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Primary Email Change Informed Consent

Information regarding changing your Primary Email Address

Your main (or “primary”) Vanderbilt email address is a very important part of your online identity. In addition to your Vanderbilt email messages originating from your primary email address, this address is also used to log in to your Microsoft Office 365 and Skype accounts.


Because of these three important uses of your primary email address, we recommend that you avoid changing it if at all possible. The process is cumbersome and involves downtime for you and for those with whom you collaborate.


Alternatives to changing your Primary Email Address

Two alternatives to changing your primary email address are:

1) to add an alias email address

2) to change your display name


Your Vanderbilt email account can only have one primary email address. However, you can add one or more “alias” email addresses to your account. Email messages and calendar appointments sent TO any of your addresses (primary or alias) will be delivered to your mailbox. Any email messages and calendar appointments sent FROM you will come from your primary email address.  Here’s an example:


Display Name:

Elizabeth Sendas*

This is the name that will be seen in areas such as the Global Address List (GAL) and Skype, and will appear next to your primary email address when you send emails.

Primary Email Address:

Emails can be sent to this address and will always come from this address

Alias Email Address:

Emails can be sent to this address, but no email will come from an alias


* In addition to (or instead of) adding an alias, you can also change your “display name.” In the example above, the Display Name could easily be changed to “Beth Sendas.”


To create an alias or to change your display name:

You can create an alias or change your display name here: VU Identity


To change your primary email address:

***WARNING*** If you choose to proceed with changing your primary email address, you will need to complete the steps below to assure that your Vanderbilt email, Office 365, and Skype logins continue to work as expected. (However, depending on the services you use, some of these steps may not apply.) We recommend that you contact your local IT support team before proceeding.


Once you have changed your primary email address, you will use your new email address to log in to your Microsoft Office 365 account ( ) and your Skype account.


Actions you will need to take:

  • Outlook:
    • Once in Office 365, l og out and log back in to your Outlook client.
  • Skype for Business:
    • Log out and log back in to Skype for Business clients wherever you are using them (desktop, laptop, mobile device, tablet, etc.) using your new email address as your sign-in address.
    • Log out and log back in to any Skype for Business desk phones (Polycom cx600 or VVX models).
    • Cancel and re-schedule any future Skype for Business meetings. Notify external contacts that they will need to add your updated email address to their Skype contacts, as your old Skype address will no longer work.
  • Office Desktop
    • Log out and log back in to Office ProPlus clients (e.g. Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word). You may also need to remove and re-add connected services like OneDrive or SharePoint. Any shortcuts to, or recent documents in, your Vanderbilt OneDrive space will need to be updated.
  • SharePoint - As above, your login for SharePoint online will change to your primary email address. Test any Microsoft Flows or PowerApps you have created or interact with to determine impact.
  • OneDrive - Logging out and logging back in may be required to assure files you are syncing to your Vanderbilt OneDrive remain synced. Links shared externally (i.e., with non-Vanderbilt University email addresses) will need to be re-shared.
  • OneNote - Close and re-open notebooks stored in your Vanderbilt OneDrive space to assure that none of your changes are lost.


Other effects to be aware of:

  • - Your account will need to be linked to your new primary email address.   This will be handled by IT as a part of this process.
  • Listserv (optional) - If you use Vanderbilt’s Listserv mailing list service, your address will need to be updated to assure that you can manage your lists.
  • Update print and digital reference to your email address (optional) - If you wish to standardize the email address you share with others, consider updating print and digital references. (Business cards, resumes, CVs, letterhead, email signature, social media contact info, online accounts, website registration, etc.)