CITES | University of Illinois

Your Email Address and the Email Redirection Service

This page contains information about how to use the Email Redirection service for your Illinois email.

The Email Redirection service provides a simple, convenient way to manage your email. This webpage explains how the service works and why CITES strongly recommends that all members of the campus community use it.


To redirect your email address, use the Electronic Directory Editor (EDE).

How Email Redirection works

Your Network ID (NetID) is a name assigned to you that is unique across all University of Illinois campuses. It serves as your login to many computing and networking services and also determines your University email address, which is

However, you may notice that your Illinois Directory entry lists a different email address, such as or

Staff and faculty members might have a department email address listed, such as

The shortened address is an alias, or alternative name, for your real email account listed in the Illinois Directory. This account is where your email messages are ultimately delivered.

Some faculty and staff also have a email alias, which works exactly the same way. Email sent to either or email aliases will be delivered to your real email account listed in the Illinois Directory.

When email messages are sent to or, they go through computers called mail relays. The mail relays look up the entry belonging to yournetid in the Illinois Directory and route the email to the account listed in the email field of that entry. Since everyone has a unique NetID and therefore a unique Illinois Directory entry, the email will always be routed to the right email address.


NOTE: Email messages sent to or email address must be 65 MB or less in size.

Why You Should Use Email Redirection

Email Redirection offers three advantages:

  • You can easily change where your University email is delivered without the need to notify correspondents of a change in email address.
  • Email messages sent to or email address are automatically scanned for viruses and spam by CITES Spam Control. (For more information about Spam Control, please see the CITES Spam Control web pages.)
  • When you leave the University, you can route your or email to your new non-UIUC address for at least one year.

How to Change Where Your Email Messages Are Delivered

Changing the email address where your email messages are delivered is a simple and quick process.

  1. Go to the Electronic Directory Editor (EDE) at
  2. Log in to the EDE with your NetID and NetID password. NOTE: If you do not know your NetID or NetID Password, please review Your Network ID (NetID).
  3. Once you have logged in to the EDE, find the email field and replace the existing email address with your new email address. Make sure that you type this email address correctly, or you will not receive your email.
    Important: Do not leave this field blank or you will not receive your email!
    Important: Do not replace the email address in this field with, since "" is only an alias for whatever address you have in the email field. If you change it to, you will not receive email messages because there is no true destination address at which to deliver your email messages.
  4. Click the Apply button at the top or bottom of the EDE webpage, and then log out.
  5. If you're using Microsoft Exchange, you'll also need to follow an Exchange-specific email redirection process.


NOTE: Changing your email address will have a delay of up to one hour. The reason is that the mail relays use a secondary Illinois Directory server to look up the NetID of the email address on an incoming message. Your change will not go into effect until the secondary server updates its information from the main Illinois Directory server, which occurs every hour. During this time, you will continue to receive email at your old email address.


For help with email redirection, please contact the CITES Help Desk.

CITES Help Desk
  • phone: (217) 244-7000, (800) 531-2531
  • email:
  • walk-in: 1211 Digital Computer Lab, 1304 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana, IL 61801


Last updated Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 12:18 pm