Impact of changing a username

This article describes the effects of renaming a user (changing a user's primary email address) in various Google Apps. When an account is renamed, this change is reflected across Google Apps.

If a user simply needs an alternative email address, consider creating an email alias for the user instead of changing his or her username and primary email address. You can't change a user's name to an already existing name or email alias.

Mobile devices and IMAP connections

The effects depend upon the behaviour of the client. If the client lets you update the login for the account, your access to Google Apps should remain. If the client doesn't let you change your login, you will need to delete the old account and add a new one with the new name.

For example, to restore access to Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server, follow the steps in Restoring access after renaming a user.


  • When you change a user's primary email address, Google Apps 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 his or her old address do not appear in the Inbox.
  • The user retains access to all mail received under the previous name.
  • The user needs to create a new Gmail signature for the new primary email address.
  • The user doesn't receive any returned read receipts for messages sent from the old address.


Events created before the rename show the old address while new events display the new address.


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.


  • The renamed user's domain profile gains the new username but displays the old username with a custom tag appended to it: Obsolete
  • For other users, the contact entry for the renamed user displays both the new email address and the old one. The old one will be marked with the same custom tag: Obsolete
  • The old email address will still show up in autocomplete results, as it is now an alias of the changed account. Emails sent to the old address will be delivered to the new one.


All documents become owned by the new username.


The user's old address will continue to appear in his or her friend's Google+ circles. If you remove the old address as an email alias, the user will no longer be in those circles.

Google Marketplace and App Engine apps

The user must reinstall any Google Marketplace or App Engine apps. If an app saves data based on the domain name or the user's email address, that data is lost.