Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

With a little planning it's possible to have an email address that does not need to change each time you change your internet provider.

Is there a way to keep my email address when I change my ISP?

Cell phone carriers are now required to let you keep your cell phone number if you switch providers but unfortunately no such requirement exists for ISPs. So probably not. But there are definitely a few things you can do this time to make it possible to keep your email when you switch next time.

If your email address includes the name of your ISP such as,, comcast, attbi, earthlink and so on, that email address is tied to that ISP forever. The only way you can keep that address is to keep some kind of account with that ISP.

You can however create an email address that is independent of your ISP, and therefore one you can use regardless of which ISP you have or use. There are several approaches.

Webmail: Services such as Hotmail and Yahoo Mail are based on the web and are accessible from just about anywhere. The basic service is also usually free. The downside to web based mail services is that you are tied to their service for all of your email needs. Your storage and other capabilities might be limited and as discussed here you probably won't be able to use your favorite mail program to get your mail. But as I said these services are quick, free, and ubiquitous.

Mail Forwarding Services: Another approach is to sign up with a mail forwarding service. When you sign up you are given a new email address at one of the domains the service supports. You then configure that service to forward all email received on that address to your "real" email address at your current ISP. You never hand out your ISP-based email address, only the one that goes through the forwarding service. Then when you decide to change your ISP you simply reconfigure the service to forward to your new email address. There are many services around including Netforward and A new spam protection service called MailBlocks can also be used in a similar way.

Your Own Domain: If all you want to do is forward email owning your own domain name isn't very complicated at all. Most of the domain registrars include mail forwarding as part of their service when you register with them. In fact the most difficult part might be finding a domain name you like that hasn't already been taken! Once you find that domain name then not only can you typically get email forwarding for one email address, but ANY email address at that domain - even made up ones - can be forwarded to the address you specify. There are several low cost domain registrars out there and right now I'm partial to Simple URL.

Article C1860 - November 11, 2003 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

November 13, 2003 2:03 AM

It looks like no one really cares about your site, you hardly get any comments or anything for anyone but yourself, it just looks like a one man band playing to nobody.

But i have to say your site is brilliant! full of news and information i am definitely coming back to read more articles later on!!

April 11, 2004 11:08 AM

Good Article. I find myself living about 6 months in Canada and 6 in the US.Your info is a big help. Thanks.

June 15, 2004 9:49 AM

hello how can i change my email address and get a new addy for msn
when u get this please email me back
thank u
chantel smith

June 15, 2004 11:13 AM

The only way I know of to get a new MSN email address is to sign up for a new MSN account, and then let your old account lapse.

July 1, 2004 10:10 AM

How do you change your email address? all my friends have really cool email address's but mine doesn't! it has too many numbers! Please email me as soon as you can!! katie x

July 2, 2004 9:51 AM

The only way I know of with most is to open a new account with a new email address, and then close the old one. But most of the "really cool" names are already taken, which is why people add numbers to their names.

July 7, 2004 9:46 AM

I am moving and the new location does not have comcast high speed internet, like I currently have. However, this email address was used for business. How do I forward these incoming emails to a new address?

July 7, 2004 10:34 AM

how can i change my msn email address w/o starting a whole new account? meaning...i'd still have all the same favorites bookmarked and etc but the only thing diff is the actual username....please respond!!!! thanks a bunch if ya do :D

July 7, 2004 10:49 AM

Well, IE favorites are different from your email accounts. No reason to lose them. But as for your email name ... that all depends on yoru ISP, but most cannot, or will not, allow you to just change ... to them your email name IS your account, and thus a new email name is a new account. And with most major ISPs, all the good names are taken anyway :-).

July 7, 2004 11:02 AM

Akua: it depends on your ISP. If it's comcast, you should check with them to see if they have a forwarding service.

July 18, 2004 8:14 PM

On making new MSN e-mail addresses....

I don't know about bookmarks, &c. -- though if they're set up in MSIE, they should be fine -- but you can just "Add a New User" through MSN Explorer. (I think there's a limit of 8 or 9.) I've done this just once, and I found it a bit of a pain, but it did work, and it made totally separate e-mail accounts. Just go into MSN Explorer and look for "Add New User" in the upper-right corner. (There may be some maneuvering involved if you have a version different from mine. MSN doesn't make *anything* easy!)

NB: Sometimes Outlook X gets confused and mixes up the accounts or doubles messages. It's stupid, but it doesn't happen all that often.

NB: This means adding a new account to your MSN e-mail, NOT adding a new user/logon to your Windows (XP). *That* is an umitigated and dangerous mess. Good luck!

August 4, 2004 2:05 AM

hey how can i change my email name and still have all my contacts still there on the same email but diferent e. to something else.

Chastity Benefits
September 15, 2004 5:39 AM

All the more reason to NEVER EVER use the email address from your ISP. I've been saying this for years. Don't offer them the power to extort you. Always use an email provider distinct from your ISP. For a few bucks a year ($35 including anon domain registration and linux web hosting) you can setup your own vanity email service. You get these fun additional advantages:

- As many email aliases and POP/IMAP accounts as you please
- Easily add more mail storage
- Finer grain control over antispam settings (SpamAssassin, DCC, Razor2 etc)

So you AND your family can have the email usernames of their choosing!

October 10, 2004 8:40 AM

in hotmail, how do i change the name from which my emails are sent? i originaly put in a nickname and now want to change it!
pls help!

October 16, 2004 6:00 AM

thanks leo

November 2, 2004 1:41 AM

how to make an account ending for free of course

November 2, 2004 1:30 PM

There are no free accounts.

ricky taylor
November 10, 2004 3:17 PM

please add

January 20, 2005 11:16 AM

Is there a way to subscribe to MSN without using hotmail. That means to have an email address ending with and not

January 20, 2005 4:54 PM

It depends on what you mean by subscribing to MSN. addresses are not free ... you must sign up with MSN and have them be your ISP.

You can use any email address to use MSN's Passport service for things like MSN Instant messenger and the like.

February 17, 2005 1:44 PM

hi this is manish,
actually i have a hotmail somebody told me that i can change my email address to whichever i like.
for eg: that possibble.
pls let me know ..
thanks and regards.

February 17, 2005 8:32 PM

Not directly. You would have to go out and purchase/register the domain, if it's available, and then use email forwarding to enable mails on that domain to go to your hotmail account, if that's what you want.

February 28, 2005 8:22 PM

Make sure you download it to your computer.

March 20, 2005 1:34 AM

how can i get a new email address with
rite back
thanx x

June 12, 2005 6:48 AM

how do you change your e-mail address

June 26, 2005 9:32 AM

Please can some1 tell me HOW to create a account please?

June 26, 2005 1:40 PM

Why do you want one?

kartiar winowiecki
July 6, 2005 2:59 PM

i am trying to put my email for messenger to my laptop but have lost my password could you emil me at telling me how to fix it

a iles
August 21, 2005 5:39 AM

Im changing to broadband with a different isp.
from tiscali to onetel, i still want to get my current emails how can i do this?
Thank you

September 12, 2005 11:15 AM

hi im kate, late last night i signed up for yahoo messenger and it gave me a new email address for eg,, and the network i am on is blueyonder and now i can't go into blueyonder webmail to see my emails, so could you please try and help me?

September 12, 2005 11:19 AM

email me at

travis root
September 22, 2005 8:00 AM

change my old email to my new email is

December 21, 2005 9:29 AM

i have my email and want to change my email address, because i'm receiving too much email how can i do this?

Maura Fry
April 8, 2006 12:05 PM

This is so confusing. I was trying to change from aol to comcast. When I tried to switch all screen names fron one to the other I dont know where they went or what I did wrong. Any help out there?

Eli Coten
June 3, 2006 4:41 PM

Why is Gmail missing from the list of Webmail providers above? They have one of the largest storage capacity of any free webmail service and seem to have the best featured webmail as well (although Windows Live Mail and Yahoo Mail - both beta currently) are fast trying to catch up.

billy poyner
July 11, 2006 12:48 AM

changed internet from cox to msn. msn says i can keep old email address. how?

September 7, 2006 8:44 AM


Im unable to create a mail id "" , and if i send a mail to "", then im getting back a bounce mail says that there is no mail id ( ) .

Could you guide me how to create the mail id "".

September 7, 2006 8:47 AM


In my network im unable to check mails of any domain.

But i can check the mails of using the wap service like

Is there any chance to check the mails using wap service for / ?

November 11, 2006 7:16 AM

A friend signed up with on pay as you go and got an email address. Later they changed ISP to Pipex on broadband. Everything was fine including sending and receiving emails with the tesco email address through the Pipex connection. After approx 3-4 months they cannont now send, using the tesco email address but can recieve. to send they have to dial up the tesco ISP. Do you know how they can send using tesco email with Pipex connection?

Bettie Garretson
November 17, 2006 9:19 AM

If I cannot keep the above e-mail address,then how do I switch back?

January 4, 2007 5:53 PM

I don't quite understand the above article. I just got Comcast High Speed Cable and I have AOL but I am cancelling the AOL account. Is there anyway that I can transfer my buddy list, screen name, and email address to Comcast?

Leo Notenboom
January 4, 2007 5:59 PM

No, not that I'm aware of.

nuraina tabung
February 2, 2007 2:24 AM

hi im sending this short message i want to change my address into my new address thank you
you costomer

Clark Slayman
February 3, 2007 2:54 PM

I have tried talking to three individuals from India and am unable to understand their language, nor what their objections are in trying to change my old e-mail address from msn from Embarq. Bad experience all around.

April 11, 2007 3:33 PM

i'm trying to have my email activated but just because my cable company suddently i don't don't access anymore into it, please help me, because i have many info that i've saved which i would like to print out.

May 19, 2007 7:24 PM

I typed a long e-mail but when i clicked send a message came up stating my log in time had expired. My e-mail was not sent. Why also is there a way to retrive it?

Angela Crawford
June 12, 2007 5:34 AM

I am currently with on a dial up plan but have just signed up to Sky broadband - I am cancelling my tesco account but was wondering if I can keep my tesco email address as I use it for business

Penny Burke
January 8, 2008 9:05 AM

I am changing from USCOM to NETZERO ISP..and I am using Outlook express. Can I use both addresses and will Outlook express send out and forward my mail. This is all too confusing.

Any help will be appreciated.

January 23, 2008 2:36 PM

i`ve read the article..........does that apply to a secondary email account?

when i move i want to keep my email username, one would think that since it`s not a primary address i shouldn`t have any trouble.

April 3, 2008 7:37 PM

I recently changed my IPS from AT&T to Time Warner highspeed. My email address has at the end, however I am able to still us this address with Time Warner. Do I have to change this?

October 8, 2008 8:04 AM

I have my email through They own my last name as a domain name and many many others. They sell you email accounts that are which is really nice, unfortunately thier service rates about a 2 on a 1-10 scale in my book. Is there any way to free my name from them?

October 11, 2008 8:41 PM

Just and expression of thanks to you LEO.

I used the information here and now have my own domain overnight.Will now work towards independence of my email address.

Also for the guidance about SimpleURL. After checking a number of local (Australian) domain providers SimpleURL was certainly the better option . Establishing the domain name was as cheap but none had free email forwarding. You had to subscribe to a plan at additional cost to get this email support.
The only wrinkle now is the exchange rate. If our AUD keeps falling the cost in USD will rise.

November 3, 2008 3:40 PM

I'm in the process of switching to AT&T U-Verse. I was told by the AT&T rep that I could continue to use my Roadrunner email for 2 years even though I was dropping my internet service from the cable company and switching to AT&T. He said it was a new law. Is this correct?

Melvin Miller
February 6, 2010 7:39 AM

I am presently receiving service through a provider where my address is I plan to change providers but would prefer not to change my address from to for obvious reasons. So many contacts and other sources have been given this address and how can anyone ever recall all those for address changes. If there involved a fee to do this I would like to know how much. This is important or I wouldn't care.

April 8, 2010 8:02 AM

I had MSN as my ISP over 3 years ago. I switched to a different provider when I moved, and I still have my MSN email.

April 29, 2010 10:49 PM

I have been using my email ID with p o b o x. c o m for 15 years. Great service. It now costs me $1.67 a month.

January 8, 2011 6:14 PM

My current ISP is SBC, which I believe was bought by AT&T. My main email address ends with My family accesses our email accounts through Yahoo. If I switched, to say Comcast, would I keep the same exact email address?

No. the "sbcglobal" part is given to you by yoru ISP. If you switch ISPs then that changes.

January 24, 2011 7:27 AM

I know I will loose my e-mail address if I change from ATT to Comcast my question is can I save or transfer the current hisory of e-mails I have? Some of them are important or have special messages.

If you have the emails on your PC using a desktop email program like Outlook, Thunderbird or similar then you'll keep them. If you ONLY access via the web, then yes when your account is closed you will lose access to the emails that are on that account's web access. I recommend you download to your PC. (I know of no way to transfer from ISP to ISP).

January 28, 2011 10:09 AM

I currently have a pacbell account (which is now AT&T, I believe). I also have purchased a personalized business email account, which is tied to this pacbell account. I want to change to comcast, so I know I will lose the pacbell account, but can I transfer the business email account to a new comcast account? Both the pacbell and business I believe are owned by AT&T.

Finally wrote an article on that: How do I keep my business account when I change ISPs?

January 28, 2011 10:19 AM

Sorry for the 2nd post. I just looked more closely at the business email I have. It is a "Small Business" account I believe through Yahoo mail. But definitely somehow tied into the pacball email account. Thanks for your response

February 4, 2011 3:48 AM

I have switched from att to cox internet. My primary email is an att address, subaccount is @yahoo. When I cancel the att internet, will I be able to keep the @yahoo address, or will it go because it is tied to the att account?

April 14, 2011 9:30 AM

sbc / att just sent subscribers notification that they *will* be able to keep their email addresses if they cancel services. we received our notice on 4/12/2011. good timing, since we are switching isp's next month!

Al Barrs
September 18, 2011 6:09 AM

We have had our present e-mail addresses since we went on the Internet in 1997. I keep it because I do a lot of WWW posting about family history research and there are numerous postings of my current e-mail address on the Internet from which I receive e-messages continually. However, I have been on a dial-up local ISP, my electric power coop. We live out in the country and can't get a fast internet ISP here. We are considering getting Hughes Satellite Internet but would like to learn if we can keep or have our e-mails forwarded to our new Hughes ISP e-mail addresses. We use IncrediMail 2.0 as our e-mail program. Is there anyway to have our present e-mail account e-messages automatically forwarded to a new ISP service such as Hughes Satellite Internet Service??? Thanks!!!

Al Barrs
Bascom, Florida
{email removed}

Since the email address is owned by and controlled by the ISP, you'll have to ask them if they provide a forwarding service. If not the only way to keep the email address is to keep that account open.

Ruth McKinlay
June 24, 2012 6:15 PM

I have just recently switched to shaw from mts. can I use my regular address, and just change the provider name, or do I have to change the whole address?

You need to get a new address assigned to you from your new provider. Whether that can similar to your old depends on what they have and have not already assigned to other people.

mustafa Davis
November 22, 2012 11:18 AM

I'm new at this;and if u haven't any computer knowledge;get help...

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