Okay, let’s run through some hypothetical scenarios.
You’re on the run from the law and you need to act fast to operate more discreetly.
Your film career is finally taking off and your existing name just isn’t cool enough.
You’re still using the same “hotguy69” email address from high school, and you’ve realized it’s time to grow up.
You’re just in the mood for a change.
In all of these cases, you’ll want to change the name or email address associated with your Gmail account—or both!
But how do you do it?
You’ll be glad to know that changing your name with Gmail is a lot easier than changing it with the Social Security Administration.
Read on to learn how to change your name and email address in Gmail.
Understanding Your Email Name and Email Address
Alright, before I get into the “guide” part of this guide, I have to clarify a few things.
Don’t roll your eyes. This is legit confusing.
Your email name, your account name, and your email address are all different things, and you may be able to change some without changing the others, and you may change one that does affect the others.
That’s a clunky and ambiguous sentence, so here’s the rundown:
- Google account name is the name associated with your G Suite or Google account. It may or may not be equivalent to your email name, depending on how you set it up. Changing it will automatically change your email account name.
- Email account name (“email name”) is the name used in your email account. It’s the name people see when they receive emails from you. You can change it without changing your Google account name.
- Email address. This is your literal email address. Hopefully, that’s straightforward enough. You can change either or both of your names without changing it—and you may not be able to change it at all. More on that later.
How to Change Your Name in Gmail
First, some bad news. You can’t change your email name in the Gmail mobile app—it’s something you have to do from your browser.
But don’t worry. It’s easy.
Follow these steps:
- Log into Gmail. Easy start.
- Enter the Settings menu. Click the gear icon and click “See all settings.”
- Head to Accounts and Import (or Accounts). What you’ll see will depend on the type of account you hold.
- Find “Send mail as” and click edit info. It’s on the right.
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- Enter your new name and click Save Changes. You’re pretty much all set!
How to Change Your Google Account Name
If you want to change your name across your entire Google account, you’ll need to follow a slightly different set of steps. This will update your email name in Gmail automatically.
- Log into Google. First, log into your Google Account.
- Click Personal Info. It’s on the left-hand side.
- Under the Profile area, click on your name. Don’t be afraid of it.
- Click the edit button. Almost there…
- Change your name and click DONE. You’ve done it! I’m proud of you.
How to Change Your Email Address in Gmail
Okay, I have some bad news for this section too. Not everyone is able to change their email address in Gmail.
For starters, if your email ID ends in gmail.com, you probably won’t be able to change it. It’s allowed for some users, but not for others.
What’s the secret behind this? Why is Google so difficult about such a seemingly small change in your account?
I don’t have the answers, unfortunately.
However, I do have a step-by-step process you can use to try and change your email address in Gmail.
- Log into Google. First, log into your Google Account.
- Click Personal Info. It’s on the left-hand side. Sound familiar?
- Under the Contact info section, click EMAIL. Here comes the hard part.
- Try to open the “Google Account email” setting. If you can’t, you might as well give up. If you can open it, you can select “edit” and move to the next step.
- Change your email address with the on-screen instructions. If you can access this feature, follow the on-screen steps to change your email address.
So what if you can’t edit it?
Well, all hope is not lost. There’s one other option you can use to change your Gmail email address, but it’s a bit time consuming. In fact, you might already know what it is.
You’ll have to create a new Gmail account and import everything over. Or start from scratch.
Importing is pretty simple:
- Login to your new Gmail account.
- Click on Accounts and Import/Accounts.
- Click “Import mail and contacts” under the “Import mail and contacts” section. Maybe redundant, but who am I to judge?
- Follow the prompts. You’ll be asked to log into your older Gmail account, and will be given the option to import things like contacts and old emails. You’ll also be able to forward all mail you receive from your old account to your new one for the next 30 days. After that, you’ll need to update your email address to ensure you continue receiving mail.
Starting a new account and importing your old stuff is a bit of a pain, but it might be worth it if you have a new email address in mind. And Gmail has an option for almost everything you’d want to do.
Gmail’s great, isn’t it?
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Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.