"Username already exists"

When trying to create, rename, or restore a user in the Admin console, you might receive the error message "Username already exists." This is typically due to one of the following reasons:

  • A user, alias, or group already exists with that username. For example, a deleted user might have been re-created (either by an admin or due to a directory sync application). If you then try to restore the deleted user, you'll see the message.

    To check for the existing username and remove the conflict:

    1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
    2. Type the name you're trying to create, rename, or restore in the search box at the top of the Admin console and click the Search icon.

    3. Click on the name of the user or group that currently uses this name.

    4. Change the user or group name to a different name. If an alias is using the desired name,  go to Profiles > Aliases and remove the alias.

    5. If you renamed the existing user in the previous step, go to Profiles > Aliases and remove the email alias created by the user rename process.

      When you change a user's primary email address, Google Apps retains the old address as an email alias for the user, to ensure continuous mail delivery. Therefore, if you want to re-use the old address, you first need to delete the email alias. See impact of renaming a user to learn more.

  • There may be a conflicting account with the same username if you haven't verified domain ownership yet. Once you verify domain ownership, conflicting accounts will be renamed automatically if they conflict with a new user that you're trying to add in Google Apps. Alternatively, you can resolve your conflicting account to proceed right away.