The WP Wednesday Podcast

Need To Change a WordPress Username?

It doesn’t happen often, but once in a while a client or website will need a way to handle user requests to change a username.

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t let you change a username in it’s stock version. A quick look at a user account will show the username greyed out and a note that you cannot change it is beside the field.

There are ways around this though. In today’s episode we will talk about three methods of changing a username for WordPress accounts. 

  1. Creating a new user, then deleting the old one
  2. Using a plugin
  3. Directly changing in phyMyAdmin

Back Everything Up!

Like a TV pharma commercial, here’s a disclaimer on messing with user accounts and the database.

Any changes you make doing this are permanent.

If you misspell a name, forget the “.” in an email address, or just change the wrong line in the database you will have to remember what you changed and change it back or correct it. Just a heads up!

Method 1 – Creating a new account and deleting the old one.

This is a pretty easy solution if there’s no need to keep anything assigned to this user like events, an account, page access, purchases, etc. The process is very straight forward.

  1. Create a new user
  2. Transfer authorship from the old to the new user
  3. Delete the old username.

That’s it. The new username should work and gain access to the site.

Method 2 – Using a WordPress plugin to change a username

WP plugins are a great way to managed processes that manually could mean direct editing of a database (see Method 3) or website code. To change a username in WordPress I have found the Easy Username Updater.

  1. Install Easy Username Updater
  2. Search the plugin for the username wished to be changed.
  3. Change the username 

Once again, this is making a permanent change to the database, so be careful.

Easy Username Updater

[dcg_display_plugin_data name=’username-updater’ description=”true”]

Method 3 – Direct editing of the database

The quickest, but scariest way to change a username right in the website’s database. Before we go further, BACK UP YOUR DATABASE!

  1. Log into the cPanel
  2. Open phpMyAdmin
  3. Open the wp_users table
  4. Find the username you wish to edit
  5. Click “Edit
  6. In the username field, type the new username, and click “Go

This will change the username but leave everything else assigned to the account in place. So purchases, access, posts and other info will still be tagged to the new username since it just replaced the original. 

Thanks for listening to this episode of the WP Wednesday Podcast

Do you have questions, experiences related to today’s topic? Head over to @Bebizzy on Twitter and send them there. 

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Then you can sit back, relax, and leave the technical stuff to us