Are the names for deleted projects retained on pypi?

I reached out to the owner of a project hosted on pypi which was not in active development asking if they would be willing to free up the name.

They agreed and deleted the project from pypi.

My understanding is that the name would go back into the namespace of available names, but when I try to use it I get:

$ twine upload dist/*
Uploading distributions to
Uploading depl-0.1.dev1-py3-none-any.whl
100% ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ 4.6/4.6 kB • 00:00 • ?
WARNING  Error during upload. Retry with the --verbose option for more details.
ERROR    HTTPError: 400 Bad Request from
         The name 'depl' is too similar to an existing project. See for more information.

The namespace I’m trying to use is depl.

I had a look at the code which generates this error, and it seems to be doing a comparison against the database using:

It seems like there would be a conflict if there was an existing package with the name dep1 but I can’t see any package on pypi with that name.

The only other thing I can think of is if the original name is being retained.

In any case, how might I resolve this issue?

I filed a Pep 541 request here:, but I already have the previous maintainer’s agreement.

Unfortunately instead of adding me as an owner, they deleted the project - we both just assumed the name would go back into the namespace.

Is the current process of what happens when a project is deleted from pypi documented anywhere?

I see that there is a discussion taking place here: Stop Allowing deleting things from PyPI?
but this doesn’t seem to have resulted in any stated policy.

I think it is impossible to upload versions that already existed before. So if I were you I would try different version strings that have not been used for this project name before.

Thanks for the suggestion.

I gave that a try using a few different version strings, including a date based one and it didn’t help get past the error.

Hi, PyPI admin here. Generally when a project is deleted, the name becomes available, but in this case our “name too similar” filter is preventing it (the name is too similar to Depi · PyPI).

(For future reference: asking the previous maintainer to add you as a new owner rather than deleting the project would have circumvented this.)

In this situation, we can release the project name to you if you file a PEP 541 request. I went ahead and handled your request out of queue because it doesn’t require the previous maintainer to be reachable.


@dustin Hi Dustin, I had a similar issue where I wanted to claim the name “sgl”. I got in touch with the previous owner who agreed to delete the package and allow me to take the name. But now I’m getting “The name is too similar to an existing project.”
Could you take a look at PEP 541 Request: sgl · Issue #3271 · pypi/support · GitHub? The previous owner has replied on this issue as well.