases as the de­fault (‘pri­mary’). Just click ‘Make pri­mary’ next to it on the ‘Man­age how you sign in’ page (see screen­shot be­low). This sets it as the ad­dress that ap­pears on your sent emails, and when you sign into

Win­dows 10.

You can now delete the old one if you want, or all of them, by click­ing Re­move (see screen­shot be­low left). But the smart op­tion is to hang on to them. Use your new pri­mary alias as your new on­line iden­tity, and let the old ones qui­etly get on with the job of re­ceiv­ing news­let­ters and log­ging you into ac­counts. They’ll fade into ob­scu­rity as you grad­u­ally change the on­line ser­vices you use.

Switch to a new Gmail ad­dress

Gmail doesn’t let you cre­ate mul­ti­ple email ad­dresses un­der one ac­count, but it does let you hack one email ad­dress into mul­ti­ple aliases (see box left). It also lets you cre­ate mul­ti­ple ac­counts, each with a dif­fer­ent email ad­dress – and then set up au­to­matic for­ward­ing so they all land in one in­box.

To cre­ate a new ac­count, click your pro­file photo at the top right of your Google page, click ‘Add ac­count’, then ‘Cre­ate ac­count’. En­ter a new email ad­dress, plus your name and a pass­word, then click Next. You’re then asked for your phone num­ber and a re­cov­ery email (op­tional) and birth­day and gen­der (not op­tional, but we won’t tell Google if you fancy be­ing cre­ative). Click Next, then More Op­tions be­low the T&CS to switch off per­son­alised ads and other ir­ri­ta­tions. Fi­nally, tick ‘I agree…’, then click Cre­ate Ac­count.

To put your new ad­dress front and cen­tre, set it as your ‘Send mail as’ ad­dress for all your email ac­counts. Go to Gmail Set­tings, ‘Ac­count and Im­port’, then click ‘Add an­other email ad­dress’ next to ‘Send mail as’ (see screen­shot above). En­ter your new ad­dress in the yel­low box, ver­ify it, then click ‘make de­fault’. All your emails will ap­pear to orig­i­nate from it. It’s much the best way to get peo­ple fa­mil­iar with your new ad­dress.

For an even more stream­lined tran­si­tion, set up au­to­matic for­ward­ing. Go to Set­tings in the old Gmail ac­count, click ‘For­ward­ing and POP/IMAP’, ‘Add a for­ward­ing ad­dress’, then en­ter your new ad­dress. Click Next, Pro­ceed, OK.

Clean out your old emails be­fore hack­ers do

Keep­ing old email ad­dresses makes life easy, but could make you vul­ner­a­ble to hack­ing - es­pe­cially if you re-use pass­words – so it’s a good idea to clear out ad­dresses you no longer use.

To un-link email ad­dresses from your Mi­crosoft ac­count, click Re­move on the ‘Man­age how you sign in’ page. To lock down old lo­gins and Skype names, click ‘Change sign-in pref­er­ences’. In Gmail, go to Set­tings, ‘Ac­counts and Im­port’, then click ‘delete’ next to any ad­dress to un-link it from your ac­count.

If you want to shut down an email ac­count, back up your ar­chive first (un­less you’re happy to see it dis­ap­pear). It’s es­pe­cially easy to do this in Gmail. Go to https://my­ac­ then click ‘Con­trol your con­tent’, Cre­ate Ar­chive, then Se­lect None. Scroll down and click the Mail slider (see screen­shot left), or click the tiny ar­row to se­lect cer­tain la­bels only, then click Next. Change the ‘De­liv­ery method’ if you want (de­fault is email, but you may pre­fer Google Drive, Drop­box or else­where), then click Cre­ate Ar­chive.

Don’t for­get to change your on­line lo­gins. Use a pass­word man­ager such as Last­pass ( www.last­ to check which email ad­dresses you use for which ac­counts, and up­date them eas­ily and se­curely from a sin­gle dash­board.

Set one email ad­dress to be your pri­mary on­line iden­tity - and re­move those you don’t use

Cre­ate mul­ti­ple Out­ email ad­dresses - or add a new ad­dress to the same in­box

Set your new email ad­dress as your de­fault ‘Send as’ ad­dress in Gmail

Google lets you save your emails be­fore delet­ing a Gmail ac­count

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