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  • Usernames and display names


    In Second Life, you have:

    • A username, your unique Second Life account name that you choose when you register your account. Residents can opt to change their username for a fee, should they wish. See Changing usernames for more information.
    • A display name shown to others inworld and on your profile.  You can change your display name as often as once a week at no cost.  In addition, you can always reset it to its default, your username.

    Your username and your display name are totally separate.  If you haven't set a display name, then it defaults to your username.


    Your username is the unique account name or account ID you use to log into Second Life. By default, it appears above your avatar inworld and identifies you to other Second Life Residents. You can also set a display name that appears above your username.

    Username format and account age

    In 2010, Second Life changed from registering new accounts with a "first name" and "last name" to a single-word username  If you registered your account after mid-2010, you created a unique, single-word username; for example: mortimer1980, or jsmith57.  When you log in to Second Life, you simply enter the  username you selected when you registered. 

    If you created your Second Life account before mid-2010, you have a Second Life "first name" and "last name" that determine your username as follows: firstname.lastname.  For example, if your Second Life name was originally Joe Smith when you joined, your username is joe.smith.

    Your username is a unique and personal account identifier in Second Life, and as such, many systems within Second Life depend on it. Changing a username is difficult, and as such, can only be done through a fee-based web service. See Changing usernames for more information.

    However, you can change your display name as often as once a week. There are no fees associated with changing your display name.  Your display name appears above your username by default and is a flexible way to identify yourself to other Second Life Residents.

    💡 Tip: Resident is a special last name; most Second Life viewers will hide the last name Resident by default. If you're changing your username and you'd like to have a single-word name (like a rock star), Resident is the name to choose.


    Logging in with your username

    The official Second Life Viewer requires a single username. However, some third-party viewers still have fields for a first name and a last name.

    Using a Viewer with separate first and last Name login fields

    If you are a newer Second Life Resident with a single-word username:

    1. Enter your username in the First Name field.
    2. Enter Resident in the Last Name field.

    For example, if your username is thejoesmith, enter: 

    First Name thejoesmith Last name Resident


    If you are a longtime Second Life Resident with both a first and last name, simply enter your first name and last name in the corresponding fields.

    For example, if your Second Life name is Joe Smith, enter:

    First Name Joe Last name Smith


    Using a Viewer with a single name login field

    If you are a Second Life Resident with a single-word username, simply enter that username along with your password and log in as usual.

    If you are an older Second Life Resident who has a first and last name, you have two options:

    • Enter your first and last name (in lowercase, separated by a period) into the field provided OR
    • Enter your first and last name separated by a space (case does not matter).

    For example, if your SL name is David Dearheart:

    • david.dearheart
    • david dearheart
    • David Dearheart

    Then enter your password into the Password field and log in.

    Showing or hiding others' usernames

    nametags prefs.png

    You can't control the display of your username to other Residents, but you can control whether you see others' usernames and whether you see your own name.

    To show or hide usernames inworld, both above other avatars and in chat:

    1. Log into Second Life.
    2. Choose Me > Preferences from the top menu.
    3. Click the General tab.
    4. Select the Usernames checkbox. If the box is checked, usernames are shown. If the box is not checked, usernames are hidden.
    5. Click OK.



    A club scene showing usernames and display names is illustrated at left.  In this image, some usernames are blurred.  Notice that only the username is shown above avatars who haven't set a display name.

    Changing usernames

    For a fee, Residents may change their usernames permanently. Changing your username will update your login information, unlike a Display Name.

    To change your username using the Account Dashboard at SecondLife.com:

    • First, log out of the Second Life Viewer on the account whose name you'd like to change.
      • Be sure to log out of every viewer completely. You cannot change your username if you're inworld.
    • Visit the Account Dashboard at SecondLife.com and log in, if necessary.
    • On the left, click Account to open the Account submenu.
    • Click Change Name.
    • Review the fees:
      • Premium Plus members: USD $14.99
      • Premium members: USD $34.99
      • Basic & Plus members: USD $49.99
    • Select from:
      • Go back to one of your previous names > Next Step
      • Choose a new name > Next Step
    • If you do not want to change your first name, uncheck the box next to Change first name and continue to the Change last name section.
    • To change your first name: 
      • Make sure the box next to Change first name is checked. 
      • Enter your new first name in the New first name box.
      • If you only wish to change your first name, uncheck the box next to Change last namethen click Review Changes to continue.
    • To change your last name:
      • Make sure the box next to Change last name is checked.
      • Select a last name from the pool of available options.
        • Different last names will be available at different times. Once a last name is removed from the list, it is not made available again.
        • Once you have used a last name, it will remain available for you even if it's removed from the general list of available names.
      • Available names you've used before will appear in the list beneath the current list of publicly available names.
    • Once you've made your selections, click Review Changes.
    • Review your requested account name change. Please make sure everything looks perfect, including spelling and capitalization.
    • Once you're satisfied, click Continue to checkout
    • Continue through checkout process to pay for your new name.
    • Once your name change is complete, you'll receive a success notification in your web browser and an email confirming your account name has changed. 


    Fees and guidelines

    Account Type Name Change Fee
    Premium Plus USD $14.99
    Premium USD $34.99
    Plus USD $49.99
    Basic USD $49.99


    • You may choose to change your first name, your last name, or both.
    • If your last name is currently Resident, you may select a 'classic' last name from several available options.
    • If you've changed your name before, you may revert to your previous name (standard name change fee applies)
    • Usernames must fit the guidelines of the Terms of Service for account names.
    • Accounts with a Custom Last Name must contact customer support for assistance; the web portal will not permit custom last name changes.
    • Names are limited to 31 characters in length.
    • If you've made a typo or mistake on your name change, please contact customer support for assistance.

    FAQs and troubleshooting

    Can I pay for my name change in Linden dollars (L$)?

    No. Username changes are charged in USD (United States Dollars). If you have a credit on your Tilia Account Balance from selling Linden dollars (L$), this credit can be used towards a name change, though. For more information on how to use your account balance in Second Life, please see our Knowledge Base article.

    How often can I change my username?

    There is no limit on how often you can change your username, but the standard fee will apply each time you do. 

    Help! I made a typo when I changed my name. How can I fix it?

    If you've made a mistake or typo in your username, please contact our customer support team for assistance.

    Known Issues

    • Your user history at wiki.secondlife.com will not carry over to your new username; any edits or content you may have added there will display the username you used at the time of the edit.
    • Your chat logs and user settings folders, located on your computer, may not automatically carry over. The viewer will make new folders with your updated name. If you'd like to copy your user settings, please see our guide to Backing up your user settings and preferences.
    • If you have a display name set, and choose to change your username, your display name will not change automatically. Please update it if you'd like to make any changes to reflect your new username.

    For further assistance and questions regarding name changes, please see our Name Change FAQ or contact our Support team for help.

    Display names

    Your display name is:

    • A name you choose shown to other avatars in the Second Life virtual world.
    • A string of characters up to 31 characters long  that contains at least one alphanumeric character. It can include most Unicode script characters, spaces, and some punctuation.
    • Distinct from the username you use to log in. 
    • Not necessarily unique; other avatars may have the same display name as you.

    You can choose whether or not to show other Residents' display names and usernames inworld. If you choose to view display names or usernames, they appear in the name tags above every avatar and in chat.

    Allowed characters

    Please note that using ansi or 'fancy' text characters may or may not apply your chosen display name correctly, and in some instances will fail to update, leaving your display name unchanged, depending on the type of character used. The standard characters A-Z, 0-9, and the characters listed below are tested and will display correctly. In addition to letters and numbers, you can use the following characters in your display name:

    • ' (apostrophe)
    • - (hyphen-minus)
    • . (full stop)
    • : (colon)
    • · (middle dot)
    • ֊ ֊  (Armenian hyphen)
    • ׳ (Hebrew geresh)
    • ״ (Hebrew gershayim)
    • (Tibetan tsheg)
    • - (hyphen)
    • (right single quotation mark)
    • (hyphenation point)
    • = (katakana-hiragana double hyphen)
    • · (katakana middle dot)

    Setting or changing your display name

    You can change your display name once every seven days, but you can Reset it at any time, which makes it appear as your "classic" Second Life first name and last name, or your username.

    To set or change your display name:

    1. Log into Second Life.
    2. In the Second Life Viewer, click Me > Profile... or profile1.jpg in the toolbar.
    3. Click Edit Profile.
    4. Click Display Name.
    5. Type the desired display name in the field under New Display Name.
    6. Type the name again to confirm.
    7. Click Save.
    Note: Changes to your display name may take up to 24 hours to propagate  throughout all of Second Life's systems.

    Showing or hiding others' display names

    To show or hide display names inworld, both in chat and over all avatars:

    1. Log into Second Life.
    2. Choose Me > Preferences from the top menu.
    3. Click the General tab.
    4. Select the View Display Names checkbox. If the box is checked, display names are shown. If the box is unchecked, display names are hidden.
    5. Click OK.

    Information for content creators and merchants

    Both username and display name are visible on objects

    Object properties and build tools show both the username and the display name of an object's owner and creator. During Linden dollar and other transactions, both your username and display name are visible.

    Display names on objects change when you change your display name, although it may take up to one day for the change to appear everywhere. 


    Username is shown in transaction history

    Your transaction history shows only usernames for both buyers and sellers.

    Search covers both usernames and display names

    When you search for a Resident, search results contain both display names and usernames so that you can easily determine which John Smith you're really looking for.

    If customers know your username, don't set your display name to avoid confusion

    To emphasize your username, don't set your display name; this way your display name and username match. As a precaution, you may also advise your customers that they should only pay avatars/objects matching your username.

    LSL uses only "full name" derived from username

    LSL functions return the "full name". For example:

    • Username: kelly.linden
    • Full name: Kelly Linden
    • Display Name: Teh Kellz

    For more information, see LSL Avatar/Name in the Second Life Wiki.

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