It can be tough to change an unfortunate birth name, but, thankfully, your Twitter username doesn’t have to be the one your parents bestowed upon you. It is part of your online identity, however, and it can often say more in 15-or-less characters than you can in a generous 140.
Though often used interchangeably, your Twitter username and display name are not the same thing. Your username is essentially your unique Twitter handle, the name that appears in your in your profile URL and allows you to log in, reply to tweets, and direct message others (hint: it’s the name that following the “@” sign). Your display name, on the other hand, is the personal one that appears above your username on your profile page or to the left of your username in your Twitter feed.
So why change your username or real name? Sometimes rebranding yourself or adding a level of professionalism isn’t such a bad thing. Changing your username will also leave your existing followers, direct messages, and replies intact. Just make sure to let your followers know so they can interact with your new name instead of scouting for your old one.
Here’s our quick-hit guide on how to change your Twitter name. Try to keep it simple, short, and reflective of you for the sake of your followers. Most of us don’t like riddled usernames, after all.
How to change your Twitter username
Step 1: Log in to your Twitter account
Launch your favorite browser and log into Twitter with your username and password as you would normally. Afterward, navigate to the homepage. Keep in mind that you can also change your Twitter username using the Twitter app.
Step 2: Access the Account Settings
Click your profile image — or the gear icon, if you don’t have a profile image — between the search bar and the Tweet button in the upper-right corner. Then, select Settings near the bottom of the resulting drop-down list. The Account Settings tab should open by default, but you can click the Account option in the left-hand side to bring up the main interface if it doesn’t. In the Twitter app, tap the gear icon and follow the same steps as above.
Step 3: Change your username
Type in your desired username — it needs to be 15 characters or less — in the text field to the right of Username. A message will appear prompting you choose another username if your first choice is unavailable.
Note that your Twitter username can only contain alphanumerical characters and must omit both the words “Twitter” and “Admin” unless you’re using an official Twitter account. You can also always refer to the Twitter Help Center for more details regarding your username and the various restrictions surrounding it. When finished, click the blue Save changes button at the bottom of the page to save your new username.
Also, if you have a verified account (designated by a checkmark next to your real name), you’ll lose your badge when you change your username. We recommend that you contact and alert Twitter before you make any changes.