Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

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

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.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

If your email address includes the name of your ISP such as
@aol.com, @msn.com, 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 Mail.com. 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.

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Tech problem solving & safety tips with a weekly confidence boost in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow

Slow Computer?

Speed up with my FREE special report: 10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow, now updated for Windows 10.

No strings. No email. Here's the direct download. (Just right-click and "Save As...".)

65 comments on “Is there a way to keep my email address when I change my ISP?”

  1. 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!!

    Reply
  2. 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

    Reply
  3. 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.

    Reply
  4. 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

    Reply
  5. 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.

    Reply
  6. 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?

    Reply
  7. 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 😀

    Reply
  8. 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 :-).

    Reply
  9. 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!

    Reply
  10. 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!

    Reply
  11. 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!

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

    Reply
  13. It depends on what you mean by subscribing to MSN.

    @msn.com 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.

    Reply
  14. Not directly. You would have to go out and purchase/register the domain khatri.com, 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.

    Reply
  15. 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

    Reply
  16. hi im kate, late last night i signed up for yahoo messenger and it gave me a new email address for eg, sweety@yahoo.com, 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?
    thanx!!

    Reply
  17. 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?

    Reply
  18. 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.

    Reply
  19. Hi,

    Im unable to create a mail id “viswanadhan@yahoo.com” , and if i send a mail to “viswanadhan@yahoo.com”, then im getting back a bounce mail says that there is no mail id ( viswanadhan@yahoo.com ) .

    Could you guide me how to create the mail id “viswanadhan@yahoo.com”.

    Reply
  20. A friend signed up with tesco.net 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?

    Reply
  21. 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?

    Reply
  22. 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.

    Reply
  23. 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.

    Reply
  24. 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?
    Chuck

    Reply
  25. I am currently with Tesco.net 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

    Reply
  26. 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.

    Reply
  27. 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.

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

    Reply
  29. I have my email through netidentity.com. They own my last name as a domain name and many many others. They sell you email accounts that are firstname@lastname.com 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?

    Reply
  30. 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.

    Reply
  31. 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?

    Reply
  32. I am presently receiving service through a provider where my address is msn.com. I plan to change providers but would prefer not to change my address from msn.com to hotmail.com 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.

    Reply
  33. My current ISP is SBC, which I believe was bought by AT&T. My main email address ends with @sbcglobal.net. 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.

    Leo
    11-Jan-2011

    Reply
  34. 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).

    Leo
    25-Jan-2011

    Reply
  35. 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?

    Leo
    05-May-2011

    Reply
  36. 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

    Reply
  37. 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?

    Reply
  38. 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!

    Reply
  39. 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.

    Leo
    18-Sep-2011

    Reply
  40. 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.

    Leo
    26-Jun-2012
    Reply

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.