This article outlines the most common issues around selecting a Twitter username:
- A username is taken by another person.
- A username seems available, but an error message appears when trying to select it.
- Requesting an unavailable username.
If you try to select a username and see that it has already been claimed, you will need to select a different one. Remember the following:
- You can list your real name in your profile to provide more information to your followers.
- Adding underscores before or after your desired username will help you claim a unique handle on Twitter.
- Example: if you would like the username @lindsay but it has been claimed, consider selecting a name like @lindsay_ or @_lindsay.
Here are the possible reasons why you would be unable to claim a username that seems available:
- Usernames containing the words Twitter or Admin cannot be claimed. No account names can contain Twitter or Admin unless they are official Twitter accounts.
- Your username cannot be longer than 15 characters. Your real name can be longer (20 characters), but usernames are kept shorter for the sake of ease.
- A username can only contain alphanumeric characters (letters A-Z, numbers 0-9) with the exception of underscores, as noted above. Check to make sure your desired username doesn't contain any symbols, dashes, or spaces.
- The username may be claimed by a suspended or deactivated account. Suspended and deactivated usernames are not immediately available for use, so you’ll need to select a different username.
If you try view a suspended user’s profile by navigating to their profile (by typing twitter.com/[their username] into your browser's URL bar), you’ll see the following message:
Trying to navigate to a deactivated user’s profile will return a message like this:
- Unfortunately, these usernames cannot be released at this time.
- We are working on a solution that will automatically release usernames, but we do not have a set time frame for when this will take place; follow @Support for updates on when we will be releasing inactive usernames
- Please see our Inactive Account Policy help page for more detailed information, including information for trademark holders
While we work to make more usernames available, hang in there and try to think of other ways to express your Twitter identity! Remember, you can change your username at any time.