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Wikipedia:Changing username

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"WP:RENAME" redirects here. For renaming an article, see Wikipedia:Moving a page.
"WP:CHU" redirects here. For the CheckUser utility, see Wikipedia:CheckUser.

In 2014, Wikimedia implemented single user login (SUL) over the entirety of Wikimedia projects, including the English Wikipedia. As all usernames are now global, and not project-specific, registered users on the English Wikipedia who wish a username changes need to have that request processed by a global renamer (which includes stewards) in accordance with the global rename policy. A global renamer, who may not necessarily be a local bureaucrat, will process the request. Requests for usernames which are offensive, promotional, disruptive, misleading, or confusing are not accepted. Please read this entire page of guidance carefully before proceeding to one of the three venues for making requests listed below.

Must read

  • A rename moves your contributions and userspace pages to a new name, and preserves your account preferences.
  • If the job queue is very busy, it might take a number of days before the software re-assigns all your contributions to your new name.
  • Using your real name as a username may put you at risk of harassment.

Limitations and restrictions:

  • Accounts cannot be merged or deleted. They can only be renamed.
  • It is not possible to re-assign edits identified with an IP address (made while not logged in).
  • Usernames are subject to technical restrictions on usernames.
  • Existing signatures and mentions of the old username in discussions are not affected by a rename.
  • Renames appear in the user rename log or global rename log and requests are moved to the archives. This is done in the interest of transparency.

Please consider the following alternatives to a rename:

  • Although your username cannot begin with a lowercase letter, try placing {{lowercase}} on your userpage in order to display it that way.
  • If you simply want to change your "public appearance" on talk pages, you can change your signature. Note that this is not an alternative to changing your username if the name is in breach of the username policy.
  • If you want to retire from Wikipedia, place {{retired}} or a similar declaration on your userpage. A request for a rename to something like RetiredUser123 will be declined. Respected users wishing to vanish completely, perhaps by way of a rename to a random character string, are an exception to this rule.
  • Users who have made very few edits are encouraged to register a new account and discard the old one. You can even copy your old watchlist to your new account. See Wikipedia:Clean start for additional rules and details.

Other things to consider:

  • Once you have been renamed, check if your old account name still exists; if it doesn't, bear in mind that it could be recreated by a third party. To guard against impersonation, in that case you may wish to recreate the old account yourself and make redirects.
  • You may wish to inform others of previous username(s) via a simple statement on your user page, or use of {{user previous account}}.

Venues:

It's important to choose the right venue for your request; otherwise, it may be delayed or declined. Once you are sure, proceed to the correct venue and follow the instructions there:

  • Special:GlobalRenameRequest - For straightforward renames. An email address is required to use this interface. Use the other venues if one is not available or for complex requests.
  • Simple – For renames to usernames that are not already taken. Check Special:CentralAuth to see whether the username you want is available - if it is taken on any project, it is not available for use.
  • Usurpations – For renames to usernames that are already taken and have no significant edits or log actions and there are no significant attached accounts on other projects.