Impact of changing a user's email address

This article describes the effects and consideration of changing a user's primary email address in various Google services. When an account is renamed, this change is reflected across G Suite.

If a user instead needs an additional email address, create an email alias for the user instead of changing their username and primary email address. You can't change a user's name to an already existing name or email alias.

Options for user name changes

Considerations for users changing their name, email address, or identity:  People might send messages to or share files with the old name or address. Also, after you update a user’s identity, the old name and address remains visible in previous emails and contacts. Some options for transitioning to a new user name or address: 
  • Temporarily keep the old address as an alias. When people send a message, they see the the user's new name but also both the new and old address to choose from. The user can set up a filter in Gmail to tag messages sent to their old address, and set up an autoreply notifying people of their new name/address if needed. 

  • Change the user's name and address, and then delete the old address. You can create a temporary user account for the old address that forwards messages to the user’s new address. Allow user to manage messages sent to old address and respond as need.

  • Delete the old address. Messages and invitations will bounce back to the sender with the alert that the user doesn’t exist.  

Username changes and apps 


  • When you change a user's primary email address, G Suite retains the old address as an email alias for the user, to ensure continuous mail delivery. If you want to re-use the old address, you first need to delete the email alias. Messages the user sends to their old address do not appear in the Inbox.
  • Users retain access to all mail received under the previous name.
  • Users need to create new Gmail signatures for their new primary email address.
  • Users don't receive any returned read receipts for messages sent from the old address.
  • Users need to update their Gmail filters to use the new primary email address.
It can take up to 24 hours for email alias changes (such as removal of an old alias, or addition of a new alias) to be reflected throughout the system.


  • Events created before the user or group rename show the old address, while events created after the rename display the new address.


 When you change a user’s name and/or email address, here’s how the Contact updates appear to other people in your G Suite account. 

Contacts menu

Contacts (Contains personal contacts and contacts added from your organization's directory)

Must be updated manually.  Shows the user's old name and email address. The  not be updated on Personal Contacts automatically. It has to be added “manually”, the old Name/Email address will have to be manually removed from Personal Contacts.

Directory: Automatically updated. Shows user's new name, new address, and old email address (if you leave as an alias).

In Other contacts (autocomplete)
When a person emails a user for the first time or shares a document, the user’s name and address are automatically saved in the person’s Other contacts. After that, when the person enters the user's name, their address is autocompleted. 

If you change a user's name and address and keep their old address as an alias: The user's new address autocompletes immediately and their new name might take 2 to 3 days before autocompleting.

If you remove the old address (instead of making it an alias), then the user’s old name and old address will also autocomplete.



  • Documents owned by the user become owned by the new username.
  • Documents shared with the user automatically change to use the new username and email address.
  • The user's permissions on shared documents remain the same. 

Google Chat & classic Hangouts

Google Chat: Changing the primary username will affect chat history searches in Gmail. If you change the primary username, Gmail chat history search will not find the old chat history in searches for the new username.

Note: Old data won't be deleted but when searching with new email address, old chats won't appear.

Other users previously associated with the renamed user automatically see the new username in their chat lists and are able to chat with the renamed user. These other users will no longer see the old username but can still find it via autocomplete. If they invite the older name to chat, it is added to their list but without an icon. No new chat conversations with this name are allowed.

Classic Hangouts: Users may see old email addresses in autocomplete when using classic Hangouts. However, they won't be able to start new conversations with the old email addresses.

Mobile devices, sync tools, and IMAP connections

The effects depend upon the behavior of the client. If the client lets you update the login for the account, your access to G Suite should continue. If the client doesn't let you change your login, you'll need to delete the old account and add a new one with the new name.

For Android devices with a work profile–The user’s work profile and managed apps are removed. The user must create a new work profile with their new username and reinstall the managed apps. See “Set up an existing device” in Set up an Android device with a G Suite or Cloud Identity account.

G Suite Sync for Microsoft® Outlook®–If you change a user's username, the user must create a new profile. See Create or replace your profile.


  • Teacher and Administrator class ownerships remain the same after a name change, with the new name replacing the old name anywhere it was previously displayed. All documents are owned by the new username, but past documents with a username in the title are not changed to include the new username.

  • Student class memberships remain the same after a name change. All documents are owned by the new username, but past assignments with a username in the document title are not changed to include the new username.

G Suite Marketplace and App Engine apps

The user must reinstall any G Suite Marketplace or App Engine apps that use OAuth or OpenID to continue using them after a username change. If an app saves data based on the domain name or the user's email address, that data is lost after the change.

Google Play Developer account

If a Google Play Developer account is associated with a user account name you want to change to use a new domain, note that the Developer account will be orphaned after making the change. To maintain access to the apps in the previous Google Play Developer account, you need to create a new Google Play Developer account using your new user account name and request an applications transfer for apps in the previous account.

Google Voice

Any Google Voice number associated with the old username is removed, along with its voice history. If necessary, transfer the Google Voice number to another user before renaming the user account.


Any searches or retention policies that are based on filters of the form "from:user@old_domain" or "to:user@old_domain" need to be recreated.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue