Tutorial: Second Life Names Changes

via Linden Lab

Second Life offers Premium Account holders the opportunity to change the the first name, the last name or both the first and last names of their account at any time, or to revert to any name they name have used in the past (again, first name, last name or both).

This Tutorial is intended to provide an overview of using the Name Change capability.

Important Points

First some points to note:

  • Premium members may change their first name or their last name or both their first and last name whenever they wish.
    • First names are free-form.
    • Last names are selected from a list, with the available names updated periodically.
  • There is a fee applicable each time the capability is used. This fee is displayed as a part of the Name Change process.
    • VAT at applicable rates will be added to accounts in VAT-paying countries.
  • Once a first name+ last name combination has been applied to an avatar account, it cannot be used by any other account (so “Josephine Bloggs” cannot use Name Change to become “Inara Pey”).
  • It is possible for you to revert back to any previously-used name assigned to your account.
  • If you are Premium and use the Name Change capability, then subsequently downgrade to Basic, you will retain whatever avatar / account name you have at the time you downgrade. You will not not “revert” to any past name you may have had, and you won’t be able to change you name again until such time as you re-up to Premium.
  • Name Changes is not replacing Display Names – these will remain available at no charge to all who wish to use them.
  • Name changes are made via the Second Life dashboard, and you must be logged-out of Second Life in order to make sure any Name Change you make is correctly applied to your account.

Changing Your Name

Note: It is possible (and based on some feedback received), that a name change might take a little time to propagate through SL’s various services, which may have some impact on things like scripted objects such as security systems.

Premium Members can change their names as follows:

  • Log out of the viewer if you are currently in-world.
  • Log on to your dashboard at secondlife.com.
  • Click Account on the left-menu.
  • Click on Change Name.
  • The Change Your Account Name page is displayed. This comprises:
    • The account availability of Name Changes (including a link for Basic account holders to upgrade to Premium.
    • The fee that will be applied to your account, including and VAT that may be added.
    • A reminder than you can change your first name, your last name or both.
    • An option to go ahead and change your account name.
The Change Your Account Name page
  • Click the Next Step button to proceed.
  • The Choose a New Name page is displayed. This comprises three parts:
    1. The Change First Name option.
    2. The Change Last Name option with a list of currently available last names names.
    3. A list of previous last names you have used – if you have not previously used Name Changes, only your current last name is displayed.
The Choose a New Name page, showing the three options for changing your first name (1); selecting an new last name from a list of currently available names (3), and for any previously-used last names (if available – 3)

Change Your First Name Only

  • Leave the Change First Name option checked.
  • Use the text input field to enter your desired first name.
  • Uncheck the Change Last Name option.

Change Your Last Name Only

  • Uncheck the Change First Name option.
  • Leave the Change Last Name option checked.
  • Click the radio button next to last name you would like to use.

Change Both Your First and Last Names

  • Keep both the Change First Name option and the Change Last Name option checked.
  • Enter your desired first name in the text input field under Change First Name
  • Click the radio button next to last name you would like to use.

Reverting to a Previously Used Name

If you have previously used Name Changes, and would like to change back to an “old” name:

  • Enter the first name in the Choose a First Name text input field (if required).
  • Click on the require last name from the list of your previously used Last Names (if available).

Completing the Change

  • When you are happy with the name(s) you have set / selected, click the Review Changes button.
  • A summary of your changes is displayed (if you have made no changes, you’ll be taken back to the Change Your Account Name page).
The Name Change summary – use it to make sure you are happy with the name(s) you have selected
  • Make sure the details are as you want them, or use the Go Back link to change your selection(s).
  • If you are certain of the changes:
    • Log out of the viewer if you have not already done so.
    • Click on Continue to Checkout.
  • On the check-out page, you are presented with your payment options:
    • Via an US dollar balance on your Tilia account.
      • Requires acceptance of the Tilia Terms of Service, if you have not already done so.
      • If you have a sufficient US dollar balance on your Tilia account, but do not with to use it, click the Don’t Use button.
    • Via any credit / debit card already tied you your Second Life Account.
    • By clicking the More Payment Options… and making a selection (e.g. assigning another credit / debit card to your account).
  • When you have selected your preferred payment method, click the blue Buy Now button to complete your Name Change.
Name Change payment options

13 thoughts on “Tutorial: Second Life Names Changes

  1. Being new to SL this is a bit confusing, especially as it costs $40. Will many people pay $40 to change their username? When you sign up (screenshot https://gyazo.com/a46401e7e1321c8b565a4b894108f794) there is no mention of:
    – The fact that your username is actually more of a *name* in SL and will be visible to other users (this is atypical, most modern apps use your email address as your username and it’s just used for logging in / password reset)
    – The fact you cannot change it without incurring a charge (so “choose carefully”)
    – That you actually have a second name ‘Resident’

    Seems as though little consideration is given to new user onboarding with some of these features and changes.


    1. You are a little confused (admittedly it is confusing). This “new” ability is about changing your Account Name, the one that, in your case probably has Resident as the last name.
      Display name is something else entirely, and you can change it for free. It can be anything you choose.


      1. @shug

        Hmm weird, I thought I replied earlier but it’s gone.

        Just to say – no, I totally understand the difference between Display Name and Account Name. I’m just saying the sign up process doesn’t make it clear what they call ‘username’ there…. actually becomes your first name after you get into SL. And that it’s not just a login username that nobody else will see. I initially had to delete my account and start again after I realised that (because at the time it was not possible to change it).

        My point is they should make it clear what it is, and that you can’t just change it whenever you want BEFORE you commit to it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’d agree that adding a comment to the form that the account user name will be the name applied to the incoming user’s avatar would potentially help people think about the name they are choosing (there’s no need, I’d suggest, to get into the whole whetehr or not and how names can be supplemented / changed until after they are actually active SL users).

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sure, yes there is a balance between keeping it simple and too much potentially confusing information.

            Plot twist: I ended up going for a name change anyway, I guess I wanted the simplicity of not having two names, and I changed my mind. No issues with my houseboat security system (or with anything for that matter).


        2. re. “just a login username that nobody else will see”.
          That is a choice, I choose to prioritize account names in the “bubble”/tag over people’s head. Display names can change frequently, account name never until now. It is important for me to actually know who I am talking to.


          1. @Shug Yes of course but that is just *your* individual viewer preference. And indeed the fact that you can choose to hide display names (and I understand entirely with your reasoning for doing so) underlines my point, which is really a usability point about the sign-up process.


  2. Changed my name and then logged on to SL and got ejected from my Linden Houseboat because the security system doesn’t recognize my new name.


    1. Is it the Linden Lab-provided security system? If so that’s really bad! They clearly advise that LSL coders use avatar unique keys in their code rather than resident names. If they’re saving residents on the whitelist by resident name this goes against their own recommendations.


    2. This may have been a propagation issue – the change needing time to be registered across all of SL’s various systems and services. Are you still encountering the problem? If so, have you filed a support ticket? Would be interested to hear back.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a propagation issue. About 1/2 hour later the SL security system did recognize my new name.


        1. Thanks, and glad it was propagation – I did actually mean to put that in the tutorial and then forgot, so I’ve updated it with a warning.

          Also, sorry that you had to make multiple replies. The WordPress spam filter seems to have gone a little sideways in the last 24 hours!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Now that I have changed my name and the resulting problems in SL have resolved, I have given pause to think about the name change. For me, it is a vanity thing. Just like wearing a mesh body and head and nicely done clothes etc. But in these times when I see unimaginable long lines of people needing food to feed their families, I am ashamed that I just spent $40 to change my imaginary name. So, I have decided that for every $1USD I spend in SL I will donate the same amount to the Salvation Army to help them feed our less fortunate neighbors. Today, I donated $40 and when I get my next paycheck, I will donate $99, the cost of my 1-year premium membership. I hope this will relieve some of my shame, but I fear not all of it.

            Liked by 2 people

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