How to fix “A character with that name already exists” in World of Warcraft

What’s going on with your character when you try playing World of Warcraft?

Image via Blizzard

In your haste to get back into World of Warcraft, including the Shadowlands expansion, you might realize that you didn’t allow your character enough time to log out or close the game without waiting. Unfortunately, this can trigger the error message “A character with the same name already exists.” Here’s what you need to know about this error and how to best approach it.

What’s happening with “A character with that name already exists?” in World of Warcraft?

This error occurs when Blizzard’s servers cannot properly remove your character upon logout. You may also see the message “Character already online,” which explains how this happens. Fortunately, a few options are available if you can’t access your character because of an apparent duplicate.

Related: What is the release date for World of Warcraft: Dragonflight?

Log in with an alt

If you have one, use an alternate character to log in to the game and then fully exit it. This might also be a good time to create another character you’ve been thinking about for a while.

Reset your UI

Specific add-ons can sometimes affect system performance, and corruption can spread to your login ability. If you still get the “same name” message, exit the game, and uninstall any add-ons you have used before.

Open the app, choose Options, Show in Explorer for Windows, or Reveal in Finder for Mac. Inside the World of Warcraft folder, select the subfolder for retail or classic, depending on which version your character is in. You can now rename the Cache, Interface, and WTF folders to CacheOld, InterfaceOld, and WTFOld. You’ll confirm these changes when you launch the game once more.

Keep waiting

The server could be busy removing your character if the above methods don’t work. This will happen automatically after a half-hour of inactivity, so play a few rounds of Hearthstone or Overwatch while Blizzard teleports your character out of existence.

Should you continue to experience problems, we highly recommend reaching out to the World of Warcraft support team. You can find them on Blizzard’s website, and you have the option to submit a ticket to relay the issue that you’re having with the game. They should be able to provide you with a reliable answer, especially if you start waiting several hours to access your character. Hopefully, this should not happen, but knowing how to contact the World of Warcraft support team is always a good idea.