Staff, faculty, temps: Changing the email alias of your (Microsoft 365) account

When your @northwestern (Exchange) account is initially created, it has a default address of "", where "firstname.lastname" is the alias. Your initial email alias most often will reflect your legal name.

To change or enter your email alias to reflect how you would like it to be displayed in University systems - if that is not your legal name - follow the steps below. Email sent to your previous alias will forward to the new address.

To learn more about how to use the different name, pronoun and email fields, whom to contact for support and more, visit Institutional Diversity & Inclusion's Frequently Asked Questions page.


Faculty, Staff and Temporary (non-student) Staff

If you are a regular staff or faculty member, you can change your email address yourself via NUValidate.
  1. Log in to NU Validate at with your NetID and NetID password.
  2. Select the tab Edit Online Directory Information.
  3. On that page, find and enter your desired email alias in the Email Alias field and Submit.
    • Add only the email alias you wish, not the full email address (that is, "willie-wildcat" and not "").  
    • The "Email Alias" you add will become your default email address. It may take up to a few days to reflect in all systems
    • Your old/original email alias will continue to work as well, forwarding to your new alias
    • If the alias you want is already being used by someone else, you will receive an error message

Your Sent From address in Exchange is automatically updated to reflect your new email alias. In the Outlook Web App, the update will be seen within 72 hours (exact timing will depend on a number of background systems syncing).

  • Note that if you are using Outlook for Windows or Outlook for macOS, you will need to remove and recreate your account within Outlook to reflect this change.


Members of Kellogg, Feinberg/McGaw residents, and those with Affiliate accounts




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