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Changing an email address to reflect a new last name in Exchange 2003

How to change an Exchange Server 2003 user's e-mail address to reflect a name change -- like when a married woman takes on a new last name, for instance.

I have a user that got married and now wants to change her email address to reflect her new last name. How do I do this, and have emails that are sent to the old address redirected to the new one? We are running Windows Server 2003, Active Directory and Exchange Server 2003.

You will want to do the following:

  • Change the display name of the mailbox to the new married name.
  • Add a secondary SMTP address reflecting the new married name -- but don't delete the 'old' SMTP address.
  • Set the new SMTP address you added as the primary address.

The mailbox will then receive mail sent to the old address and the new address. The reply-to address will be set to the new address.

MEMBER FEEDBACK TO THIS ASK THE EXPERT Q&A:

I have a user who wants to change the way their first name is displayed in Microsoft Outlook. The user ID was created, and after a few weeks the user put in a request to change the way her first name appears. I changed it in Active Directory (AD) but those changes are not being replicated into the Global Catalog. Do you have any suggestions?"
Greg S.

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Good question. I'd recommend that you confirm that the change was made to the "display name" field and not just the "first name" field. Otherwise, the changes won't be reflected in the Global Address List (GAL) or in the To or From lines displayed within Microsoft Outlook. David Sengupta, Exchange Server Administration Expert

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The author has answered the question in full, but the question wasn't asked in full. The employee with the new last name wants email recipients to see her new surname, but they still see her old surname in the "from" box on email that she authored. Interesting tidbit: If the recipient were to point on the old surname a popup box would display the new email address of the sender, therefore reflecting the new surname. I still have no idea how to fix this."
Clem C.

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Good observation. Since the name that appears in the "from" box on an email is actually stored in the email in the recipient's mailbox (or .PST, etc.), there is no way of re-writing this header to reflect the new surname. All email messages sent prior to the Active Directory change will reflect the old surname. David Sengupta, Exchange Server Administration Expert

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