How to Get a Terminated Tumblr URL

terminated Tumblr URL

In the fast-paced world of SEO and marketing, I often get asked lots of questions about social media strategy and branding. A common issue for new businesses is finding the perfect Twitter handle or Facebook page name that matches their business exactly. Sometimes they’re lucky and get it right away; other times, they discover it’s already been taken. Today, we’re going to look at Tumblr, a platform with its own challenges and opportunities.

A question that comes up a lot is how to claim a Tumblr URL that’s been terminated. The process is pretty simple but doesn’t always work: try to create an account with that URL. If it was terminated and nobody else has taken it, then you’re in luck, and the URL is yours. If it doesn’t work, unfortunately, there’s not much else you can do.

Interested in learning more about how to get a terminated Tumblr URL? Then this article is for you. Keep reading!

What Is a Tumblr URL?

Understanding Tumblr URLs makes more sense when we remember what Tumblr is all about. It’s a master site where anyone can host a blog or similar content.

When you create a Tumblr account, you are given a unique URL under the Tumblr master address (so it looks like…).

Anything you post will go to your specific URL. This includes any blog posts, picture or video uploads, and anything else that you want to share via your Tumblr account.

The URL is the unique designation that allows you or anyone else to find your uploads in the Tumblr environment.

Essentially, it’s the master identifier that ties into everything you do with Tumblr. Needless to say, if Tumblr is important to you, then this URL is vital to using the site.

Person on a computer

What About a Tumblr Username?

It’s worth pointing out that the URL also serves as your username and account name when you use Tumblr. It’s what you use to log into the site and what you use to organize your uploads.

Essentialy it is the master identifier for all things related to your Tumblr account. That’s why people are so interested in specific Tumblr URLs.

If there was something specific that you wanted for your account, only to find that someone else owned that URL, it could prove disappointing.

Especially if you use Tumblr for professional purposes, losing access to a business name or something comparable could make your plans for Tumblr that much more difficult to manage.

So, if you wanted to get your hands on a specific URL that was already taken, you might want a way to do that.

Most commonly, you could try to get a terminated URL, and that leads us to the next part of this discussion.

How Are Tumblr URLs Terminated? (2 Ways)

Since URLs are so important to user accounts, and because they have to be truly unique, Tumblr does not terminate them lightly.

Naturally, the developers who manage Tumblr have the power to terminate any URL, but they exercise this power with some level of reluctance. In general, there are only two ways that Tumblr URLs are terminated.

More specifically, there are two reasons why a URL would be terminated. In either case, the mechanism of termination is automatic. So, the two reasons we are interested in right now are unused URLs and banned accounts.

#1 Unused URLs

This is a pretty easy concept. If you don’t use your URL, eventually, Tumblr will reclaim it. This reclamation is known as termination.

Once your URL is terminated, someone else can try to create an account with the exact same username, and Tumblr will allow it. Here are the specifics that you need to know.

First, Tumblr won’t initiate termination until your account has been unused for a full year. This doesn’t mean you have to post anything within that year.

As long as you log into your account a single time in a 12-month period, your account will not be flagged for termination. But, if you do go a full 12 months without logging in, then your account will be flagged.

When it is flagged, it is not immediately terminated. Instead, Tumblr will send an email to the account you have on file.

That email will explain that your account is in danger of termination, and it will explain the steps you can take to prevent termination. If you follow those steps, the account will remain yours.

If you do not take the steps in that email, then the process will move forward, and Tumblr will terminate your account. Interestingly enough, this does not mean that you will lose everything on your account.

Instead, your account will be renamed with an extra suffix (-blog is a common choice).

By doing this, Tumblr preserves everything you have uploaded to the site, but they will reclaim your original URL so that it can be recycled.

Once the URL is recycled, if someone tries to create an account with your former URL, it will succeed, and that will be their account name moving forward.

#2 Banned or Deleted Accounts

Tumblr can also terminate accounts without going through the expiration process you read above.

If you violate the Tumblr terms and conditions, the site reserves the right to terminate your account as they see fit. In some cases, you might receive a warning before this happens. If the violation is severe enough, you might not receive a warning.

In either case, when Tumblr bans your account, they can choose to recycle your URL, and then it will be available to new users or accounts, similar to the process above.

Similarly, if you choose to delete your own account, your name can be recycled. In this case, you don’t have to do anything wrong. But, deleting the account does free up the URL so that someone else can use it if they so choose.

girl on tumbler

How Can You Acquire a Terminated Tumblr URL? (2 Options)

Now that we’ve covered the basics, how can you actually get your hands on one of these URLs? Let’s consider a specific example. Let’s say that you have the perfect URL picked out for your Tumblr account, but it’s already in use.

What can you do to get access to that account so that it is yours? According to Tumblr, your only option is to wait.

Technically, there are some unscrupulous options that I’ll go over too, but waiting is the first thing to consider.

#1 Waiting for Termination

Tumblr makes a few things very clear. While they do recycle unused URLs, they don’t offer any services to help you know when a URL is being recycled or to help you claim it once that happens.

The Tumblr advice is to wait and periodically try to create an account with the URL that you want.

If it is ever recycled, then you will be able to create the account. There are a few challenges that you should understand, though. First, there’s no way to tell when a user is inactive.

Sure, if they are regularly posting, then you know that the account is active. But, you don’t have to post to hang on to your Tumblr URL.

As long as you log in once a year, the URL will not be terminated. Tumblr doesn’t offer users any mechanism to see when others log into their accounts. So, you just don’t know if the URL is really inactive or not.

If you don’t see any posts on the URL for a long period of time, you can try your luck, but there are no guarantees. 

The second challenge is that since you don’t know when an account is inactive, you don’t know when the URL might become available.

If the URL is contested (maybe it’s a famous name), then other people are likely to try to grab it when it does get terminated.

Since you don’t have a specific time as to when that will happen, there’s a lot of guesswork involved. The more popular a URL is, the harder it will be to acquire, even if it is eventually terminated.

#2 Not Waiting for Termination

If you specifically want a terminated URL, waiting really is your only option.

Theoretically, you could try to hack Tumblr and terminate the URL yourself, but that’s a daunting challenge, and it’s definitely illegal.

If you really want the URL, you can try methods that don’t involve termination.

As an example, you could reach out to the URL’s owner and offer to purchase it from them. This comes with its own challenges, but it’s a legitimate option. The first obstacle here is that Tumblr will not tell you who owns a URL. That can make it difficult to contact the URL’s owner—especially if they aren’t active on Tumblr.

On top of that, Tumblr will side with the owner if you exhibit any behaviors that could be construed as harassment. Making a single offer is probably fine, but if you’re persistent, it would be easy to cross that line.

Also, if they’re not easily contacted, you might not be able to find them through socially acceptable means.

You don’t want to cross any lines that could be construed as stalking or malicious behavior just to go after a Tumblr URL.

The point here is that you should exercise caution. Harassment is illegal. Hacking is illegal. Keep these things in mind, and you can formulate a strategy that is both legal and ethical, and you might be able to convince someone to give up their Tumblr URL.

But, if they refuse your offers, your hands are tied. Tumblr has made it clear that they will not help you acquire a URL that is already owned by another user.