Change email password (account credentials)

Whenever you sign in for an email account, you will automatically be assigned a password that protect access to your inbox and personal messages. Although you will usually be checking your emails from a web browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox, or using an email program like Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, or Microsoft Outlook, these are just "front end" views of a service that works behind the scenes on a special computer called a "mail server". Your credentials (your username, typically the email address itself, and password) are actually stored on the server of the "email provider" you are using. This tutorial explains how to change your password in these common scenarios; but, if you are also (or exclusively) checking your emails from a desktop client, you will also need to change password in your email program.


How do I change password with my email provider?

There are basically four types of email providers, or organizations that give out email addresses (usually for free) to their members, subscribers, clients, or students. Here they are, with a few notes:

  1. The easiest way to get an email address, especially for people just starting out with their online experience, is to get a free email account through their cable or internet provider. As long as you subscribe to the company's service, you will have access to your email address with them. To change password for such an email account, you will generally need to use the "online mail access" URL (internet address) the provider gave you - 99% of the time, these companies offer "webmail access". If all fails, simply call that company's customer service or tech support line, and ask them to manually change your account password for you.
  2. The second most common way to get an email account is through one's employer: nearly all positions now require or include your own email address, which allows you to efficiently communicate with colleagues, suppliers, and clients. In the case of (either the in-house system administrator or the IT outsourcing company your company uses).
    Change email password for your school
  3. Finally, if you are a student, your school will typically give you free online space, possibly a personal web page, and one or more email addresses you can use (one for the university, and another for the college department, for example). When you get your emails through your school, you should also have webmail access: if so, you can change your email account password yourself, using the "settings" or "options" link that these interfaces typically include. If you cannot find that out, check with your department head, or the IT administrators - most universities have dedicated IT and computer troubleshooting sites setup for students.

Tip: because your access to these three types of email accounts is dependent on your continuous "belonging" to that organization, we recommend that you avoid using them. Nowadays, most email providers offer 100% services, and you will be able to retain your email account even if you move to another area (which may not have the same internet providers), if you change or finish school (not all schools allow alumni to keep using their email accounts), or if you change job (good luck getting your old boss let you access your old company email!)

Though you can use any provider you want, sticking to a big name company is safer, since they are more likely to stay around; here are the "big three":
Create a Hotmail account | Create a Yahoo Mail account | Create a Gmail account

Changing account password with popular webmail providers

If you are already using one of the big three email providers, we have step-by-step tutorials just for you (since there are too many providers in the three categories described above, we could only give you generic information and point you in the right direction!)

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