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Frequently Asked Question #127. Why can't I have a particular username? Can I have the username of an abandoned account?

Your desired username may not fit LiveJournal's username format guidelines, may be an already registered username, or may be a reserved username format. Even seemingly-abandoned accounts are not available unless they have been deleted and purged (view list). If your desired username is the wrong format or already registered, create an account with a variant (such as adding numbers, extra letters, or underscores) or completely different username.

Username Format

  • Maximum Length: 15 characters
  • Allowed Characters: a-z, 0-9, and _ (underscore).
  • Reserved: LiveJournal reserves certain prefixes, such as 'ex_', 'ext_', 'lj_', and 's_', for official or system use. These prefixes will produce an error of "Sorry, that is a reserved username."
  • Underscores: Usernames can no longer begin or end with an underscore, nor contain more than one underscore in a row.

Registered Accounts

If you attempt to create an account with a registered username, you will see an error: "Sorry, this username is already in use." Once a username has been used, it can only be used again after its account is deleted and purged, and then it can only be obtained by renaming to it.
  • Inactive Accounts: Usernames of inactive accounts are not available because the logged-in owner has not chosen to delete it. LiveJournal automatically deletes accounts which are both inactive and contain less than 3 entries. Any account which has not been logged into for 2 years, and which has less than 3 entries in it (excluding the welcome entry from LiveJournal) will be deleted. Usernames become available for renaming after the inactive account has been purged. Paid and Permanent Journals and communities are exempt from inactivity deletions, as are accounts which are in "memorial", "suspended" or "read only" status.
  • Deleted Accounts: Usernames of deleted accounts are not available because the owner can undelete them at any time. Deleted accounts keep that status for at least 30 days; there is no way to determine when they will be purged.
  • Deleted and Purged Accounts: Usernames of deleted and purged accounts are available (view list). You can obtain purged usernames by renaming an existing username to the username of the deleted and purged account.
  • Suspended Accounts: Usernames of accounts which are suspended cannot be used by anyone else, as a suspension may be only temporary.
  • Forwarding Accounts: If someone renames their account and chooses to forward visitors from the old username to the new username, the old username is not available. The old username will remain active to forward visitors as long as the renamed account exists. If the username you want leads to a journal with a different username, it is a forwarding username and therefore unavailable.

Last Updated: April 8th, 2013

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