How to Change Your WordPress Username

Posted on 2016-03-21

While the WordPress team has a track record for listening to its users and implemented highly requested features, something that has long frustrated novices is the apparent inability to alter your account username.

While it’s very simple to change your display name, the username is fixed in stone. This is what’s shown in the URL of your user profile – for some it may not be an issue, but for others there are many reasons why they may want to change:

The username was the author’s name and their name has since changed
The username was “admin” which has a negative effect on security and should be avoided
A spelling error in the original username
An old alias or nickname was used
The user simply does not like it

As stated above, the WordPress CMS by default does not offer the capacity to alter this, but there are ways around it.

The first way can be changed through the WordPress CMS itself, and the second requires access to phpMyAdmin and should only be attempted by webmasters with a certain degree of technical know-how.

Easy Method – New User Account

The easiest way to change your username is to simply create a new user account.

To do this, follow these simple steps.

1) Navigate to Users from the WordPress Dashboard. This will require administrator level access.
2) Select Add New from the menu.
3) Choose your new username – remember, this is case sensitive. You will need to give this account administrator access or at the very least have an admin account you can access.
4) Login to your new admin account with your new username.
5) Navigate to Users from the WordPress Dashboard and choose to Delete your old account. This will then ask you “what should be done with content owned by this user?” – from the drop-down list, choose to apply all existing content to your new user account.
6) Once all has been transferred, you can delete your old account (though this is not mandatory).

Intermediate Method – Database Modification

This method is actually quite simply, though phpMyAdmin is unfamiliar territory for many users and can be intimidating on first glance as the risk or breaking something is quite high if you alter a field that shouldn’t have been.

You will need cPanel access to be able to complete the following steps.
Follow these steps and you'll be able to change your WordPress username via phpMyAdmin:

1) Login to cPanel. This is normally located at yourdomain.com/cpanel. Your login details will have been provided to you when you signed up to your web host.
2) Choose the phpMyAdmin option from the Databases section.
3) Now choose your database from the list on the left. The amount here depends how much content is on your site - if you have multiplse content management systems on your website there will be multiple here. The username will most likely look similar to your domain name.
4) Once you have clicked this and it is expanded, choose the wp_users option.
5) Look at the list on the page and find the WordPress username which you want to change. Click the Edit option.
6) Make sure you change the user_login field and the username_nicename field to your new desired username. This will be what displays to the public and what you login with.
7) Once you're happy, press Go. You will be logged out of WordPress and you will be able to login with your new username.

We hope this tutorial helps if you ever need to change your WordPress username. Thank you for reading!

Posted on 2016-03-21

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