Quick Mobile Me Tip

Has your dream Mobile Me username long since been taken by someone else? Are you, like me, ridiculously bothered by the crapsthetics of a less-than-ideal username sitting on your desktop? I bring (possible) good news!

Apple has traditionally kept .Mac usernames on hold, even if an account was inactive. In other words, if a user stopped paying for .Mac, their username would still be considered "in use".

On Friday, with Mobile Me, Apple has officially reset all of these unused accounts.

That means a potentially large pool of previously taken — but idle — usernames is now available! Thanks to this, I managed to finally snag "cabel" (someone had it!?). Les here in the office got, yes, "les".

So, assuming you care, head on over to the Mobile Me signup page — if you make it to page two without an error, you win!

(Was two fewer characters on my desktop icon work an additional $99? Yes. It was. Leave me alone.)

Note: these newly-available names cannot be used as mail aliases. I originally tried setting up a mail alias for "cabel", but I was told it was in use. When I set up the account from scratch, it worked.


Literally the minute MobileMe was launched, I signed up to check if my name was available (it hadn't been before). Now I have the most amazing email address ever. There are millions of people named Tomek, but there's only one tomek at me dot com!
Anonymous Tomek 7/16/2008 2:02 PM  
Unfortunately 'kevin' was taken (no surprise), but I *finally* got back the name I used for iTools! Remember iTools? The free predecessor to .Mac? I used the name 'kballard' on iTools, then eventually forgot the password and whatever security question was on it, so I was never able to use 'kballard' when I eventually got .Mac. And now, years later, my name has finally been restored. There is justice in this world.
OpenID Eridius 7/16/2008 2:04 PM  
You can claim other name real estate by adding aliases to your .Mac/.Me email account.
Anonymous Anonymous 7/16/2008 2:20 PM  
Anonymous: As I note above, though, you can't make mail aliases for accounts that were once taken. The only way to get these is to sign up.
Blogger Cabel 7/16/2008 2:21 PM  
According to you may be able to morph your new account name onto your old data. It's not worth $100 for me to try it.
Anonymous Steve Kalkwarf 7/16/2008 2:27 PM  
I too suffer from username OCD and pulled the trigger on the new account. I'll give the "merge" a try later but this makes me so damn happy... it's the little things.
Anonymous Tom Watson 7/16/2008 2:47 PM  
rafe @ was taken. But I don't care, because I have rafe @ Mwa ha ha.
Blogger Rafe Saltman 7/16/2008 3:22 PM  
Hmmm. I signed up for a trial, and can access my email/iDisk/etc from OS X, but not it won't let me login :-\
Blogger Tom 7/16/2008 3:23 PM  
<AOLmode="on"/> THANK YOU! </AOLmode>
Anonymous Anonymous 7/16/2008 4:13 PM  
Nice to see Apple flushing out some of those undesirable desired account names. although not related to any addressing, I got around the iDisk desktop icon name issue(which has always pissed me off), by making an Alias of it, and then hiding Network Shares from my desktop I have become so used to hitting +Shift+K. Then just rename the alias, you do get that annoying "alias" arrow though, beats a new MobileMe account.

P.S. You can also use a Symbolic Link, by typing into Terminal(Remember RTFM when playing with the Terminal):

ln -s /Volumes/yourdotmacaccountname/ ~/Desktop/iDisk

This will create a symbolic link named iDisk(to match the Finder sidebar) on the desktop.
Blogger V 7/16/2008 5:35 PM  
Will this change have any impact on the people with ***** Apple IDs who dropped the .Mac service?

According to my Apple ID can't be changed because it is tied to a MobileMe account or iChat ID.

I assumed this meant my username was still being held in reserve even though it was inactive. However, I was able to get to page two on the new signup page without an error.
Blogger Timothy 7/16/2008 5:35 PM  
cabel, you are the man. i was able to reclaim my original iTools member name back from the dead. no more ugly underscore between my first and last name! INTERNET HIGH-FIVE
Blogger Rye 7/16/2008 8:46 PM  
For the record, I just successfully got to page two using the following usernames:

- pops
- poop
- pants
- barnacle
- hotmail
- vajayjay

But I never actually pulled the trigger on any of them. Is there a resale market for MobileMe usernames? This is a gold rush!

All I really wanted "". I'm gonna send a nasty email to whoever owns that address.
Anonymous Tim 7/16/2008 9:46 PM  
Thanks Cabel this has made my morning. I now have the login I wanted.
Anonymous David Madden 7/16/2008 11:48 PM  
Wow! I totally didn't see the note as I thought I had reached the end of the piece. I should have known you would have thoroughly researched the issue. I don't know whether this says more about the effectiveness of small type on the modern consumer of information or about me. Since this blog is absolutely spartan with regard to page junk, I'll go with me.
Anonymous Anonymous 7/17/2008 2:17 PM  
Dang. The one I want is available, but I only want it an an alias. (I signed up for iTules Day one so I got my preferred name.)
Blogger vortech 7/17/2008 5:25 PM  
Thanks for the heads up Cabel, I now have my 3 letter now - woohaa!

Gonna use it as family online photo abum etc. so this is just great.

Anonymous Kev 7/19/2008 11:58 AM  
Nice. I just got "pure".
Blogger NameSugar 7/20/2008 1:01 AM  
You are the man. Now I've got a totally awesome email address.
Anonymous oliver taylor 7/20/2008 9:48 PM  
Henry was taken unfortunately :(
If only I had been fast enough.
Great tip though!
Anonymous Henry 7/21/2008 8:15 AM  
Your OCD is adorable.
Blogger Andy 7/22/2008 2:48 PM  
It's important to note that these user accounts only work for addresses. In other words, if example was registered in the past, and was available, you'd be able to receive email to, but NOT, sadly. :|
OpenID 7/23/2008 11:09 AM  
Awesome tip! Best not to spread it around too much!

I know a lot of folks were signing up to get "" and other punny e-mail aliases.

I managed to snag "yourgirlissmiling" for my address.
Blogger mcritz 7/24/2008 5:50 PM  
Your attention to detail is fantastic Cabel.

Dare I note as well (to supliment your defensivness at the bottom of the post) that you must have paid $++ to get a .name domain over a .com?

The little things matter.
Anonymous Evan 7/31/2008 10:18 PM  
Hey, can someone answer if MobileMe is a sophisticated place to host a website? Does it support the latest & greatest of technologies? I've had the service and use it with iWeb, but would like to know if Apple gives us more freedom in case I want to use Dreamweaver and all other goodies I'm still brainstorming about. Thanks :)
Blogger Gui 8/02/2008 9:50 AM  
Joke's on you guys. I just snagged "yourmom."

Anonymous Anonymous 8/03/2008 9:06 PM  
Ah, awesome. Thanks for the heads up. Managed to register my name that was in limbo as long as I can remember.
Anonymous Joe 8/08/2008 7:25 AM  
Personally I prefer me@elmak instead of! I may pay $120 a year in webhosting bills, but a half-terabyte of storage is worth the $20...
OpenID Elmak 8/14/2008 9:29 AM  
Ah well... just what I needed, an extra $90 on my credit card.

Yeah, thanks a lot cabel :/
Anonymous Anonymous 8/18/2008 8:40 PM  
Now you need to update your Transmit screenshots to remove that ungodly "cabelsa" iDisk drive; those two extra letters have actually kept me from purchasing a Transmit 3 license. I'm hoping Transmit 4 fixes this.

Also, I'm sure a Chad Abelsa or some Charles Abelsa will be very pleased to know that his name has been freed.
Anonymous Mark Stultz 8/26/2008 12:38 PM  
Out of curiosity. Can you have an underscore in your name? I know some emails you can't.
Anonymous Anonymous 4/23/2009 6:30 PM  
Your attention to detail is fantastic Cabel....

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Name:Cabel Maxfield Sasser
Job:Co-Founder, Panic Inc.
Location:Portland, OR