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Ask HN: Strategy for changing your primary email?

Hi there!

For reasons (mostly that the domain I'm using isn't really appropriate anymore), I'm considering changing my primary email address.

If you were wanting to change your primary email what would your strategy be?


- All emails hit your new inbox - All logins that require email are using your new email address

How would you ensure you haven't missed anything?

Would you ever decommission your old inbox?

I'm not sure if I'm missing anything else here.

Thanks in advance for any input!

26 pointsgurgus posted 8 months ago9 Comments
sydney1 said 8 months ago:

Forward $old to $new

Setup a filter in $new email that labels all mail received on the $old address, so you know where you need to update your email address

Keep this until you don't have any more emails coming in with that $old label for ... however long you're comfortable, 6 months, 1 year, forever. Unless there's a reason you need to decommission the $old one, I'd just leave it there

jolmg said 8 months ago:

> How would you ensure you haven't missed anything?

This probably isn't of much help now, but adding accounts as they are created to a list, like a password manager, helps to ensure you don't miss any in situations like this.

jborichevskiy said 8 months ago:

True though I’d also keep in mind the countless blogs and newsletters which, personally - I don’t store in my password manager. The ones that update infrequently would be annoying to lose.

DreamSpinner said 8 months ago:

Quite some time ago, I needed to do a big cleanup of email aliases (I have 500+) and various

My approach was to use IMAP integration with my provider to copy all the emails down to my laptop.

I then used VBA in Outlook to create a list of source email addresses and counts - then I could update places using those emails.

In your case, i'd do something similar.

Analyse your existing emails to get a list of emails by source address (or domain).

Use that list to figure out what places you need to get updated.

Then (per Sydney1's suggestion) - forward old emails to the new address. Preferably tag it somehow so you know that it means there are other places that need to be updated.

samstave said 8 months ago:

>create a list of source email addresses and counts

WhyTF isnt this an actual out-of-the-box dashboard on every single email client??

mikebos said 8 months ago:

I did this a while ago for my own and my wife's email and ten years ago I changed from .nl to .com for the domainname which is effectively the same thing :-) For both it's forward and forget, I changed some services to reflect the mail change, most I didn't bother. After 5 maybe 6 years no e-mail came through the old address anymore. So if you have the time and the couple of $$ to keep it up it's a minor issue, it's self cleaning to a large extent.

sp332 said 8 months ago:

Setting up automated forwarding would cover your "ideal" needs. That way you can gradually change your logins and make sure that all email sent to old & new addresses end up in one inbox.

helij said 8 months ago:

Slowly move all your stuff (user acc around the net) to new domain/email and once 1 year passes with no new emails to your old mailbox, trash it.

felix_thursday said 8 months ago:

if i were moving my primary to a gmail account, i'd setup the "send mail as" thing to receive all the email in your new account, set-up a filter to automatically label it as such, and then set a super strong password w/ 2FA on your previous acct.