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Rename a user

As a Google Apps administrator, you can change a user’s sign-in name and primary email address (often called a username). You can also change their default display name.

Who can change what

User's primary email address (and sign-in name)

A user’s primary email address is also the name they use to sign in to their account. Only an administrator can change a user’s primary address in a Google for Work or Education account. You can change the part of the address that appears before the @ sign. And if you have more than one domain in your account, you can change the part after the @ sign (to one of your other domains).

Users can’t change their own primary email address.

User's display name in services

A user’s display name is the first and last name that appears in mail messages they send, calendar guest lists, and other Google services. The display name also appears in the global contacts Directory.

  • Administrators set default display names. You can define a user’s default display name in the Admin console. This name applies as long as the user doesn’t change their Google+ profile name or Gmail name. The default name appears in the global Directory no matter what the user changes.
  • Users can change their display name via Google+. If a user has a Google+ profile and changes their profile name, the new profile name shows in Google services—not the display name you set in the Admin console. If you don’t want users to change their own display names, you can prevent users from changing their Google+ profile names.
  • Users can change their email display name. A user can change their own Gmail display name. This name only appears in mail messages they send. Names users change in Gmail don’t appear in Google+ profiles or other Google services.

Change a user's primary address or display name

Before you start: Ask the user to sign out of their Google for Work or Education account.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Users.
  3. In the user list, next to the user you want to rename, click more Settings > Rename user.

    Or from the top-right of the user's account page, click more Settings >  Rename user.

  4. Change either of these names:
    • First name and Last name: Changes the user's default display name.
    • Primary email address: Changes the user's sign-in name and primary email address (if your organization uses Gmail). If your Google account has multiple domains, you can select another domain name from the list.
      Changing someone's primary email address changes the name they use to sign in to their Google Account. It also changes their primary email address. It can have other significant effects, too. Before continuing, see Impact of changing a username.
  5. Click Rename User.

It can take up to 10 minutes for a new primary email address to take full effect. It can take 24 hours if you change the user’s domain name. And it can take up to 3 days before the user can use Google Talk. For details, see Impact of changing a username.

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