Archive FAQ > Orphaning

What is orphaning?

Orphaning is an alternative to deleting a work which you no longer want associated with your account.

Orphaning will permanently eliminate all your identifying data from the selected work(s). Data is eliminated from the work(s) themselves, and also their chapters, associated series, and any feedback replies you may have left on them, transferring it to the Archive's specially created orphan_account. Please note that this is permanent and irreversible—you are giving up control over the work, including the ability to edit or delete it, and you are unable to reclaim it.

Orphaning is a way to remove some or all of your works from your account without taking them away from fandom. We hope you'll use the orphan_account to allow your works to remain in the Archive even if you no longer wish to be associated with them, or have them connected to your account. Orphaned works will be maintained by the Archive to be enjoyed by future fans; existing bookmarks and links will not break.

For further information on deleting your work instead, go to How do I delete a work? Or for information on editing your series, go to How do I edit a series?

What information is removed when a work is orphaned?

  • Your user name and/or pseud is removed from the byline on the work and all its chapters.
  • Your user name and/or pseud is removed from any comments you have left on the work.

How do I orphan my work(s)?

Before you decide to orphan your work(s) please ensure you are aware of the consequences of doing so. Refer to What is Orphaning? for more information.

You can:

  • Orphan a single work from the Edit page for the work. For more information on how to do this, go to How do I edit a work?
  • Orphan all works posted in a series from either the Series index page or Edit Series page. For more information, refer to the Series FAQ.
  • Orphan all your works from the Preferences page on your Dashboard. For more information, refer to the Dashboard FAQ.
  • Orphan all works posted under a specific Pseud from the Pseuds page on your Dashboard. For more information, refer to the Pseuds FAQ.

After you have chosen which work(s) to orphan, you have two options:

"Take my pseud off as well"
The work will be transferred to the orphan_account, maintained by the Archive, and the default orphan_account pseud. The byline on the work will read "orphan_account".
"Leave a copy of my pseud on"
The work will be transferred to the orphan_account, maintained by the Archive, but a new pseud will be created with the same name as the pseud you used to create the work. If you use only the original default pseud, the pseud created will match your user name. For example: if you created the work using the pseud or user name "awesomefangirl" then, after you orphan it, the byline will read "awesomefangirl (orphan_account)". Although the pseud will no longer link back to your Archive account, a reader may still be able to identify you as the creator if you have a distinctive pseud.

For more information on pseuds, please go to the Pseuds FAQ.

How do I orphan a work which I have co-authored/co-created with someone else?

Before you decide to orphan your work(s) please ensure you are aware of the consequences of doing so. Refer to What is Orphaning? for more information.

You can either remove yourself as an author from the Edit Work page, or orphan the work to remove its association to your account. Whichever you choose, your co-creator will not be affected and will remain a co-creator of the work.

For more information, go to How do I orphan my works?

How do I orphan a single work in a series?

Before you decide to orphan your work(s) please ensure you are aware of the consequences of doing so. Refer to What is Orphaning? for more information.

You can orphan the work according to the instructions in How do I orphan my work(s)?—the byline on the work will read "orphan_account" or "your pseud (orphan_account)".

Please note that the work will not be removed from the series—to do this, you must edit the work to remove it from the series before orphaning it. Once you have orphaned your work, you can no longer edit it. If you keep the work as part of the series, the orphan_account will be listed as one of the creators of the series.

For more information, go to How do I edit a series?

How can I get my work(s) back if I change my mind after orphaning a work?

You can't—orphaning is permanent and irreversible. There is no way for you to re-attach the work to your account, and we can't do it for you. An orphaned work remains in the Archive attached to the orphan_account, and cannot be edited or deleted.

Where can I get more information if my question isn’t answered here?

Some frequently asked questions about the Archive are answered in the broader Archive FAQ. Questions and answers about our Terms of Service can be found in the Terms of Service FAQ. You may also like to check out our Known Issues. If you need more help, please contact Support.