Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 153 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

The policy on changing one's display name was changed back on February 4:

only one display name change is allowed every 30 days

However, there is no warning whatsoever when actually changing one's display name. Thus, it came as quite a bit of a shock to me when I found out today that I might be stuck as "Unicorns are Yummy" on Stack Overflow for the next freakin' month.

I would like to recommend that a warning be added to the "edit profile" page to warn people. Or, at least make the policy concerning display name changes more obvious.


I was able to change my display name back (phew!) by copying my profile from Meta Stack Overflow.

I still think a warning should be implemented, though.

share|improve this question
@Arjan: Probably a good idea. This is only tangentially unicorn-related anyway ;-) – James McNellis Apr 1 '10 at 22:35
@bmargulies: I don't think the edit was correct here. James McNellis's asking for a warning is caused in this particular instance because of the whole unicorn incident, but users changing their names in the future might be in the same sort of hot water for other reasons. – Billy ONeal Apr 2 '10 at 0:35
That's what you get for eating unicorns. :( – GManNickG Apr 2 '10 at 0:43
@GMan: Says the man who changed his name liked this which caused me to make a duplicate question of this one.... – Billy ONeal Apr 2 '10 at 0:44
@BillyONeal who was trying to be correct? This is Meta on 1 April. – Rosinante Apr 2 '10 at 1:49
@GMan: They're just so tasty; I couldn't help myself. – James McNellis Apr 2 '10 at 2:31
@bmargulies: Well I was guessing James was considering the question started out as containing unicorn references, and then ended having no unicorn references after one of his edits. – Billy ONeal Apr 2 '10 at 3:11
@Arjan: Thanks again; I just rolled it back to my last edit. – James McNellis Apr 2 '10 at 7:19
Totally agree and have no idea why you're limited to once a month. once a day sure, but once a month? please explain. – Jack Marchetti Apr 2 '10 at 7:55
@Jack, I guess there's a better chance for an answer at… – Arjan Apr 2 '10 at 8:20
@BillyONeal Now that it's 2 april he can roll my edit back. – Rosinante Apr 2 '10 at 22:01
So basically this means everyone needs to make accounts at ALL the sites, now! – Mark C Apr 12 '10 at 19:43
I've never seen such a genuinely useful unicorn-orientated suggestion. – Zaz Aug 4 '10 at 0:13
But "Unicorns are Yummy" is a wonderful username :) – The Bespectacled One Sep 12 '10 at 2:40
My apologies, Mr. Unicorn. – The Bespectacled One Sep 13 '10 at 22:13

It's still possible to workaround this limit. SE doesn't seem to check whether you have completed signup or not when you go here.

You type in name, click Complete Registration, you are brought to the tour and your name changes! And you can do it whenever you like, not only in the 5-mins grace period, like usually (I checked: changed the name on CiviCRM to "nic", then, a day later, changed it back).

share|improve this answer
That's very clever! But SE better not add another check here now! – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Jun 21 '15 at 12:17
They fixed it. Why did you say it? – Uniqueke kittean ate Unidoggy Jun 27 '15 at 21:05
@Uni because it's not fixed :) – nicael Jun 27 '15 at 21:06
@nicael Because this – Uniqueke kittean ate Unidoggy Jun 27 '15 at 21:30
@Uni Then it seems to be fixed, unfortunately. It was a bug for sure; me and one other person exploited it since I reported it there. – nicael Jun 27 '15 at 21:33

A line right below the button (only once per 30-day period). Quick and simple, eh?

share|improve this answer
quick and simple and hard to do for SE developers! – Meysam Apr 19 '12 at 5:11
Hard in what way, it's a line of text? – Mike Lyons Apr 23 '12 at 23:37

I accidentally changed my user name in SO from user unknown to seauser unknown (I don't live on the sea, but edited the about field and added a "searchin job..", and the sea... somehow made it into my username. When I recognized it, it was too late.

Now I feared someone will take my famous name, but was told in chat, that names needn't stay unique by jadarnal27, or somebody with that name at that time, at least.

I will try James copy-profile-trick, but don't understand why it has to be so complicated. If everybody can use this trick, maybe after creating a dummy account just for that reason?

share|improve this answer
Correct re: non-unique names. I've found out there are 2 Paddy on SO – Paddy Apr 19 '12 at 0:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .