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When a user signs up for my web application, they need to click a link in an email to confirm their email address. This link is only valid for a certain number of days.

I've never had a link like this expire in other applications, just to try what would happen if I then tried to sign up again. Currently, the way this is handled in my application, is that the user nees to go through the "forgot password" flow to choose a password. The account has already been created, so registering with the same e-mail address won't work, but the user doesn't have a password yet, so they can't just log in.

What's the best way to handle this in terms of user experience?

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Be honest

Make it clear to the user what happened. They don't need to understand your system, just what is expected to get the job done and move on.

You signed up but didn't finish the process.
Resend confirmation link

Or whatever that needs to look like.

  • 1
    I agree with this, but I'd also add the time period they have to finish: You signed up but didn't finish the process within 3 days, so we need to resend the confirmation link to you. – Rex Marzke Aug 26 '16 at 13:11

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