Friday, 22 March 2013

IRC: problems authenticating your nickname

I have been using IRC now for a number of years and encountered a problem recently that I had not come across before. If your on IRC channels (eg Freenode) frequently then it is a good idea to register your nickname, this ensures that nobody else uses it or tries to claim to be you. This can be done in 4 simple steps:
  1. /msg nickserv register {your password} {your email} 
  2. /msg nickserv set hidemail on 
  3. Check your email and follow instructions 
  4. /msg nickserv identify {your password} 
For step 4 you will probably find a way to set this up automatically if you use an IRC client.

Recently I noticed that I was unable to log on using my registered nickname and found myself being logged in with an alternative.  I was continually greeted with the message "nickname temporarily unavailable

Should you be given the same message then there is an easy workaround:

  1. Log onto IRC using your preferred client
  2. /msg nickserv register {your nickname} {your password}
  3. /quote nickserv set enforce OFF 
  4. /quote nickserv release {your nickname} {your password}

After completing these 4 steps, quit your IRC client and then re-start and you should have your old IRC nickname back.  Happy chatting.


  1. Simply try /identify . Works for me every time.

  2. I had to /msg NickServ logout in other devices to resolve 'nickname temporarily unavailable'.