Ok, so you want to change your WordPress username, right? You probably went to the edit profile page in WordPress assuming that it would be a simple switch. But…the WordPress username field is greyed out and locked! Oh, and it has that ominous “Usernames cannot be changed” message.
Yikes! Does that mean it’s impossible to change WordPress usernames? Are you doomed to suffer an eternity of a username that you hate?
Nope! Of course not. This post would be pretty worthless if that were the case, right?
While the WordPress core software will not let you change your username, there are still plenty of options to change WordPress usernames.
In this post, I’m going to show you three different methods, depending on what level of complexity you feel comfortable with.
The Three Approaches To Change WordPress Usernames
Ok, so here’s a quick summary of the three methods that I’ll go over.
The first method doesn’t require a plugin or any special knowledge – just a few minutes of your time. Basically, you…
- Create a new WordPress account with the username that you want to use.
- Transfer all of your current username’s content to that new user account.
- Delete the old user account after you’ve transferred all the content.
A little roundabout, but it’s simple and gets the job done.
The second method is to just use the free Username Changer plugin. It’s super simple and doesn’t really require its own tutorial, but I will show you nonetheless.
Finally, the third method is to directly edit your site’s database. This approach doesn’t require you to use a plugin and also eliminates the multi-step process from the first approach, but you have to work directly with phpMyAdmin, or whatever tool you like to edit your database with.
If you’re a beginner, I do not recommend directly editing your site’s database. But if you’re an advanced user, editing it in the database is really quick and easy.
So which one of these methods should you use to change your WordPress username? Ok. If you…
- Are only changing your username as a one-time thing, just stick with the first method.
- Want to regularly change your WordPress username (or give other users the ability to change their usernames), then use the Username Changer plugin.
- Are an advanced user and only want to change your username as a one-time thing, then you can save time by just directly editing your site’s database.
Method 1: Manually Change WordPress Username By Creating A New Account
This method requires a few steps, but it’s pretty easy.
Step 1: Create A New Account With Your Desired Username
To get started with this method, go to Users → Add New and create a new account for your desired username.
Make sure that the new account has the same role as your current account.
If you’re working on your own website (that is, you want to change your WordPress admin username), you should give the new account the Role of Administrator.
Also, you will not be able to use the same email address as your current account. Use a temporary email address for now – you’ll be able to change it back to your primary email after you delete the old account:
Step 2: Log Out And Log In With The New Account
Once you’ve created the new account, log out of your current account and then log back in using the new account.
Step 3: Delete Your Current WordPress Account
Once you’re logged in with the new account that has your desired username, go to the Users tab in your WordPress dashboard.
Then, hover over your current WordPress account and click Delete (this is the username that you don’t want to use):
On the next page, choose the box for Attribute all content to and select your new username from the drop-down. Then, click Confirm Deletion:
This will make sure that all the content you’ve created in the past will have your new account as the author.
Step 4: Change Your Email Back To Your Primary Email
Once you’ve deleted your old account, you can go to Users → Your Profile and change your email address back to your primary email:
Method 2: Use The Free Username Changer Plugin
As I said, the Username Changer plugin is super easy to use.
Once you install and activate it, go to the Users tab in your WordPress dashboard and edit the account you want to change (this could be your own account, or any other user):
In the Profile interface, scroll down to the Username field. Now, that mean “Usernames cannot be changed” message is gone and you get a new option to Change Username:
Once you click it, you’ll be able to enter a new username. Then, click Save Username:
Then, you should see a success message, as well as a prompt to log back in. Because your current WordPress username no longer exists, WordPress will kick you out of the dashboard.
Don’t worry! Just log back in with your new username and the same password from before. And that’s it – you’re done!
Method 3: Edit Your Database Directly To Change WordPress Username
Again, I do not recommend using this method unless you feel comfortable editing your site’s database directly.
For that reason, I won’t be as detailed in this tutorial. Basically, if you can’t figure out how to edit your WordPress site’s database, you shouldn’t be using this method in the first place!
To get started, open your site’s database. Your host will probably give you access via phpMyAdmin, but I’m using Local’s Adminer for the screenshots.
Once you have your database open, edit the wp_users table:
Then, edit the row for the username that you want to change:
Then, enter your desired username in the user_login field and save the record:
If you’re currently logged in to your WordPress dashboard, it will kick you out. To log back in, use your new username along with your existing password.
And that’s it! You’ve successfully changed your username.
It’s Not That Hard To Change Your WordPress Username!
While WordPress might try to make you think that you can’t change your WordPress username, I hope I’ve shown you that it’s really not that hard!
If you’re a casual user and don’t want to install a new plugin, you can use the first method to simply create a new account and assign all your content to that second account.
If you do want to use a plugin, or if you want other users to be able to change their usernames as well, the free Username Changer plugin is quite convenient.
And finally, if you feel comfortable editing your site’s database directly, changing your username is as simple as editing a record in the wp_users table.
Have any other questions about how to change usernames in WordPress? Let us know in the comments and we’ll try to help out!