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How to Change Primary Email Account with Android

written by: Eli Misel•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 10/18/2010

If you have found the need to change your primary email account on your Android phone, you may find that completing this task is not as easy as it should be. Here are a couple of ways to change your primary email account on Android.

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    Hard Reset

    Performing a hard reset on your Android phone is the quickest way to change your primary email account. Before you perform this operation, take note that this will completely wipe all data from your phone and reset it to factory default settings. This includes all text messages, images, videos and applications you have installed. If you decide to choose this route to change your primary email on your Android phone, be sure to back up all data that you intend to keep before starting. If you haven't been using your phone long and aren't concerned about losing anything, this would be the best way to change your primary email. To return your phone to factory default settings, do the following:

    • Press the "Menu" key on your Android phone.
    • Select the "Settings" option from the menu.
    • Select the "SD Card and Phone Storage" option from the menu.
    • Select the "Factory Data Reset" option from the menu.
    • Select "Reset Phone".

    When your phone reboots, you will be prompted for settings to configure your Android phone. When the instructions ask for your email information, enter the primary email account that you intend to use. Once you have entered the new information, your phone will now use this as the primary email account.

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    Clear Data

    If you have been using your Android phone for an extended period of time, it can accumulate quite a bit of information that you may not want to lose by performing a hard reset in order to change your primary email. The clear data option works on most phones and will keep all your data intact, less the information for Google applications such as Gmail, Gmail Storage, Google Talk, etc. I have tested this alternative on my HTC Hero and can confirm that it does allow you to change your primary email address in Android. To perform the clear data option on your Android phone, do the following:

    • Press the "Menu" key on your Android phone.
    • Select the "Settings" option from the menu.
    • Select the "Applications" option from the menu.
    • Select the "Manage Applications" option from the menu.
    • If your phone requires it, select the "Show all Applications" tab.
    • Select each of the following applications and tap the clear data button: Gmail, Google Apps, Google Talk, Gmail Storage, Google Talk Services and Google IM.

    Once all of the listed applications have been cleared you should be prompted to enter a new primary email address on your Android phone. You may need to restart your phone before the prompts to enter the new information are displayed. If this option does not work, you must perform a hard reset to change your primary email account on your Android phone.

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    Hard Reset or Clear Data?

    If you are unsure of which option you should perform to change your primary email account on your Android phone, I would suggest trying the Clear Data option first. This will keep all of your data, less Google information, and allow you to change your primary email address. If this does not work on your phone, go ahead and perform the hard reset. Just remember that it will wipe everything from your phone. If you happen to know another way to accomplish this task, please post a comment and let us know!