How to Claim an Abandoned Twitter Username

How to Claim an Inactive Twitter Username

After patiently waiting for 6 months I finally have my twitter name @YesMissy!  I started my blog just over half a year ago, and didn’t think of starting a Twitter account until about a month or two into it. Unfortunately, at that time @YesMissy was taken.  But the account was completely abandoned: there were only 3 tweets in the timeline, 0 followers, and no sign of any new tweets.  Grr.. How frustrating is that? But I knew there must be a method to claiming an inactive Twitter account.

Sure enough, I did some research and found some people were able to claim a username if had proof they owned the company name or a registered trademark. I don’t have either, but I do own the domain name, and email, as well as Etsy shop and Facebook page by the same name. As it turns out, Twitter’s inactive user policy that allows people to reclaim inactive accounts after 6 months of non-tweeting or no activity. So for the past 6 months,  I’ve been holding my breath with my fingers crossed hoping that this particular user wouldn’t tweet again for the rest of the year!!  But once the time period was up, the process to claiming the inactive username was surprisingly simple. Read on to see the steps I took to claimed an inactive twitter account…

Here are the steps to claiming an inactive Twitter name:

  1. First, the account needs to be inactive (no tweets/no activity) for a minimum of 6 months.
  2. Go to: https://support.twitter.com/forms/impersonation
  3. Make the selection for ‘I am being impersonated.’ – (Though technically I hadn’t been ‘impersonated’. But this seemed to be the easiest method used for having an inactive Twitter username released.)
  4. Follow all the steps and fill the form, providing Twitter  with the information requested.  (Note I did use the ‘brand’ impersonation.)
  5. I filled in the form, giving a detailed description of why I thought the username should be released. This included letting them know that I owned the domain name, email, Facebook page and an Etsy Store).
  6. Within a day or two I got a response from Twitter support. They checked the account, verified it was inactive and then transferred it over me,  and from that day on, I’m @YesMissy on Twitter!

I’d love to connect with you on Twitter, so let me know if your username in the comments below!

Update: It’s great to see some of you were able to claim your own Twitter usernames as well!  I’ve added some more details to the instructions to help out those of you who are also wanting to claim inactive Twitter accounts. From the feedback I’ve had over the past few months, most people were able to claim the inactive Twitter usernames also owned the domain/email of the same name.  Good luck and let me know if this method works for you!

How to Claim an Inactive Twitter Username

 

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67 comments so far.

67 responses to “How to Claim an Abandoned Twitter Username”

  1. caroline says:

    OMG This is so awesome. I’ve been trying to get GirlinYellow or YellowDress and it’s taken but not being used at all…. Ha! I’m on it. So, so glad you posted this today!!!! For now I’ve been @YellowBirddream
    xo
    girlintheyellowdress.com

  2. Iyan Riana says:

    I was the same thing, but now i still waiting for transferring the username 🙁 it’s taking a long time to transfer? i have created a domain dot com with my real name and email dot com. So, how long should i wait?
    Btw, thank’s for awesome article and also follow my twitter @iyan_riana 🙂
    Thanks.

    • Eileen YesMissy says:

      Well for me it only took maybe a week for the whole process? Maybe even less than that. The username just needs to be inactive for 6 months then you can message twitter support to claim it. Hope that helps!
      Cheers!

      • Lauren Kay says:

        Hi @YESMISSY I have tried to email them. They never answered me of how long it would take and the person has tweeted once and has not used it for five years. I’m not sure how to ask them for them to reply back. Please help! 🙂

  3. Maxi says:

    Hi !
    I’m also waiting for my favorite nickname. I must wait 2 more months :/
    What did you put on “Something to add?”

    I fear not to have the rights arguments in order to claim my account

    • Eileen YesMissy says:

      Hello!

      Hmm.. I wrote said I owned the domain name, etsy store name, email, Pinterest, and Facebook. But from what I’ve read, I think if you have the domain name and email address it should be enough though. It doesn’t hurt to provide more information to strengthen your case thought.

      Cheers,
      Eileen

  4. Jessica says:

    i don’t think you can do it anymore?
    it says
    “We’re currently unable to accommodate individual requests for inactive or suspended usernames. We may release all inactive and/or suspended usernames in the future, but have not yet set a date for doing so. Follow @support to be updated when inactive usernames become available.”
    Did this come up when you did it? And should i take a step ahead and just email them? idk… i’ve always wanted my name… its been inactive for 2 years and i just keep waiting… and i’ve officially given up. What should i do?

  5. Cari Crowe says:

    I wanted to change my work twitter to @CariCrowe (from @UplandCari) and it’s taken, but this person has never tweeted and has one follower. For the time being, I snagged @MCariCrowe and tell them the “M” is for Magic

  6. Leo says:

    Hi @yesmissy, great username by the way 🙂

    I have just followed your exact steps, everything stacks up for me the same is it did for you, except I own .co.uk (not .com) which I hope is sufficient. Account has been inactive for a long time and has 0 tweets, I will let you know the outcome, want to remain anonymous til then…

    x

  7. Ian Wilcox says:

    Thanks for sharing this! i have sent off the request to try and get my username/name released as @IanWilcoxUK just isnt the same as using my own name like i do everywhere else.

    I will let you know how i get on 🙂

    • Ian Wilcox says:

      Guess what!!

      It worked, I am now @IanWilcox so thanks alot for posting this 🙂

      • Eileen Eileen Chow says:

        That’s awesome Ian! I’m so glad it worked for you 🙂
        Did it take awhile for Twitter to get back to you? I think you originally tried a few months ago right?

        Cheers,
        Eileen

        • Omar Elmansuri says:

          Hey Ian. I saw this article and found it interesting but I wondered how this would apply to my case since my desired twitter handle is my name, not a group, website or anything like that. I’m not famous in any way. How did you get the account?

  8. Melissann says:

    Hey,

    Did you have to send a fax of your photo id etc etc?
    I’ve just done the first step, wondering if I need to bother to send my photo ID.

    • Eileen YesMissy says:

      Hi there,

      I didn’t need to fax anything in for my case. But support may ask you to.

      Cheers,
      Eileen

    • Leo says:

      Hi,

      I followed these advice here and didn’t send a fax – I heard nothing back…

      So I followed it again, and this time I sent the fax, and here is the response I received a few days later:

      Hello,

      We’ve researched the reported account and determined that it is not in violation of our Terms of Service. The account is not being used in a way that is misleading or confusing, nor is it inactive at this time.

      Please note that you may not be able to tell whether an account is currently inactive, as not all signs of account activity are publicly visible. For more information, please see our help page on inactivity.

      Also, Twitter does not have a reservation policy for usernames and we do not suspend or release accounts unless they are in violation of our Rules.

      So, no luck for me!

  9. Leo Rodez says:

    You mentioned that when you began trying to claim your username, you contact twitter through email. Could please give the twitter email contact? I am dealing with the same issue, and I think that is time to write an email to them.

    Regards.

    Leo

  10. Al says:

    Surprised this worked for you in 2013 and congrats I’m trying to get my real name as my twitter account. I own the dot com of the domain and the account name I want has been inactive since September of 2009. It’s a real bummer. I reached out to twitter but they told me they weren’t taking requests to release names and that I hadn’t provided enough information blah blah blah. It’s a real bummer.

    I might try again later. Till then the variation using my middle initial has been doing fine but I’d really like to use my only my first and last name.

  11. nurul says:

    hi missy, please help me. i already visit to https://support.twitter.com/forms/impersonation and what should i fill in column “legal allias” and “common nickname”? i don’t understand, please help me. thank you 🙁

  12. nurul says:

    hey missy! i just received an email from twitter after filled the impersonae form.
    Hello,
    This email is to confirm that we have received your report regarding an account impersonating you on the Twitter platform. In order to process your report, we first must confirm your identity.
    To confirm your identity, fax a copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license, passport) to Twitter at 1-415-865-5405. Please write “Attention: User Safety, Twitter Inc.” at the top and include your ticket number (#).
    Once we have received your fax, we will review and process your report. We will not process your report until we receive your faxed ID.
    Please note:
    • If you are making a report regarding an account impersonating your family member on the Twitter platform, we first must confirm that you have permission to take action on behalf of your family member. Please fax documentation authorizing you to act on your family member’s behalf. (e.g. power of attorney, birth certificate, documents showing parental/guardianship rights of minor children), AND a faxed copy of your valid photo ID (e.g. driver’s license or passport).
    • If you are reporting an account that is not using the name that appears on your government-issued photo ID, you must also include documentation demonstrating that the name used by the account you’re reporting is associated with you (e.g., proof of registration of your trade name or pseudonym).
    • We must be able to see your full name and image on the faxed photo ID, so double-check to make sure you’re sending a clear copy. 1-415-865-5405 is a United States number; if you’re faxing your ID from outside the United States, be sure to include the appropriate international dialing code.
    • If a fax machine is unavailable, you can send a fax from your computer for free through third-party services such as FaxZero (http://faxzero.com/), Popfax (http://www.popfax.com/), or efax (http://www.efax.com/). Please do not reply to this email with a copy of your ID.
    • If you have previously filed reports about impersonation accounts from this email address and faxed a copy of your government-issued photo ID to Twitter as part of that process, respond to this email with that information (and, if possible, the ticket number associated with the previous report).
    • Twitter allows parody, commentary, and fan accounts; if an account is in full compliance with our policies, it is not considered impersonation. For more information, see this help page: http://support.twitter.com/entries/106373.
    If you are not attempting to report an account impersonating you on the Twitter platform, please see the following links for resources you may find helpful:
    • Questions or requests regarding an inactive username: https://support.twitter.com/forms/general?subtopic=inactive_username
    • Reports involving your brand or trademark: https://support.twitter.com/forms/trademark
    • Reports of someone using your email address to create a Twitter account: https://support.twitter.com/articles/110202
    • Appealing an account suspension: https://support.twitter.com/forms/general?subtopic=suspended
    • Reporting an account compromise or that you’ve been hacked: https://support.twitter.com/forms/hacked
    Thank you,
    Twitter Trust & Safety
    ————————————————-
    Your ticket number: #10997166

    OH MY GOD WHAT SHOULD I DOOO??? it’s too difficult for me 🙁

    • Eileen YesMissy says:

      Hi Nurul,

      It looks like they need some more information for you to confirm your id. So You should probably follow the steps in send in you ID verification. From there they should contact you and just take it a step at a time!

      Cheers,
      Eileen

  13. Cameron says:

    Hey Missy, after submitting to obtain a certain @handle twitter emailed me this.

    Hello,

    Thank you for contacting us. It appears that you have not provided sufficient evidence that the account you are reporting is impersonating you. If there is information on the account that shows a clear intent to assume your real identity, please reply to this email with a detailed description of the information. This could include @replies, links to reproduced content, or other Tweets. This help page explains how to find a Tweet’s status link:

    https://support.twitter.com/articles/80586

    I don’t know what I need to add to the sumbmission form to show that I have enough evidence they are impersonating me. The user has 0 followers, 0 tweets, and is following 0 users. What should I do?

    • Eileen YesMissy says:

      Hi there,

      I would suggest that you send them evidence of ownership of that particular username. Like, if you own the dot com name, or other social media accounts that you own with that same handle. It seems like Twitters been more strict with releasing usernames. Best of luck.

      Cheers,
      Eileen

  14. The Humorist says:

    Hey YesMissy,

    Did you report the personal or company impersonation?
    I have a site that I need to create an account for.
    Which one should I file?

  15. Goofy says:

    Hello. Exactly how long did you have to wait once you sent in the impersonation form to get a reply? I sent one in for my website 5 days ago and still no response. The username I’m trying to get has only tweeted 4 times and hasn’t tweeted in nearly a year.

    • Eileen Eileen says:

      Hi,
      I only had to wait maybe 2-3 business days I believe. They got back to me fairly quickly, but each case may be different. Hope it works out for you!

      • Goofy says:

        Okay so here’s my update: I got my username! Took me 15 days total. Of course I had to be very very very clever and deceiving to convince Twitter that the account was impersonating my “brand”. I saw from people here that simply having the email and such won’t cut it so I had to be a bit deceptive. I’m sure the previous owner won’t mind as The account had been inactive for a year and only had 4 tweets linking to ustream, a dead website and a political comment.

        Thanks again. Finally got the One word username I’ve always wanted!

  16. Danny says:

    Hi, what “impersonation” options did you select? It asks for a company address (did you use your home address?). Thanks.

  17. Betsy V says:

    Hey! It didn’t work for me :/ I want @BetsyV and they’ve been inactive for more than a year and I just contacted Twitter. They replied back stating that BetsyV isn’t impersonating me so they can’t do anything about it. Wth!? :/

    • Eileen YesMissy says:

      Hi Betsy,

      It does vary depending on the situation. I’ve know some people who have been able to claim the inactive username and some not. But it doesn’t hurt that you tried. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Eileen

  18. Markus says:

    Unfortunately this doesn’t work for many users, yessmissy was happy and I think it helped that she has the domain and a cool blog. But maybe we can bring Twitter to act, so please sign this petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/release-dormant-twitter-account-names-to-be-used-for-productive-means

  19. Thanks a lot!!
    We are a group of Mexicans which wanted to own @SoyAzul in Twitter for our fan page of a Mexican soccer team.
    We were @soyazui so we bought the website: soy-azul.com and followed the steps you mention and Twitter gave us the @soyazul username!

    • Eileen YesMissy says:

      Thanks awesome!

      It’s good to hear it worked for you. I think having the domain name is key to getting the twitter username. I’m glad it worked for you.

      Cheers,
      Eileen

  20. hugasjikhcd says:

    @jacklaurie

  21. Guest says:

    i would like help to try and get a twitter name called @toasty my twitter name is @allan_shearer but i’m better know is toasty all the

  22. Allan Shearer says:

    i would like help to try and get a twitter name called @toasty my twitter name is @allan_shearer but i’m better know as toasty all my mates call me that i just don’t really understand you method eileen chow i have some learning difficulties so i hope you do not mind could you try and get it for me

  23. Just submitted the form! Lets see if it works for me or not..Anyways thanks for your sharing your experience..keep sharing 🙂

  24. Max Pen says:

    Wow this is quite interesting!

  25. Quick question, do you have any more details on how you filled out the form, and the info. Right now I’m trying to get my username: ar_christiansen changed to archristiansen. Seems someone beat me to it a few years ago, so I’ve been hunting for solutions. I’ve tried several things on the twitter form without success. Thought I’d ask. 🙂

    Regards… Andrew

  26. Ralphie Polo says:

    Did you wait six months before filing the claim or did it take them six months to respond?

  27. Inayatullah says:

    Quick question, do you have any more details on how you filled out
    the form, and the info. Right now I’m trying to get my username:
    @inayatullah853 changed to @inayatullah. Seems someone beat me to it a
    few years ago, so I’ve been hunting for solutions. I’ve tried several
    things on the twitter form without success. Thought I’d ask. 🙂

    Regards… Inayatullah

  28. Matty Jones says:

    Sweet. I actually went to Twitter help and it said that they are not releasing inactive names, but I never thought about the “brand” thing (which is also why I would like to claim mine). Thanks. 🙂

  29. Mx says:

    When you do this Twitter changes your current username or you have to create a new account with the requested username? Thanks!

  30. Sadly they’ve clamped down on this completely and only give away the name if you are actually being impersonated. I tried with domain name ownership even though I am a journalist but they would do nothing.

    • Darrell says:

      I realized that too! I’m not sure why they care that you need or even just want it. No one is using it, just give it up.

  31. Tiana Jones says:

    Do they give you the account or just the username with a new account?

  32. Marlene says:

    Hi! In step 5 where you say “I filled in the form, giving a detailed description of why I thought the username should be released. This included letting them know that I owned the domain name, email, Facebook page and an Etsy Store).” where did you do this? You said you went via brand impersonation but there is no box for me to type with this one. Under the general impersonation there is, but not when you go the brand route. I might be missing something so I wanted to check 🙂

  33. Caleb Cook says:

    Twitter is asking me to send a statement verifying myself as an authorized representative of my brand. I am a photographer – the sole member of my company/brand. What should I send, and if I need a statement, are there example ‘templates’ of such statements?

  34. ccccc says:

    I followed this guide and got some automated message to scan in my
    driver’s license or something. I’m not sure I’m comfortable doing that

  35. Ren K says:

    This has changed now… Twitter now requires the following info when reporting an impersonation:

    Upload a copy of your valid government-issued photo ID to confirm your identity (e.g. driver’s license, passport, etc.).
    If you are reporting an account that is not using the name that appears on your government-issued photo ID, please include documentation demonstrating that the name used by the account you’re reporting is associated with you (e.g. proof of registration of your trade name or pseudonym).
    A maximum of 5 files can be uploaded. Accepted formats are PNG, JPG, GIF and WEBP.

  36. Larry Braide says:

    Thoughtful ideas , my business partners earlier today saw https://goo.gl/VhH3As to write in pdf , It’s rather straightforward to figure out and it’s handy , I heard they are giving a free trial ongoing

  37. Anup Sutar says:

    hey. I created twitter account when i was 13 in 2011 but now i am 18 and i have lost email and password of that account. i have only 1 follower and 1 following on that account. no tweets. can i claim that account if i am not a brand or company?

  38. Hello, I tried many times to get @picturesofindia released that way, for the nonprofit association I manage, which is Pictures of India, we have the domain, Facebook and Instagram name but the Twitter name has been suspended for as long as I can remember (many many years). Never managed to go through the process. Just tried once again, hope it works this time. Thanks for sharing.

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Yes Missy is a light-hearted lifestyle blog that celebrates a living beautiful life and all the things that make it special. Here you’ll find things I love and feel passionate about, from fashion and beauty to decor, travel, and more. Beyond just a the blog, Yes Missy encompasses my philosophy that life is about creating moments and not waiting for them.

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