I opened my email one day and there among the messages with the “bye-bye fat” and “straight talk about hair transplants” subject lines was one claiming to be from my internet provider. I figured it was spam but I called them to be sure. The conversation went something like this.
“I got an email saying it was from your company but I think it may be spam.”
“What does it say?”
“It says the email address I’ve used since the internet was invented won’t be available anymore. Crazy, huh?”
“It’s true.”
“I thought so. Thanks. Wait…what?”
“It’s true.”
Thus began my journey from one email provider to another, a process I handled with the grace I handle all technology issues which is to say, not much. Still as a public service I’m sharing the steps I took in case you ever find yourself in the same situation.
First, I did what I always do when I’m faced with major change: I panicked. I even considered doing without email. I’ve got a phone and a mailbox. My printer can accept faxes. I don’t know how to make it do that, but I could learn—maybe. You can probably skip this step.
After I’d calmed down, I asked everyone I know who’s more tech savvy than I am for recommendations on providers. Fortunately, there are a lot of people like that.
One of them suggested a particular tech giant. And in a rare lucid moment I remembered I’d long ago created an account with that company for reasons I don’t recall. It has sat mostly unused all these years. But it occurred to me that if I use it, I’ll never need to change my email address again. The company is taking over the world and maybe the entire universe so it should be around a while.
I was amazed I was able to locate the password and get into the account and thrilled to find the email program looks prettier than my old one. Suddenly I felt more optimistic than I had in days—for about 12 seconds. That’s when I realized I didn’t know how to do a single thing in my pretty email account, including send an email, which is kind of the point.
After much blood, sweat and tears, I figured that out. Okay, no blood. I was proud of myself until I remembered I had no one in the contact list to send an email to. I went to the search engine owned by the tech giant that’s taking over the world and my email and searched for help. After reading the step-by-step instructions and then reading them again three times, I managed to import all my contacts from my soon-to-be useless email account into my new one. Victory!
With renewed enthusiasm, I began alerting people who email me often about my new address—except the ones who send the “bye-bye fat” and “straight talk about hair transplants” emails. I didn’t tell them. I think they’ll find me soon enough.
Then it hit me like a ton of spam. What about the accounts that my email address is attached to? After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I got down to business making a list. Then I went to every one of their websites. On some of them, updating my email was easy. Others required dozens of steps including sending my birth certificate, my passport and a notarized affidavit.
And that’s how you get a new email address in five easy steps—six if you count panicking. There’s nothing to it really—if you have technology skills and a few weeks with nothing else to do. I know I said this was a public service, but that’s the real reason I wrote about my move to a new email address. I didn’t have time to write a column.
Dorothy Rosby is the author of three books of humorous essays, including I Used to Think I Was Not That Bad and Then I Got to Know Me Better. Contact her at https://dorothyrosby.com/contact .

You have free article(s) remaining. Subscribe for unlimited access.