This article describes the policies pertaining to Twitch usernames, and how to obtain a rename.
Twitch usernames are provided to the first individual to request an open and available user name. To be clear, this is a first come, first serve basis.
However, usernames may be freed up for re-registration, without notice, if:
they violate specific registered trademarks;
are involved in an active impersonation (keep in mind someone registering your desired username first is NOT an act of impersonation); or
are no longer active, meaning, there is no viewing or login activity associated with the account for at least 12 months.
We reserve the right to change this policy at any time.
With any reclaimed account, Twitch will delete the profile information associated with the account (including, any content). This also means that any personal data and private content associated with these accounts will be deleted and will not be accessible to the new account holders.
Before changing usernames, all broadcasters should be aware of a few key facts and known issues that may impact your account:
If you change your name, you will lose access to your broadcaster stats associated with your old name. If you want to preserve your broadcast stats, you must export your stats prior to the name change. All stats can be found here. To export broadcast stats, click the export function in the upper right of the stats graph. Note: This only downloads the data in the current view. There is no blanket export all option.
Your channel URL will not redirect to your new name. You will need to update the URL anywhere you are using it.
And if you are a Partner, the following also should be noted:
Your revenue will not be impacted. We want to stress that a name change will lead to absolutely no loss of revenue. However, for the day you made the name change, ad revenue from viewers on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Live from Playstation, and Android TV may be delayed. This will only impact ad revenue on the day that you changed your name, and you will not permanently lose any revenue. Subscription and bits revenue will not be impacted.
Your old username will not be recycled. Except in special circumstances, your username will not be made available again to anyone else.
As a preliminary point, we do not accept direct requests to use a name associated with another account. Even if you believe the account is inactive, such accounts are subject to our username recycle and reuse policy.
The positive news: Twitch now offers you a tool to change your username once every 60 days.
Username changes will not be allowed during an active broadcast and will not be processed when an active VOD upload is pending.
To change your username:
First, navigate to your settings page and type in the username you desire into the field. Note: users will be required to have a verified email in order to perform username change. In the absence of a verified email, you will be prompted to verify.
Next, click verify and authenticate with your password.
Note: Once you have changed your name, the abandoned usernames will be held by Twitch for a minimum of 6 months. After which, we may decide to return those usernames to the pool of available usernames for the community and new users.
Q: Will bot accounts be affected by the username reclaim process for inactive accounts?
A: No standard chat bots of any kind will be affected by the reclaim process. If you are concerned about your bot, we recommend that you log into the account once per year.
Q: How will reclaimed accounts affect follow counts?
A: On average, follow counts will decrease.
Q: I have an old account - please do not delete it! How do I stop my account from being reclaimed?
A: All you need to do is log into it! As soon as you log into your account, it is automatically refreshed and removed from the list of accounts prepared for deletion.
Q: If my account is reclaimed by Twitch, will the new username owner have access to my information?
A: No. The new owner of the username will never have access to any of your data, including credit card information, settings, or viewing history.
Q: When will the inactive usernames become available?
A: Inactive usernames will be recycled periodically and made available for new users in batches. Legacy justin.tv usernames will eventually be recycled as part of this process.
Q: Will there be an announcement or list of new names when a username batch becomes available?
Q: Will people be able to change their username in order to circumvent channel or community timeouts/bans?
A: No, they will not be able to circumvent bans or timeouts by changing their username.
Q: Can I switch names with another account I own?
Q: If I delete or rename an alt account with a username I want to change my primary account to, how long until the alt account name becomes available?
A: After you delete or rename your account, your old username will be recycled. It may take up to 6 months for this process and eventually that username will added to pool of available usernames. In most cases this means you cannot rename one account to the name of another account you own.
Q: Does changing my name affect my display name? (Ex: I no longer want a CJK display name)
A: CJK display names do not change when you change your username.
Q: How do name changes affect 3rd party apps (ex: loyalty bots)?
A: Some apps may not be able to recognize your account anymore once you have changed your name. You should contact the developer of application to make sure they support name changes. Many developers will have some public information regarding this.
Q: I want a username that appears to be deleted/non-existent/inactive, how do I get it or how long do I have to wait until it is available?
A: Check the tool frequently to find out if your desired name has become available. We do not make announcements when names are released back into the available pool. We also do not take requests for specific usernames to be recycled.
Q: If I change my username, will I lose my followers, view count, followed channels, or subscriptions?
Q: I no longer want my new name. Can I change back?
A: If you changed your username and would like to change it back, unfortunately we cannot facilitate this. You can change your name again in 60 days, but your original name will not become available again for 6 months.
Q: Can I have a name that has been banned?
A: All TOS banned usernames are excluded and permanently inaccessible.
Q: I want a name that shows the “Sorry. Unless you’ve got a time machine…” error on its channel page, but the system will not let me choose that name. Why can’t I choose that name?
A: This means that the username is not recycled yet. Once it is recycled it should be available for new users via signup or for existing users via rename. We cannot provide you with any estimated time for when this will occur for any specific username.