Sunday, November 16, 2008


How to Create a Username

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

The Internet is commonly asking for more and more user names for individual websites. A username is commonly paired with a password, but the username is not private. Sometimes, it can be difficult to find a username that is not taken (especially if you're registering at a popular website) and it can get annoying trying to remember a different username for every website. Here's how to settle on a username that is not likely to be in use already and that you can utilize for all your registration needs.


  1. Consider the context(s) of the username. If you are using the username solely for e-mail accounts and bank websites, it's perfectly okay to include part or all of your name. However, if you're on a dating site or a forum which you'd rather not be immediately linked to, then you'll want to choose a more anonymous username. Pick a username that you're comfortable with around all ages.
  2. Use a variation of your name that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to associate with your name. Use your seldom spoken middle name, for example, and spell it backwards. (E.g. Marissa = Assiram)
  3. Add any of the following to give it a unique twist:
    • Underscores ( _ ) or periods (.) (e.g. Assiram_K or P.Assiram)
    • Numbers - Make sure they are numbers that are of significance to you, but not necessarily revealing, like birthdates or house number. (e.g. Assiram727)
    • Caution: Non-letter characters can be overused and look tacky. In addition using too many may violate the username policy of whichever site you might be making a username for.
  4. Compound your username with a favorite hobby, food, book, or movie. Do some research; if you're passionate about Brazil, for example, search the net for the names of flowers, warriors, or folk tale characters from the Amazon. It's generally a good idea to put an underscore or a period between the two. (E.g. Fountainhead_Marissa or Marissa.Zucchini)
  5. Cross the language barrier; look up words in other languages, maybe the ID Writer wasn't available, but its French equivalent Ecrivant is.
  6. Write your user name down somewhere near your computer, so as not to forget it. Use a sticky note, and stick it on your computer, near the screen.


  • For most sites, user names must be between 6-14 characters.
  • In general, the more unique the username, the more likely you'll be able to use it for various websites, and the less you'll have to remember. On the other hand, if you make it too specific with personal information, your safety and privacy may become an issue.
  • You can also use the name as your email, but if it is for work, stay away from potentially embarrassing names.
  • Use a pun or a variation on a common phrase or title. When in doubt, mock the name of a popular song, movie, restaurant, or store.
  • Using numbers is usually a last resort, and are considered by many to be tacky and uncreative. Plus, they're not the easiest things for others to remember you by.
  • Using underlines or dashes can be useful, but often hard for others to remember if they want to type your name into a search bar.
  • Come up with a list of adjectives that describe you and find a way to incorporate them into your username.
  • Don't spend too much time on deciding your name. A good name is one that you should be able to remember. Don't make it so complicated that you will forget it.
  • Don't make your username complicated or hard to remember if you want to be added to someone's buddy list.
  • Some websites like AIM will have a feature when you apply where you enter a few words and they will suggest 3-5 screennames for you. These will generally give you more original results however you shouldn't use it if you think you won't remember it.


  • Be sure to read the wikiHow Username Policy, but only if you are creating a name for wikiHow. The wikiHow username policy does not apply to sites in general.
  • Pay attention to the requirements of the website. More than often the instructions will state "Username must not contain any suggestive or inappropriate language."
  • Avoid the numbers 666, 69, 1337, and #1. These are generally overused and mean-spirited, and carry unpleasant or boastful connotations.

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Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Create a Username. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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