An administrator of a website or network may decide to suspend a user, preventing them access for a period of time. Is there an antonym of 'suspend' meaning to re-allow that user access?

  • 6
    It might be a bit ugly and possibly even wrong, but it's definitely very clear in what it means: unsuspend. Oct 12, 2011 at 12:20
  • Are you referring to re-allowing the user access during the time of the suspension, or once the suspension is over? Or does it not make a difference?
    – yoozer8
    Oct 12, 2011 at 13:58
  • @Joachim: what is "wrong" about unsuspend? (I'm not even asking about "ugly", because that is subjective.)
    – RegDwigнt
    Oct 12, 2011 at 14:47
  • @RegDwightѬſ道: I don't have any documentation about it being wrong (and that's probably part of the problem), but I've never seen it used outside of a technical discussion (where many terms are pre- and post-fixed without much thought) and can't find any "official" documentation of the word at the moment. Oct 12, 2011 at 14:50
  • 2
    @Joachim: we are talking about website/network admins here. If anything, they will complain about unsuspend not being technical enough.
    – RegDwigнt
    Oct 12, 2011 at 15:30

6 Answers 6


I would use reinstate:

to put back or establish again, as in a former position or state: to reinstate the ousted chairman.

  • +1 .. However Hackish would be unsuspend. It is not a matter of being correct in English. system manglers have their own lingo. :) Dec 1, 2011 at 5:15

I would use either "resume", "restore" or "reactivate".

"Reactivate" is the clearest, but some may find it ugly.

The others will only make sense in a context where it is clear that the account has been suspended, whereas "reactivate" is fairly obvious even without context.

  • Reactivate might no be so clear in case that when a user need to activate their account by email confirmation after first sign up. thanks for sharing though. Oct 12, 2011 at 12:10
  • True. I hadn't thought of that possibility
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 12, 2011 at 13:01
  • @Sarawut: your main question is about 'suspend' which assumes that you've already been activated once before. So 'reactivate' is very clearly a counterpart to 'suspend'.
    – Mitch
    Oct 12, 2011 at 13:22
  • 1
    "Restore" was going to be my answer.
    – user362
    Oct 12, 2011 at 14:50
  • To have one's privileges "restored" is what I've seen most often, in the context of system administration or user forums. Reactivate is more common for an account that has been deactivated, probably a more permanent condition (I don't consider the word ugly). A suspension is of a temporary nature. But either way, and then some, your answer covers it all! Nice! Oct 12, 2011 at 22:37

As a sysadmin the word we usually use is just 'activate'. e.g your account was suspended because the password expired, I have just activated it for you. It may not be grammatically correct but that is usually the on-screen option, button or command used in the software to do what you are saying.

(Or if you want to keep looking for other words, the origin of 'account' comes from mainframes when you had to pay to use it and your account was the amount of money you had put in. When you ran out of money your account was suspended, just like business accounting systems would do to customers. Try looking at business accounting terms if you want more ideas )


Suspend and Lift Suspension make sense to me.


If you see "suspend" as a synonym to "lock" because you forbid the person to use the computer system or software he wants, you could use "unlock" as the antonym.


I use the verbs "activate" and "inactivate" for these purposes.

In the database, the "IsActive" field stores the answer, which is yes for active and no for inactive.

It's simple and concise.

Having to use terms like suspend/unsuspend or lock/unlock can be confusing.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.