Alternate usernames

Depending on what Google products you use, you may see one or more usernames other than your primary username at the top of the Google Dashboard. These alternate usernames work with your Google Account in different ways.

Below are some of the usernames you might see on your Dashboard. Click the links to learn more.

    Alternate Email Address

    You may have added an alternate email address to your account by clicking the Edit link next to "Email addresses" on the My Account page. You can use your alternate email address to sign in to you Google Account, and also to recover your password.

    If you've added an alternate email address to your account, you'll see it displayed under your primary username on your My Account page.

    To edit your alternate email address:

    1. Sign in to your account.
    2. Click Edit next to 'Email addresses' on the My Account page.
    3. Under "Add an alternate email address to your account," type in a new email address, or remove unwanted email addresses.
    4. Click Save.

    Nickname

    You may have added a nickname to your account by clicking Edit next to "Email addresses" on the My Account page.

    If you've added a nickname to your account, you'll see it displayed under your primary username on your Dashboard. Keep in mind that nicknames aren't unique, meaning that one nickname can be associated with several Google Accounts. You can't sign in to your Google Account with your nickname.

    To edit your Google Accounts nickname:

    1. Sign in to your account.
    2. Click Edit next to "Email addresses" on the My Account page.
    3. Enter a new nickname, or delete your current nickname if you don't want one at all.
    4. Click Save.

    Picasa Web Albums Name

    Your Picasa Web Albums name is displayed next to your profile photo. The process for creating or changing your name will differ whether or not you've connected your Picasa Web Albums service with Google Profiles.

    Picasa Web Albums without a Google Profile:

    1. Sign in to Picasa Web Albums.
    2. Click the gear icon gear icon at the top of the page and choose Photos settings.
    3. On the General tab, in the "Your Nickname" section, enter the nickname you'd like displayed.
    4. Click Save.

    Picasa Web Albums with a linked Google Profile:

    You'll create or change your display name through Google Profiles. Please follow these steps:

    1. Sign in to Picasa Web Albums.
    2. Click the gear icon gear icon at the top of the page and choose Photos settings.
    3. Click the General tab.
    4. In the 'Your Nickname' section, click the 'Edit your profile' link.
    5. Change your name on Google Profiles, and click Save changes.

    Note: By default, your Picasa Web Albums nickname is your Google profile ID number when you first sign up for the service. You can find your Google profile ID in your profile URL: http://profiles.google.com/[your unique Google profile ID number].

    You can find your Picasa nickname on your Google Dashboard -- keep in mind that you can't sign in with your Picasa nickname.

    Previous username not associated with Gmail

    If you added Gmail to an existing Google Account, and you verified the original email address you used to sign in to your account, that email address will still be displayed on your Google Dashboard. It will appear as another username after you add Gmail to your account.

    If you'd like to delete the original email address from your account, just sign in and click Edit next to "Email addresses." Then click Remove next to the email address you want to remove from your account. If you don't delete it, you'll still be able to sign in with it.

    If you didn't verify the original email address, it will no longer be associated with your account after you add Gmail.

    Previous Gmail username

    If you previously used Gmail but decided to delete it from your Google Account, your old Gmail username will still appear on your Google Dashboard. You can still sign in with this username, but you won't be able to access your inbox. Learn how to reinstate Gmail for your account.

    Google Talk username

    If you're a Google Talk user, your Talk username will also appear on your Google Dashboard. You can sign in with your Google Talk username, but you won't be able to remove this username from your account. If you'd like to add Gmail to your Google Account, your Talk username will be used as your Gmail username.

    Your Google Talk username can't be changed without creating a new Google Account. You can, however, change your alias, which is the display name shown to other users when they add you to their contact list. If you've already been added to your friends' contact list, when you update your alias, your display name won't change for those friends.

    Google Talk alias

    Your Google Talk alias is the display name shown to other users when they add you to their contact list. If you've already been added to your friends' contact list, when you update your alias, your display name won't change for those friends.

    To change your alias:

    1. Sign in to Google Talk.
    2. Click Settings along the top of your Friends list.
    3. Highlight General along the left side of the window, and click Account settings.
    4. Click Edit next to Personal information.
    5. Fill out one or both of the First Name and Last Name fields.
    6. Click Save.

    Google Groups username

    If you join a Google Group, you'll be asked to enter a nickname to use with that group. You can see this nickname under "My profile and stats" if you sign in to Google Groups. Please keep in mind that you can't sign in to your Google Account with this nickname.

    To change your Google Groups nickname, just follow these steps:

    1. Sign in and click the Manage my memberships link at the bottom of the My Groups section on the main Google Groups page.
    2. Enter the nickname you'd like to use for each group you've joined, or designate one nickname for all groups.
    3. Save your changes when you're done.

    Note: Any changes you make to your nickname in Google Groups won't be reflected on the My Account page.

    YouTube username

    If you've linked your YouTube account to an existing Google Account, that username will be displayed on your Google Dashboard. Once you link your YouTube account to an existing Google Account, both will be connected, so you'll need to sign in with your existing Google Account username and your Google Account password. You'll no longer be able to sign in with your YouTube username and password. Learn more.

    Currently, you cannot change your YouTube username—there is simply too much information tied to each account. You may, however, sign up for a new YouTube account with the username that you desire.

If the My Account page is displaying a username that you didn't add to your Google Account, and you believe your account may be compromised, please see our troubleshooting steps.