How to Change Your Avatar Name in Second Life: A Step by Step Guide

Today, Linden Lab finally released a much asked-for and eagerly-awaited feature: the ability to change your avatar name!

Given the ongoing interest in “last names” among our community, we’ve reinstated “last names” effective today as a new option for Second Life Premium Members. If you have a Premium account, you will be able to visit https://secondlife.com/my/account to change your first, last or both names. In the true spirit of the original “last names” option last seen in 2010, participating Residents will once again be able to choose from a rotating list of available last names. Some names may only be available for a limited time, so if you see one you like then you might want to claim it quickly! 

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you …Bumbly Rumpler:

Yes, that is her actual, honest-to-God, legacy name. (I honestly do not know what I was thinking at the time.) Such an unfortunate name to be saddled with, for such an elegant lady. I have been itching to change it for years, and now I finally have my opportunity!

Now that Linden Lab has—finally—made it possible to change your avatar’s legacy name, I thought I would draw up some step-by-step instructions on how to change your name.

Before we begin, you do need to understand the difference between your avatar’s legacy name (the name you chose for your avatar when you created your Second Life account) and your avatar’s display name (which you can change to pretty much anything you want, one change per week). What I am talking about here is changing your avatar’s legacy name, the one you picked out when creating her.

Step 1: Upgrade Your Account to Premium

First: you will need to upgrade the Second Life account associated with your avatar to Premium. (You will not be able to change your avatar’s legacy name if you are using a free, Basic account.)

So open up a web browser, log in to the Second Life website, click on Login in the upper right-hand menu on your screen, and enter your avatar name and password. You will be taken to your account dashboard.

At the dashboard, click on Account in the left-hand menu, then click on Premium Membership:

Note that you have several options when upgrading your account from Basic to Premium: annual, quarterly, or monthly payment. You will have to pay for at least one month’s worth of Premium membership in order to change your avatar’s name, in addition to a separate fee.

Step 2: Click on Change Name

Look in the left-hand column of your dashboard at https://secondlife.com/my/account (you should still be signed in from the previous step). You will see a new option called Change Name. Click on it.

You will see the following information, including the charge for the name change: US$39.99.

Click on the Next Step button to continue.

Step 3: Choose a New First and/or Last Name

To change your first name, check the checkbox next to the words Change First Name in the TOP BOX, and type your new first name into the text box underneath. (If you wish to keep your legacy first name, uncheck the checkbox.)

To change your last name, check the checkbox next to the words Change Last Name in the BOTTOM BOX, then click one of the radio buttons next to the list of last names presented to you. (If you wish to keep your legacy last name, uncheck the checkbox and leave your original last name, which appears at the bottom of the list, as the selected name.

If you are changing both your first and last names, then when you are done, your screen should look something like this:

Remember, you must be logged out of your account on your viewer before submitting your name change!

When you’re ready, click on the Review Changes button.

Step 4: Confirm Your Name Change

You will be presented with your old and new names:

If you are satisfied with this, click on the Continue to Checkout button. Otherwise, click on the Go Back link and start over again.

Step 5: Pay for Your New Name

Review your charges and click the blue Buy Now button. (Note: the current exchange rates between the Canadian and American dollars are killing me. CA$62.33 is a lot more than I expected to have to spend to change my name! I’m quite sure other people using non-American currencies are feeling the pinch, too.)

Step 6: Success!

If you are successful, you will see the following familiar message on your screen:

And finally: a message of congratulations on your name change:

The message reads:

Your account name has been changed to Moesha Heartsong

It may require a few hours for this change to take place in all of the Second Life systems, viewer and web site. In the meantime you may see a mix of your old name and new name. If you continue to see your old name anywhere in Second Life after 24 hours, you may file a support ticket.

Congratulations on your new identity!

Now, ladies and gentlemen, may I present my rechristened avatar…Moesha Heartsong:

And there you have it! Six easy steps to change your Second Life avatar name. If you still have questions, Linden Lab has published a Changing Your Username FAQ, with answers to the most commonly-asked questions Second Life users may have.

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