Whenever I try to get somebody to follow me in Skyrim they something in the lives with "You already have a follower.". The problem is, I don't.

I have not, to my recollection, had a follower at any given point in the game.

The only thing I can think of is that I have (spoiler)

finished Anriel's Endeavors and gotten him as a summon creature.

Or do I have a hidden follower that I can't remember. A dog or a horse perhaps? Note that I do not have a dog or horse following me now. I talked to dog once, and had a horse that died.

Is this a common/known issue? Is there a work around? Any tips?


3 Answers 3


Are you on the Companions quest chain by chance? Possibly the quest Proving Honor? Starting this quest (and I think several other Companions quests) sets Farkas (in this case) as your Follower. If thats the case, he's waiting for you at Dustman's Cairn and you won't be able to dismiss him until you complete the quest.

  • That's probably it. I've started the first quest but not finished it. Thanks a lot! Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 17:42
  • 1
    I know that this is an old answer but it's beautiful when someone can pinpoint a problem so directly.
    – C26
    Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 12:12

I had this same problem, I had hired one of the mercenaries who followed me around for a few missions then randomly disappeared. All the other followers i tried to recruit told me I already had someone with me.

The only thing that fixed it was starting a mission that automatically fast-travels you somewhere or otherwise changes your position on the map. I used the mission where you call Ohdaving. I talked to the Jarl of Whiterun sitting on his throne inside, then we automatically travelled out to the Dragonsreach porch. When I appeared out there, my follower was somehow standing right next to me as if nothing had ever happened. I assume the same thing would happen on any other mission where you automatically travel to somewhere else on the map. The game re-setting your position seems to do the same thing for the follower.


If you have become Thane of a hold you will be granted a housecarl which would count as a follower. If you have a house go there and leave them.

  • Hi, thanks for the reply. I am a than in 3 places. I know I have housecarl's but I have never asked them to follow me. But I'll go there and give it a try. Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 7:11
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    Housecarls don't count as followers unless you've asked them to follow you. Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 4:16
  • I'm sorry but even a housecarl would ay, "You aldready have someone with you." meaning you have a follower.
    – Jim
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 17:30

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