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Help:Temporary accounts

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A temporary account is an automatically created account. It is an alternative to using the user's IP address as an identifier in the page history. The IP addresses of temporary accounts will be hidden from readers and most other contributors.

Features of temporary accounts

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See also User account types

Temporary accounts do not have all the features of registered accounts. Temporary accounts can have user pages and user talk pages . They can receive notifications and see a banner about messages on their own user talk pages . The IP address used with a temporary account can be seen by trusted users, such as admins .

How can I tell if an account is temporary? What does a temporary username look like?

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Example of temporary user name: ~2024-12345-67

The automatically generated usernames for temporary accounts will begin with a tilde (~) and the year when the first edit was made by that account. The year will be followed by numbers, which will be broken into groups of five digits. Users cannot register normal accounts with usernames that match this pattern.


Backend code may also consult the user_is_temp field in the user table.

Wikimedia-specific information for temporary accounts

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This section only applies to temporary accounts in Wikimedia wikis.

  • Temporary accounts holders in Wikimedia wikis will not be able to convert their accounts to permanent registered accounts. When a temporary user decides to create a permanent registered account, their contributions, notifications , etc. will not carry through to their new account. This is because there is no way to verify that all edits of the temporary accounts are actually the users', especially when temp accounts are used on public computers.
  • Temporary accounts in Wikimedia wikis expires after 1 year from its creation (usually the first edit made by the temporary account). They will be alerted 10 days before expiration.
  • The IP addresses will be available to stewards, admins, and others who need it for patrolling, sock puppet investigations, or other work to protect the wikis. See also the related FAQ.

Non-Wikimedia-specific information for temporary accounts

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Warning Warning: Some of the features described below do not yet exist.

This section only applies to temporary accounts in non-Wikimedia wikis.

  • You can merge a temporary account to registered account via Extension:UserMerge if it is installed.
  • Temporary accounts do not expire by default. System administrators may expire temporary accounts that are registered for longer than some specified time by forcefully logging them out via expireTemporaryAccounts.php.
  • If the wiki has Extension:CheckUser installed, users with the checkuser-temporary-account privilege are granted the ability to view the IP addresses that are linked to temporary accounts.


See also

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