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Frequently Asked Question #25. How do I change my username?

You can rename any personal or community journal to another username as long as:
  • the other username is unregistered;
  • the other username is deleted and purged;
  • the other username is a personal journal under your control

If an unregistered username does not fit LiveJournal's format guidelines, or an inactive account has not been deleted-and-purged, the username is not available for use.

LiveJournal does provide a list of usernames which have been deleted and purged, and as such are available for you to use in renaming your account.

If the username you want is not available because it is currently registered by someone else, you can create a subscription to be notified if and when it is purged. (Note that you need to replace "exampleusername" in the URL with the username that you wish to be notified about.)

If you have created your account recently and have few or no entries, you may want to create a new journal.

If you want to hide your journal from someone who has found your username, renaming your journal is not the best choice. Comments and your community entries will display your new username; people may also be able to find you based on your community memberships, interests, friends list, etc. Instead, you can hide your journal by deleting the existing journal and creating an entirely new journal, or making the existing journal Friends-Only or Private.

Account Renaming Service

To rename your account, go to the Rename Account section of the LiveJournal Shop. The price to rename your account is $15 USD or 1500 LJ Tokens, and this fee exists because changing usernames is a complex process which can create confusion for other users.

It is recommended that you refer to the section on How Renames Work as you rename your account, so that you understand what selections you are making.

Special Cases

  • Renaming To Your Other Personal Journal ($15 USD / 1500 LJ Tokens): You can rename a personal journal to the username of another personal journal under your control, as long as they both have the same password and the same validated email address. Do not delete either journal. Renaming does not combine the contents of the two journals. The first account will get the username of the second journal, and the second account will get a username of the form ex_username123.

  • Community Renames ($15 USD / 1500 LJ Tokens): If you are the owner of a community and you wish to rename it, you can do so by selecting your community from the "Work as user:" drop-down menu and clicking "Switch" before performing the rename. You will need to be logged in as the owner account in order to do this. Additionally, communities can only be renamed to unregistered, deleted and purged, or personal accounts under your control. If you are renaming a community, do not create a community account with the alternate username.

  • Trading Usernames For Two Journals ($45 USD / 4500 LJ Tokens): Swap the usernames on two accounts under your control.

How Renames Work

LiveJournal identifies your account by your user ID number, not your username. Renaming an account only changes the name associated with that number – everything else about the account remains the same, including any paid time. All existing comments in other journals and posts in communities will display the new username. When you choose to rename your journal, you have several options; once you have chosen whether to redirect to your new username and preserve your friends and community memberships, you will not be able to change these options again:
  • Old Username: You have two options for what happens when someone tries to access your old username. In both cases, any existing comments or community entries will automatically display the new username. There is no way to change this behavior.

    • Forwarding: Your old username can automatically forward users to the new username – using this option is encouraged, so links to posts in your old journal still work. The User Info page and journal page for your old username will automatically forward to the User Info page and journal page for your new username, and any LiveJournal user tags will automatically display the new username instead of the old. If your email alias is turned on, mail sent to the old username's alias will be automatically forwarded. This redirection will remain in place as long as your account exists, which makes the old username permanently unavailable for new account creations or renaming.

    • Disconnection & Deletion: Your old username can be marked as deleted, so anyone who visits the journal will receive an error message. The option to delete your old username only affects what people will see when they search for or visit your old username directly. Your existing comments and communities entries will be updated to show your new username. If you select to have your old username deleted when you rename, then you or another user may rename to that username once the account is deleted and purged.

  • Friend-ofs: You can either keep or remove your Friend-ofs.

    • Keep Friend-ofs: Everyone listing your old username as a friend will continue to list your new username as a friend.

    • Remove Friend-ofs: You will be removed from the Friends lists of all other users when your account is renamed. (Of course, users can then add you again.)

  • Friends and Community Memberships: You can either keep or remove your Friends and community memberships.

    • Keep Friends and Community Memberships: Your Friends list will be unaffected and anyone you listed as a Friend will see your new username on their Friend-of list.

    • Remove Friends and Community Memberships: Your Friends list will be cleared and you will be removed from any community you were a member of.

Last Updated: November 10th, 2011

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