How to Register a Nickname on Freenode

The Freenode network is home to many participants in free software and free content projects (such as wikis). The registration process is simple and only takes a few minutes. Here are the steps.


  1. Image titled Register a User Name on Freenode Step 1
    Join the freenode network. Open your favorite IRC client and type:
    • /server
  2. Image titled Register a User Name on Freenode Step 2
    Choose a user name or nick. This user name should consist only of the letters from A-Z, the numbers from 0-9 and certain symbols such as "_" and "-". It may have a maximum of 16 characters. You can do
     /nick NewNick 
    to switch to a new nickname.
  3. Image titled Register a User Name on Freenode Step 3
    Register your nick or user name. Type the following command and replace "your_password" with a password that will be easy to remember, and replace "your_email_address" with your email address.
    • /msg nickserv register your_password your_email_address
  4. Image titled Register a User Name on Freenode Step 4
    Check your e-mail and verify your account. After you register, you will not be able to identify to NickServ until you have verified your registration. To do this, check your email for an account verification code.
  5. Image titled Register a User Name on Freenode Step 5
    Type the command that freenode asks you to type, into the server box.
    • Press the Enter key to fully confirm.
  6. Image titled Register a User Name on Freenode Step 6
    Group an alternate nickname with your main one. If you would like to register an alternate nickname, first switch to the alternate nickname that you want while you are identified as the main one, then group your nicks together with this command:
    • /nick NewNick
    • /msg nickserv group
  7. Image titled Register a User Name on Freenode Step 7
    Identify with Nickserv. Each time you connect, you should sign in, or "identify" yourself, using the following command:
    • /msg nickserv identify Your-Nick Your-Password
    • Your-Nick is your account-name which is usually the same as your nickname
    • SASL is the recommended way to identify, if your client supports it. It identifies you before you fully connect to the network and hence makes sure you're cloaked while you join channels.


  • To contact a member of the staff, use the command /stats p or /quote stats p if the first doesn't work. Send them a private message using /query nick.
  • User names will generally expire after they've been unused for 10 weeks plus 1 week for each completed year of registration. This is counted from the last time it was connected as identified with NickServ. If the nickname you want is not in use and you want it, you can contact somebody with freenode staff to unassign it for you. Some nicks are not eligible to be unassigned, even if they're expired, but a staffer will let you know if that's the case.
  • To check when a nick was last identified with NickServ, use /msg NickServ info Nick
  • Choose a nick between 5 and 8 characters long, that is pronounceable. This will make it easier to identify and avoid confusion. Choose your nick wisely. Remember that users will identify this name with your person.
  • Take care to follow this process in the freenode window, not directly in a channel. If you type all the commands correctly, nothing should be visible to others, but it's very easy to type something else by mistake, and in so doing, you could expose your password.
  • In case there is no available staff member in /stats p, use /who freenode/staff/* or join the channel #freenode using /join #freenode.


  • Don't use any important passwords as your Freenode password. Keep this one separate.
  • You must have a valid email address that is not disposable in order to register. If you register and you don't verify your registration using the instructions that are emailed to that address, you won't be able to identify and your nick will be automatically dropped after 24 hours.
  • These steps may not work with the wikiHow IRC web client. You may need to download and install a different program. Fortunately, this is generally a free and quick process.

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Categories: Internet Relay Chat