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Moving Your Virtual Address

The two biggest reasons to keep the email address you currently have are:

  • It’s working just fine for you
  • You don’t want to go through the hassle of changing it

If you don’t need to change your email address, don’t. If you feel you want to or need to change your email address, you may find it is not as difficult as you think.

The hesitation is the same for everyone: how do I notify all of my family, friends, organizations, stores, banks, clubs, etc., that I have a new email address, and will my contacts transfer?

If you move to a new house, the post office at your current location forwards your mail. On the internet, it is the “post office” at your new email address that will help make your transition. This is a very effective feature.

Here is one way it can work:

  • Create a new email address with your new provider.
  • Authorize the new provider to accept all the mail that is sent to your old address. This is usually done in the “settings” area of the new provider’s site. (If you are creating a new email address to use in addition to your current address, do not set the forwarding option.)
  • Begin to send out email from your new email address. When your recipients respond by clicking “reply,” they will be sending the response to your new email.
  • Update any account in which you use your old email address as your “user name.”
  • Send a group email to your friends, relatives, and colleagues, informing them that you have a new address. (Don’t forget to address the email to yourself and “blind copy” all of your recipients).
  • Add a “signature” to your outgoing emails that says something like “Please note new email address.”

If you use Apple Mail, Microsoft Outlook, or Windows Live Mail to get your email, you must enter your new email account information into these programs to be able to get your new email the way you got your old email. If you currently get to your email by going to the website of the email provider, you will need to log into the site of your new provider to get your new mail. The look of your new email provider’s site will be unfamiliar at first, but most of your features are there.

Will contact addresses transfer?

The answer depends on where your contacts are stored, and which email providers are involved. If your address list does not seamlessly appear in your new account, you may need to export the list from your old account and import it into your new account. In some cases, you will need a third-party program to make the conversion for you. Any of these options is preferable to re-typing all of your contact information.

Like moving your residence, changing your email address, if necessary, can be a hassle, but it’s worth it. It’s also a good excuse to clean out your closets, I mean contact lists….