NickServ Options

Version 1.1.5

Last revised by eDdYk0nG () on 2010-10-03

Originally written by LadyDana () on 2000-10-31

Please direct any comments or feedback about this document (only! no help requests!) to If you need help on issues not covered in this document, please see the information at


DALnet stands out as being the largest IRC network with services. It was indeed the first to have successfully implemented ****Serv services for its users back in 1994. The most well used of these services are NickServ, ChanServ and MemoServ. This document will walk through the options available through NickServ once you have obtained a fully registered nickname.

A complete list of DALnet Services commands can also be found at Further services related questions should be directed to one of the three DALnet owned help channels: #DALnetHelp, #Help or #IRCHelp.

Throughout the document, the command /nickserv will be used for interacting with NickServ. It is possible that your IRC client may not support this command. If that is the case, then we suggest that you try /msg or /quote nickserv instead.


1 · Requirements, Abilities and Responsibilities

This document assumes that you have already successfully registered your chosen nickname with NickServ, and will not cover the steps required to do so. A document explaining the registration process is available at

NickServ permits users to 'register' a nickname, and stop others from using that nick. NickServ allows the owner of a nick to disconnect another user who is using the nick. If a registered nick is not used by the owner for 30 days, NickServ will drop it, leaving it up for grabs by another user.

When registering a nick, you are taking advantage of a free service provided by the DALnet IRC network. Please don't register more nicks than you will be able to use, or register a nick for the sole purpose of preventing others from using it.

2 · Identifying to a nick

There are actually a number of ways to identify to a nickname. You can also identify to a nickname that you are not using at the time. The more traditional and well-known way would be:

/nickserv identify [nickname] password


/nickserv identify ILovePeanutButter
/nickserv identify PeanutButterLover ILovePeanutButter

There are also a variety of other ways to identify to your nickname:

/identify [nickname] password
/services identify [nickname] password
/msg identify [nickname] password

Since /identify and /services are DALnet built-in server commands, there are some clients which may not accept them. If yours does not accept the commands, you will have to add the /quote prefix:

/quote identify [nickname] password
/quote services identify [nickname] password

There have been many incidences of people accidently displaying their password in the open channel or in private message by omitting the / command character. Therefore, we strongly suggest that you pay special attention when identifying to your nick. A number of clients also support multiple windows. For those users, it might be a good idea to type out any password including commands in the Status window (or its equivalent).

3 · Requesting information on a nick

The following command is very useful for obtaining information on a registered nickname. It will give you an idea of the owner's host, the last time they were online, the options they have set, etc.


/nickserv info nickname


/nickserv info PeanutButterLover

Below is an example of what the NickServ INFO request may return as information:

-NickServ- Info for PeanutButterLover:
-NickServ- (Currently on IRC) For extra info: /whois PeanutButterLover
-NickServ- Last seen address :
-NickServ- Memos forward to : PeanutButter
-NickServ- Last seen time : Tue 10/24/2000 04:10:58 GMT
-NickServ- Time registered : Sun 08/22/1997 10:18:21 GMT
-NickServ- Time now : Tue 10/24/2000 04:17:37 GMT
-NickServ- URL :
-NickServ- Email address :
-NickServ- Options: Enforced, NoOp
-NickServ- *** End of Info ***

4 · "Nickname is currently in use"

For one reason or another, your nickname may already be in use when you try to use it. Depending on the situation, there are three different commands to use.

4.1 The GHOST command

It's possible that you may have been disconnected from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) without first having logged off DALnet. This and other situations may occasionally cause the server to believe that you are still online. The nickname representing your previous connection is referred to as a ghost.

In other words, a ghost is a connection that does not really exist anymore. The server just doesn't know it yet. A ghost usually always disappears after a few minutes but you may not have the patience to wait. The command to get rid of a ghost is as follows:

/nickserv ghost nickname [password]


/nickserv ghost PeanutButterLover
/nickserv ghost PeanutButterLover ILovePeanutButter

It's not necessary to include the password if you have a matching access list entry on that nickname. For more information on access lists, please visit

If you use the password in the ghost command then you are considered to have identified to your nick just as if you had used the /nickserv identify nickname password command.

4.2 The RECOVER command

If you don't have the ENFORCE option on, or if someone just started using your nick and NickServ hasn't had a chance to guest them (see section section 4.3), you have the option to disconnect someone who is currently using your nick with the RECOVER command.

/nickserv recover nickname [password]


/nickserv recover PeanutButterLover
/nickserv recover PeanutButterLover ILovePeanutButter

As with the GHOST command, the RECOVER command does not require you to include the nickname password. Matching an access list entry will suffice.

After using RECOVER, your nick will be held. To regain your nick, you will need to use the RELEASE command which is discussed below.

4.3 The RELEASE command

An enforcer is a temporary hold of a nickname within 60 seconds (provided that the ENFORCE option for that nick is turned on). The user's nick will be changed to Guest***** and the nick will be held. Nicks being held in this manner cannot be used. A person attempting to use a held nick will receive an error message. Below is an example of the error message:

PeanutButterLover The nick PeanutButterLover is currently being held by a Services Enforcer. If you are the nicks owner, use /msg RELEASE PeanutButterLover password to release the nickname. If thenickname recently expired, please wait patiently and try again later. [PeanutButterLover]

To release and use your nick immediately, the following command is used:

/nickserv release nickname [password]


/nickserv release PeanutButterLover
/nickserv release PeanutButterLover ILovePeanutButter

If the release command alone fails to return your nick, use the recover command (section 4.2) and repeat the release command. Once done, you may use your nick by typing /nick yournickname.

As with the GHOST and RECOVER commands, it is not always necessary for you to include the nickname password. Matching an access list entry will suffice.

5 · Access Lists and Checking Access

Using the access list can get pretty confusing, especially for the newbie user. Therefore, we have written a document solely on access lists, what they are, how to use them along with their advantages and disadvantages. This document can be obtained at

Users also have the ability to check the access of themselves or another user. This will allow them to see if the person currently using the nick has actually identified to a nick, is only using the nick or is using it without having identified. The command is:

/nickserv acc nickname

NickServ will return a number from 0 to 3. It will look something like this:

-NickServ- PeanutButterLover ACC 2

Each number represents a different level of access that the user has with the nick that they are using at the time.


The nickname used is not registered.


The user has not identified to the nickname.


The user matches an access list entry for the nickname.


The user has identified to the nickname.

This command can be useful in a number of situations, such as detecting impersonators, finding out why someone is not being an opped even if they are on the AOp/SOp list, etc.

6 · Setting Options

There are many options available to the owner of a fully registered nick. Before using any of the following commands, you should have identified to your nickname. Most of the commands will not work unless you have already identified.

6.1 Changing your Password

Changing your password is very easy:

/nickserv set passwd oldpassword newpassword

An example would be:

/nickserv set passwd ILovePeanutButter ILovePB

The above command would have changed your old password of "ILovePeanutButter" to "ILovePB". Upon a successful password change, users will be sent a confirmation email to the set email address notifying them of a password change. No password will be included in the email. It is simply a way to know that the password has been changed. If you did not issue the change, you will be aware of it and have time to take action to prevent further damage. A user may now roll back a password change. When someone does a "SET PASSWD", they will receive an email to their designated email address with an auth code. That auth code can be used for 72 hours to roll back the password change. There is a 72 hour (3 days) delay between issuing the commands SET PASSWD and SET EMAIL. A new password cannot be set within 72 hours of an email address change, and an email address change cannot be requested within 72 hours of a password change.

6.2 Preventing others from using your nick

One of the benefits of registering your nick is that you can prevent others from using it while you are not using it or while you are not online.

The Enforce Option is set ON when you register a nickname and it cannot be turned OFF anymore. This feature was previously known as the KILL option but has since been renamed to the ENFORCE option.

When someone uses an "enforced" nick, they will be given 60 seconds to identify. Otherwise, their nickname will forcibly be changed to "Guest*****" where each * represents a random number.

/nickserv set enforce on

Out of long habit, there are still people who use the KILL command instead of the ENFORCE command. Both accomplish the same thing. Regardless, we strongly recommend that you get used to the ENFORCE command since it's possible that the KILL command may be removed some time in the future.

As a sidenote, it's possible to use a nickname while not identified to it. Information on access lists can be obtained at

6.3 Attaching a URL to your nick

It's possible to attach an URL to your nickname so that it displays in the NickServ INFO output. Usually, people use it to give the location of their homepage.


/nickserv set url [URL]

Not including the URL parameter will cause NickServ to remove the existing URL from your nick.


/nickserv set url
/nickserv set url

The first would have removed the URL that was already attached to the nick. The second would have attached to the nickname.

Note: NickServ SET URL command now supports https://URLs. What is https? Visit


/nickserv set url
/nickserv set url

6.4 (Re)Setting an E-Mail Address

When first registering a nickname, you were required to enter a valid email address in order to confirm your registration. This is covered more extensively in the NickServ Registration document available at

You may chose to change the email address listed for your nick to something else. This is accomplished through the SET EMAIL command.

/nickserv set email Password [email address]

Using the above command without an email address will cause NickServ to show you the email address that you currently have set. Actually changing your email address will naturally require you to enter a valid email address:

/nickserv set email ILovePeanutButter

Keep in mind that you will have to authorize the email change before it takes effect. The authorization email will be sent to this new address, in our case, Changing an email adress is a two-stage-process. When an email adress change is requested, an email will first be sent to the current adress. This email will explain that an address change was requested and give the user the opportunity to abort the change if they did not request it. If the change is not aborted after 48 hours, a confirmation email will be sent to the new address, allowing the user to complete the adress change. There is an 72 hour (3 days) delay between issuing the commands SET EMAIL and SET PASSWD. A password change cannot be set within 72 hours of an email change, and an email change cannot be requested within 72 hours of a password change.

A number of email addresses cannot be used for registering nicknames. This is due to abuse issues. For obvious reasons, you may not use addresses to register your nick either.

6.5 Displaying your E-Mail Address

By default, the email address that you have set for your nick is completely invisible to other users. If you want to display your email address in your NickServ INFO output then you have only to use the SHOWEMAIL option.

/nickserv set showemail on
/nickserv set showemail off

The former will cause NickServ to display your email address in a NickServ INFO output and the latter will prevent it from displayed.

Disclaimer: The DALnet network is not responsible for any spam (mass advertising) that you may receive in your email account, should you chose to enable this option.

6.6 Disabling Memos

The NOMEMO option is strongly related to MemoServ and is also covered in the DALnet MemoServ document, available at In short, it will prevent others from sending memos to you. However, you will still receive global memos. It's also possible for an IRCop to force a memo on you if they wish to inform you of an issue of importance.

The command is very easy to remember. You have two possibilities:

/nickserv set nomemo on
/nickserv set nomemo off

That will turn the NOMEMO option on and off respectively. Keep in mind that the NOMEMO option actually overrides the MemoServ FORWARD option. It's possible to have a forwarding nick listed even if NOMEMO is turned on, but the memos will not be forwarded and will be refused right away.

6.7 Preventing Op Status

Just as it's possible for you to prevent memos from being sent to your nick, it's also possible for you to prevent your nick from being added to any AOp or SOp lists.

/nickserv set noop on
/nickserv set noop off

The above commands enable and disable this option respectively. Should you wish to be added to an AOp or SOp list, it will be necessary to first turn off the NOOP option and then turn it back on if desired.

6.8 Disabling SENDPASS

DALnet allows you request your password if you have forgotten it (See section 8). You may chose to disable this self-send password ability by turning the MAILBLOCK option on. Please use this command carefully since you will not be able to request assistance if you ever lose your password.

/nickserv set mailblock on
/nickserv set mailblock off

Turning the MAILBLOCK off will once again allow you to self-send your passwords. SET MAILBLOCK requires email authorization, similar to the nick registration authorization system. An authorization code will be sent to the current email adress. The user must enter the authorization code online or use the web system in order to confirm the MAILBLOCK request.

7 · Dropping a nick

You can chose to unregister your nick. The deregistration process is done in two steps. First, you have to request for a nickname to be dropped. Secondly, you have to confirm your decision to drop your nickname.

The initial DROP command is as follows:

/nickserv drop nickname


/nickserv drop PeanutButterLover

NickServ will reply something along the lines of this:

-NickServ- The request for dropping a nick must be confirmed. Please check your email address for further instructions!

Follow the instructions sent in the email by entering the exact authorization number. Copy and Paste may come in quite useful here. :)

/nickserv auth nickname authorization code

Finally, NickServ will confirm the drop of the nickname:

-NickServ- The nick PeanutButterLover has been successfully dropped.

Dropping a nickname will also result in the automatic removal of the your webpage ( and your email address with DALnet ( if either case applies.

8 · "I forgot my password"

Before you panic about having forgotten your password, keep in mind that passwords are CaSe SeNsItIvE. This means that "STAR" is not the same as "star" or "StaR". Try all the combinations on your password first. You might not have forgotten your password after all. :)

Attaching an email address to your nickname will allow you to request for a password email to be sent for that nick. The syntax of this command is:

/nickserv sendpass [nick] [email address]


/nickserv sendpass PeanutButter

The email address that you specify must match the email address that we have on file for the nickname in question. The SENDPASS command will also be disabled if your MAILBLOCK option has been turned on. See section 6.8.

If you are not able to solve a forgotten password problem on your own, you may request the assistance of an IRCop.

Instructions on how to find an IRC Operator are available at

Update: Previously, the current password of the nickname was directly sent to your e-mail address. Effective immediately, the SENDPASS command will work as follows:

1. You will receive an E-Mail with an authorization code to confirm your request, which you'll have to act upon. The authorization code will be valid for 72 hours (3 days).

2. Upon completing the authorization as instructed, NickServ will create a NEW, RANDOM PASSWORD for the nickname, and will tell you the new password, as a response to your AUTH command.

9 · NickServ Abuse

Keeping nicks registered requires valuable DALnet resources. The DALnet network does not tolerate any abusive usage of NickServ from people who register more nicks than they can use, for the sole reason of keeping others from obtaining the nick, with any malicious intent, simply overindulgence or otherwise. If you have 5 nicknames or fewer for example, this is certainly acceptable.

Depending on the severity of the offense, any violations of the above policies are liable to be dealt with through warnings, bans from the network, freezing of the nick, dropping of the nick, seizing of the nick, services ignores or an email sent to the abuse department of the user's ISP (Internet Service Provider).

The DALnet Administration also reserves the right to seize/drop nicks of users who severely break DALnet network rules. Examples: services or oper impersonation, multiple autokill evasions, repeated mass advertising, etc.