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Email, Active Directory, How to Change Display Name for Staff

This page contains information on changing your display name for Active Directory services, including Exchange and Skype for Business

This page describes how to change your display name in Active Directory if you are staff. This change will appear in any service that uses the campus Active Directory for authentication, including Unified Communications, Exchange email and calendaring, Lync instant messaging, the Illinois wiki, and more.

NOTE: If you are a student, or were ever registered as a student after 2004, you may be able to specify a Preferred First Name as documented here: Email, Active Directory, How to Change Preferred Name for Students

How to change your Active Directory display name

Active Directory uses the information in the Electronic Directory Editor (EDE) to create a display name for you. If you want to change the name displayed, you may need to make changes both to EDE and to the Active Directory's Name Change tool.

If your name in EDE is John Quincy Doe, Active Directory will automatically set your display name to "Doe, John Q".

However, the Name Change tool will let you select from four options built around combinations of your name(s), initial(s), and any nicknames you've entered in EDE.

Your Active Directory display name without EDE nicknames

If John Quincy Doe hasn't entered a nickname in EDE, his Active Directory name change tool will give him four options:

  • Doe, John
  • Doe, J
  • Doe, John Q
  • Doe, J Q

If one of these options suits the way you'd like to have your name displayed:

  1. Log in to the Active Directory Name Change Tool.
  2. Select the option that matches the way you'd like your name to be displayed.

If none of these match your desired display name, you'll need to use the EDE Nickname field as well. After the updates take effect, which can take up to an hour, revisit the AD Display Name change webpage. You’ll see the additional nicknames as valid choices. Remember, your colleagues and administration will see and use the name you select, so please use your best judgment when entering a name into the Nickname field.

Adding an EDE nickname for use in your AD display name

If John Quincy Doe goes by "Johnny" instead, he'll need to add Johnny to his EDE Nickname field before he can use it in the AD Name Change tool.

To add a nickname in EDE, then use it in the AD Name Change Tool:

  1. Log in to the Electronic Directory Editor.
  2. Locate the eduPersonNickname field and click the Add This Field link.
  3. Enter your nickname(s) in the entry box provided.
  4. Click Apply.
  5. Log in to the Active Directory Name Change Tool.
    If your new EDE nickname is not yet visible in the Name Change tool, you may wish to wait until the next hour mark has passed in order to give time for EDE and the AD Name Change tool to synchronize with each other.
  6. Select the option that matches the way you'd like your name and nickname to be displayed.
  7. Click Submit.


  • This page is considered “interim” and functionality provided here will eventually be rolled into a future successor to the Electronic Directory Editor (EDE)
  • This page is provided “as-is” and there will be no maintenance or enhancements provided, except for any emergency bug or security fixes as approved by Technology Services.
  • There is no ability to modify your last name (surname).
  • Only the “displayName” LDAP attribute is modified.  Existing legal name components remain intact in the AD LDAP attributes of “sn” “givenName” and “middle”.
  • This change only affects Active Directory.  It does not affect your displayName attribute in the campus LDAP (, nor your Illinois Directory information.
  • A change to your legal name components in Banner (such as getting married) results in a complete “reset” of your display name back to the derived formula of “Lastname, Firstname Middle”.  Simply revisit the page to adjust the name the way you like it.
  • Your old display name will remain static in certain situations—archived email item headers, Outlook profiles and Outlook name caches are a few examples.
  • It may take up to 48 hours for name changes to be visible in Exchange or Outlook Web App, due to Global Address List synchronization frequency.
  • The page supports editing another user’s display name on their behalf if you are specified as a Proxy (as entered in EDE in the uiucEduProxy field).

The link to the Display Name Tool is here:

This tool simply presents a list of name variations using first name, middle name and initials as well as nicknames (as entered in EDE).

This tool will NOT allow you to change your LAST NAME; for that you will need to go through the Name Change process either through Campus Human Resources (for staff/faculty) or Enterprise Self-Service (for students).

The formal Name Change procedure is different for students and faculty/staff members, and should be followed when a Last Name needs to be changed:

  • If you are a faculty/staff member, you will need to fill out the Name Change form to change your name and submit it to Campus Human Resources. The form is available in NESSIE.

  • If you are a student, then follow the directions located in the Enterprise Self-Support tool.

Keywords:AD Active Directory Exchange Lync Skype for Business display name   Doc ID:48032
Owner:Josh M.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
Created:2015-03-03 14:21 CSTUpdated:2017-01-03 15:06 CST
Sites:University of Illinois Technology Services
Feedback:  7   4