Microsoft 365: How to Change the Username and Email Address?

Usernames and email addresses are central to how people access and utilize Microsoft 365 services. They serve as the primary identifiers for Microsoft 365 applications and services. But what happens when a user needs to change their Microsoft 365 username or email address? This common requirement has a straightforward solution. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to change the username and Email in Microsoft 365.

Whether you need to update your username and email for personal or professional reasons, this guide will help you make the change quickly and easily. You will learn how to use the Microsoft 365 admin center and PowerShell commands. Follow along to see step-by-step instructions for changing user principal names and alternate emails.

Understanding the Importance of Changing the Username and Email Address

Before diving into the step-by-step process, let’s explore why you might need to change the username and email address in Microsoft 365.

Why Change Your Username and Email Address?

  1. Rebranding: Businesses often rebrand, merge, or change their focus. In such cases, a change in username and email address can align your online identity with your new identity.
  2. Security: In cases where usernames and email addresses become compromised or are targeted by cyber threats, changing them is a proactive measure to enhance security.
  3. Personalization: As an individual or business, you may want a more personalized username and email address that reflects your identity or brand.
  4. Organizational Changes: Employees may need their usernames or email addresses updated due to role changes or departmental restructuring within an organization.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of changing your username and email address in Microsoft 365.

Prerequisites

Before changing a username or email address in Microsoft 365, ensure the following:

  • You have admin access to the Microsoft 365 portal.
  • The new username and email address are not already in use by another user.
  • You have prepared communications to inform the user of the upcoming change.

It’s important to note that changing a username may affect the user’s access to certain resources and services, so be sure to test their access and make any necessary changes to permissions or configurations after the change has been made. With that in mind, let’s get started!

How to Change the Office 365 Username and Email Address?

To change the username for a Microsoft 365 account, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the Microsoft 365 admin center using your admin credentials.
  2. Click on the “Active Users” tab.
  3. Select the user whose username you want to change.
  4. Under the “Account” tab, Click the “Manage username and email” button under the username and email.
    change user name in Microsoft 365
  5. Click on the “Edit” pencil icon next to “Primary email address and username”.
  6. Enter the new username in the “Username” field. Click on the “Done” button.
    manage username and email
  7. Click “Save Changes” to save the changes.

Please note that you must be a global admin to complete these steps. If you don’t see the option to change a user’s name and primary email address, you don’t have permission to do so. This change may take a while to take effect. User permissions, licenses, and other details remain the same after the change.

The existing Email will be added as an Alias so that any existing references won’t break.

Verify the Changes:

  • After making changes, it’s essential to verify that your new username and email address are working correctly. Send a test email to your new address and confirm that you can log in using your new username.

Update Email Clients and Devices:

  • If you use email clients like Outlook, update the settings to reflect your new email address and username. Similarly, update any mobile devices or third-party email applications with the new information.
  • Update email signatures, distribution groups, and other references to the old username or email.

Communicate the Change:

  • If you’ve changed your email address, inform your contacts and colleagues about the update to ensure they can reach you using the new address.

Using PowerShell to Change Usernames and Email Addresses

For administrators who manage many Microsoft 365 users, using PowerShell to change usernames can help automate the process. Here’s how you can do it:

# Connect to Azure AD (You will be prompted to sign in)
Connect-AzureAD

# Specify the user's current and new email address
$CurrentEmailAddress = "IsaiahL@Crescent.com"
$NewEmailAddress = "IsaiahLanger@Crescent.com"

# Get the user's object using their current email address
$User = Get-AzureADUser -Filter "UserPrincipalName eq '$CurrentEmailAddress'"

# Check if the user exists
if ($User -eq $null) {
    Write-Host "User with email address '$CurrentEmailAddress' not found in Azure AD."
    Disconnect-AzureAD
    exit
}

# Update the user's email address and display name
Set-AzureADUser -ObjectId $User.ObjectId -UserPrincipalName $NewEmailAddress

# Disconnect from Azure AD
Disconnect-AzureAD

Write-Host "User's email address and display name updated successfully."

This will immediately update the username in Microsoft 365 for the user.

Wrapping up

Changing a username or email address in Microsoft 365 is a straightforward process with the right administrative access. For administrators, the Microsoft 365 admin center and PowerShell provide simple ways to update user principal names and email addresses. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily change the user name and email address associated with a user in Microsoft 365.

Here is another post on updating the display name of a user: How to change the display name of the user in Microsoft 365?

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two-decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. He has held various positions including SharePoint Architect, Administrator, Developer and consultant, has helped many organizations to implement and optimize SharePoint solutions. Known for his deep technical expertise, He's passionate about sharing the knowledge and insights to help others, through the real-world articles!

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