Saturday, October 11, 2014

How to change your Gmail username

How to change your Gmail username
Not pretty, but pretty effective
Apparently, I was pretty fickle as a teenager. 

As it befits every proper netizen, I at one point in my innocent years registered matteovanmol@gmail.com. I later ended up deleting that account, mostly because I hardly ever used it. 

For some reason unbeknownst to me, even though I suspect some gentle nudging by Google had something to do with it, I registered matteo.vanmol@gmail.com (keep in mind that you are unable to reuse your Gmail username once you deleted it), only to delete that account as well for no apparent reason.

So yeah, knucklehead move.

I now use YouTube, Blogger and other Google products with matteovanml@gmail.com, which, as I'm sure you noticed, is exactly one "o" short for me to remain my sanity. All out of options that actually make sense, I fabricated this ridiculous and utterly unprofessional username, and it's been slowly eating at me ever since.

glass case of emotion gif

I've been scouring the interweb for quite some time now in search of a solution. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be one. There are dozens of people out there trying to recover their deleted accounts, but Google only allows a very short window for you to do it.

Unfortunately, I don't have fix for you, but I did manage to find a workaround for people who want to do something about their silly username without having to transfer all their account data.

Here's how to go about it:
  1. Create yet another Gmail address (I chose vanmolmatteo@gmail.com),
  2. Go to your current address, go to "Settings" (upper right-hand corner), "Accounts and import", and add the new address,
  3. Go to the new account and "confirm", either by clicking the link or using the confirmation code,
  4. Now return to the "old" account, go to "Settings", "Accounts and import", and change the "send messages from" field to the new address,
  5. Then return one more time to the "new" account (where you would like your emails to forward from), go to "Settings", "Forward and POP/IMAP", "Add forward address", add it, and click "confirm".
You can now hand out your brand-new email to people. Emails sent to the address will automatically be forwarded to the nonsensical one, and any email you fire back will appear in people's inboxes under the new adress.

You're welcome!

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