Change of email address for user account on Exchange 2003 - confirmation of steps

afflik1923 used Ask the Experts™

Have a client where a senior member of staff wants to change email address is use. I want to confirm the steps I will take to ensure no downtime.

He company uses Windows Server 2003 SBS and therefore running Exchange 2003.The user uses more then one PC, some running Windows XP Outlook 2007 and others running other Windows OS's such as Vista / Win 7

Currently user has:

He want to change to:

And he already has purchased

Currently emails sent to forward on to (Via the company he purchased from) and this works fine as forwarding. However of course the exchange mailbox he has is still a mailbox and any emails he sends will always come from this email address.

User now wants it so that is his main email address and main mailbox address and I would like to confirm the steps required so that I ensure no downtime to items such as his mailboxes in Outlook and his iphone.

Can I confirm the order of events should be:

1) Firstly on Exchange I will navigate to the user in AD users and computers I will find the user and under properties tab I will the email  as a new SMTP email address.
2) Then I will update the MX record for "" to be the same as ""
3) Once the MX records have updated and propagated, I will change the "Primary" email address for the use to be
4) For client applications such as Outlook. Simply closing and reopening should update the new settings without any need for change.
5) On the iphone I will need to update settings. I am not sure if I will need to delete the profile and recreate it OR I can just update the email address field and that will switch everything over?

My questions are
1) Have I go the order right above and I have I included everything to ensure no downtime.
2) My thinking is even while MX record is updating, no emails will be lost as if an email to because if one is sent using old MX record rules then it will be forwarded as before and currently to Once the new MX records kick in they will direct email directly to exchange server where there is mailbox configured to acept email on the mailbox.
3) Point 5 above in the steps. I am particular concerned on what I will have to do with the iphone. The senior user will not any downtime and CERTAINLY no lost emails,  so if anyone has done this or knows how the iphone handles the change please let me know.

Many thanks for any input on this subject.
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
1. yes
2.yes.. but you should allow enough time so that to be on safer side
3.iphone synch with their mailbox so what ever is new on  mailbox will be send to phone

you have a good plan of action
changing MX record means all the emails for will be forwarded to your server is he the only user for is that what you really want

no emails will be lost but you should not delete the old mail account untill you make sure all emails are forwarded to your server

you should add 2 email address for the user (this will not create any problem) delete the old email after few days, do this step early before changing the MX record

and for the iphone is it configured for external email or internal email if it is for external you should change the settings to point to internal email and if it was configured through iphone sync or pop3 if it is pop3
a good idea if iphone is configured for external email configure 2 accounts and wait for sometime 2 or 3days before deleting the external accout and very good practice is to backup the iphone before any modification
Mostly yes, but you have forgotten to change default recipient policy on exchange - you have to add a new domain first, because otherwise you won't be able to add new SMTP addresses with new domain.
Look at link:

And if the old domain will be slowly eliminated it is good to change exchange server SMTP banner and rDNS setting at your ISP provider.
You forgot the recipient policy, add to accepted domains. ( This is really important else the emails will not be accepted)
Also in AD take the tick off from ( Automatic update email adderess by default reciepnt policy)
rest is all fine.
dhruvarajp is right about Iphone as ipne uses your webmail username and password.


Good comments so far so thanks. A few other bits.
will be the only user under "". So no need to worry about other users.

Also in this case they actually use message labs. To the MX record for is actually an Messagelabs server, and this is what we will be setting the same MX records for (and of course letting message labs know about the domain and the handling of it as well as updating / creating an SPF record for

However does this mean I don't need to chnage the recipient policy as this may be handled by message labs. I suspect you will say to me that I still need to do it as message labs just filters the email and then passes it on as normal, but I just wanted to make sure.

Thanks again.


Also actually after reading about creating a new recipiant policy, I just want to confirm I can go ahead and do that now along wiht the SMTP email address before anything else, withou effecting the way current things work.

Therefore remember currenty forwards using basic forwarding via a thirdparty domain name seller emails to
I doubt it but want to be sure that if the server that hosts is also confiruged to actually receive email to, but emails are coming in address to but forawrded to, that this does not cause any type of confusion.

changing the recipient policy is not realy required, you can just add the email, if this is the only user why do you need to change the recepient policy? if you want it is ok but not really required
If it is the only user (or few of them) than add a new recipient policy.
You need to have new domain listed in recipient policy because exchange server needs to know, that it is authoritative (can accept) mails with new domain.
MX record should be the same and pointing to message labs server. But changing MX record is the final step. Before the change of MX record is propagated the mails will be received in old fashion and after it will be rerouted to message labs servers and then to yours.
At the end it is good to remove settings/mailbox from old server, because otherwise if mail to will be sent from that sever, it will be delivered to local mailbox (and then forwarded). But for all other addresses the sender will get NDR.


Good comments again but can I confirm that Waseems comments are incorrect?
"Good comments again but can I confirm that Waseems comments are incorrect?"

Not that all comments are incorrect. I just disagree with him about the need of recipient policy.
There are a lot of articles about adding aditional mail domains to exchange server and everywhere is the first step add a new domain in recipient policy.
The cause:
"The Exchange 2003 Server component handling incomming emails - the SMTP server - does not accept
emails for other domains than the ones entered in the “recipient policies”, even if you entered the
correct email addresses ("") in the active directory."

I really have not tested this by myself. You can try this by removing a recipient policy when your new mail domain will be migrated and fully functional, and when the policy will be updated try to send a mail from outside of your organisation.  But I don't think it is worth...


Right, I've started it. I went through the adding recipiant policy following the guide. I created a new policy which just had the entry within it (at first it defaulted with many entires of the existing domains but I removed these).

I did not need to do the search filter stuff that was in the guide because I was only adding the new domain email address to a single user. So I could not use the apply policy option as there was no filter created.

Then I just went to the user, added the email address to their email addresses and that's it.

I tested an internal email. Therefore from a PC n the domain sent an emial to the and it did arrive in the mailbox.

I will now go ahead and start changing the MX record.

Let me know if this all looks OK.



Also, will I need to setup a reverse DNS? And what about an SPF records.

Where would I be setting up the reverse DNS entry? (Might just be tired and getting mysefl in a muddle)

I think you already have set rDNS record and in your case you don't have to change it. Anyway the rDNS setting can change your ISP.
If you want to check the settings you can use
Enter your domain name, click mx record and on results page click SMTP test.
Your rDNS setting must match your exchange SMTP banner.
For SPF (if you use them for first domain) I think it is best to use redirecting.
Look at the link at the bottom:


will update ASAP
Take your time, because I will be at holidays for three weeks. No Internet, no computers, no electricity, no...


Thanks for all the input. I did add a reciptiant policy anyway, not 100% sure it was needed as I was only adding one email address.
Split points anyway as all useful.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial