Wikipedia Accounts

Last updated: September 25, 2015 - 11:50am EDT

Want to join the community on Wikipedia that's spreading free knowledge worldwide?  Creating an account on Wikipedia is the best way to do it!

Why create a Wikipedia account?

There are a few benefits to creating an account on Wikipedia if you're going to be using the website frequently, some of which we've already pointed out.  They include:

  • Having your own page to practice editing or creating articles, or tell the Wikipedia community a little about yourself

  • Being able to see and discuss feedback on your creations or edits from other members of the Wikipedia community, either on public forums or by private (i.e. no address) emails

  • Being able to create new articles, rename existing articles, or put new pictures on Wikipedia to be used in articles

  • Being able to edit articles that are somewhat protected because they (for example) contain the rules of Wikipedia, are about controversial topics, or get vandalized frequently

How to create a Wikipedia account

  1. Go to in your web browser and click on the language version you want.

  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click on Create Account.

  3. You'll use a window like the one in the screenshot below to set up your account.  Click the buttons in the screenshot below to learn what you need to do at each spot.


    User name

    Click in this box and type in a name to represent yourself with on Wikipedia. Try to avoid using your real name (for privacy reasons), or one that is offensive, promotes something, or misleads people into believing you're someone whom you're not.

    Click Help me choose here for further guidelines.



    Click in this box and type in a password for your account (it will show up as bullet points to protect it from prying eyes). Try to make it something that you'll remember, but cannot be easily guessed. It's also a good idea to write it down somewhere in case you forget it.


    Confirm Password

    Click in this box and type in your password again (again, it will show up as bullet points to protect it from prying eyes).


    Email Address

    Click in this box and type in your email address. This is optional, but may be useful for getting updates on Wikipedia activity without having to log in to see them.


    Security Check

    This is just to make sure that you're a real person and not a computer program designed to create fake accounts.

    Click in the box that says "Enter the text you see above" and type in the word or phrase that you see in the box above that one. If you're having trouble seeing it, click the refresh button (). If you're still having problems, click Request an account and follow the instructions that appear.


    Create your Account

    When you're all done, click here to create an account on Wikipedia.

How to delete a Wikipedia account

Short version: you can't.

Long version: Wikipedia doesn't allow you to outright delete your account because of how its content ownership system works.  When you create an article on Wikipedia, or add to or edit an existing article, you're automatically giving anyone else who uses Wikipedia the right to copy or edit your work.  However, they have to give you credit for the original information, and allow anyone else on Wikipedia to copy or edit what they have copied or edited.

In other words, since nobody on Wikipedia "owns" any information that they create or edit, users have to give each other credit for where they get their original information.  This is to ensure that as much information on Wikipedia as possible can be traced back to reliable sources.  Thus, it becomes kind of hard to trust information that's based on the work of someone whose account doesn't exist anymore.  It might as well be gossip or a rumour.

Other than simply not using your Wikipedia account anymore, there is one way to (sort of) delete your account on Wikipedia: requesting a courtesy vanishing.

Courtesy Vanishing

You can ask for a courtesy vanishing to change your user name, delete your user pages, and get rid of at least some discussions about you as a user on Wikipedia.  This is to be used as a last resort, as if you never want to create or edit anything on Wikipedia ever again.

  1. Write {{db-user}} or {{retired}} at the top of your user pages and subpages, in order to let administrators know that you would like them to be deleted, or that you otherwise won't be using them ever again.

  2. Consider going to (while you're logged in to Wikipedia) and sending an email to Wikipedia's oversight board asking them to delete your personal information.

  3. Finally, go to (while you're logged into Wikipedia) to ask Wikipedia's administrators to change your user name, and be sure to tell them that the reason why is that you're requesting a courtesy vanishing.

  4. You can also send a direct email to "", but this will display your request publicly, so you may not want to do so.

Note that requests for courtesy vanishings and deletion of personal information can be denied or reversed, and some of your discussion pages may not be deleted except under special circumstances.


More Wikipedia Tutorials

See all 9 Wikipedia tutorials
Mark_complete_sm Back_to_course

Support TechBoomers

TechBoomers offers free articles that teach people how to use technology to make their lives easier (and more fun!). To support our work, some of our content contains links to websites that pay us affiliate commissions when our users visit them through us and make purchases. Learn more about how this works.

Did you learn what you wanted to?

Was something in this tutorial missing, confusing, or out of date? Or did it give you all the information you needed, and you just want to say "thanks"? We'd love to hear what you thought!