Error message when you try to create a user name that contains a special character in Office 365: "Invalid user name"

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Article ID: 2439357 - View products that this article applies to.

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When you try to create a user name that contains a special character in Microsoft Office 365, you receive one of the following error messages:

Within the Office 365 portal

Invalid user name
Only letters and numbers are allowed. No spaces.

Within Windows Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell

New-MsolUser : Invalid value for parameter. Parameter Name: UserPrincipalName.
At line:1 char:13

Within Exchange Online Windows PowerShell

A Windows Live error occurred while provisioning for "". The e-mail name contains invalid characters.


This behavior occurs because certain special characters aren't permitted in user names that you create in the Office 365. These special characters include but aren't limited to the following:
  • Tilde (~)
  • Exclamation point (!)
  • At sign (@)
  • Number sign (#)
  • Dollar sign ($)
  • Percent (%)
  • Circumflex (^)
  • Ampersand (&)
  • Asterisk (*)
  • Parentheses (( ))
  • Hyphen (-)
  • Plus sign (+)
  • Equal sign (=)
  • Brackets ([ ])
  • Braces ({ })
  • Backslash (\)
  • Slash mark (/)
  • Pipe (|)
  • Semicolon (;)
  • Colon (:)
  • Quotation marks (")
  • Angle brackets (< >)
  • Question mark (?)
  • Comma (,)

However, the following exceptions apply:
  • A period (.) or a hyphen (-) is permitted anywhere in the user name, except at the beginning or end of the name.
  • An underscore (_) is permitted anywhere in the user name. This includes at the beginning or end of the name.


When you create a new user in Office 365, make sure that you don't use any of the special characters that are listed in the "Cause" section.

Still need help? Go to the Office 365 Community website.


Article ID: 2439357 - Last Review: October 23, 2013 - Revision: 22.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Office 365 for enterprises (pre-upgrade)
  • Microsoft Office 365 for small businesses  (pre-upgrade)
  • Microsoft Office 365 for education  (pre-upgrade)
  • Microsoft Office 365
o365 o365a o365p o365e o365022013 after upgrade o365062011 pre-upgrade o365m KB2439357

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