How to Change An Active Directory and Exchange Username After Marriage or Mistake

Ever have a user that recently married, or created a username only later to realize there was a spelling mistake (not on the fault of IT of course)? Our old Sys Admin used to botch this process so baldly, that as of this day I have tried to refrain from changing anyone’s username in AD or Exchange. In fact, the old Sys Admin botched my account and I have not corrected it since. Partly, he did me a favor it’s now 5 characters (including the period between first and last name) shorter, but also because I knew how much trouble it caused me in the beginning. Send/Receive didn’t work for like 5 days while he tried to sort it out, timing out on certain company websites, access denial…you get the idea. Until I found this blog on the Spiceworks community thread regarding this very topic. Hope you enjoy.

Step 1. Ensure the correct spelling (Repeat this step a few times. Just kidding. It’s really easy to change after you follow these 12 steps).

Step 2. Open Active Directory Users and Computers or Active Directory Administrative Center

Step 3. Navigate to Employees Organization Unit (OU)

Step 4. Right-click on the name of the employee you will to rename and select rename

Step 5. Rename employee (Rename User dialog box should appear)

Step 6. Ensure The Full name, First, Last, Display name, and Both Logon Names (Pre-Windows 2000) are correct before clicking OK

Step 7. Open Exchange Management Console

Step 8. Navigate to Recipient Configuration > Mailbox > and locate employee email address (At this point the Display should already appear correctly in Exchange Management Console)

Step 9. Right-click on employee name and select Properties

Step 10. Rename the alias to match AD account from the General tab and click Apply. Choose E-Mail Addresses tab and the new SMTP primary and any secondary or tertiary email addresses should appear (Remove the old SMTP addresses)

Now for some clean up tasks. You will want to update the Offline Address Book to avoid accidentally sending to old email address (especially if old SMTP address have been removed from Step 10).

Step 11. In Exchange Management Console navigate to Organization Configuration and select Mailbox > Offline Address Book > right-click on Default Offline Address Book and select Update > Yes to dialog box (It’s a warning that this process will take a few minutes to regenerate) (Sal, 2012).

Step 12. Tell the user! I can’t tell you have many times our Support department has made changes on behalf of the user and failed to notify said user once completed. Also, if this users are both web-based and hardware based, be sure to rename any user folders on the network servers, PCs, File Servers, etc. In addition, Re-link the corrected username to account folder in the registry (RegEdt32.exe) If you’re not sure how to do this Google it.

Active Directory and Exchange should hopefully be updated. If you need to correct another misspelling or another employee marries you should know what to do.


Sal (2012). Changing Active Directory and Exchange username after marriage or mistake. The Life of an IT Guy. Retrieved from:


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