How to Change Your WordPress Username

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Changing WordPress passwords is straightforward, but usernames are more complicated. Maybe you’ve tried, only to discover it’s not possible? There’s good news. In this guide, you’ll learn how to change your WordPress username using one of three methods.

Why Change Your Username Logins?

There are good reasons why people want to change their login usernames. Your WordPress login screen is the site’s first line of defence against hackers and other bad actors. New users often accept the default ‘admin’ as the site’s username after installing WordPress.

Why “admin” is a lousy username

Auto hacker bots love admin usernames, and they know how to find them. That only leaves the passwords to crack before carrying out brute-force attacks. Thus, admin usernames reduce hacking times by 50%. So, weak usernames make WP websites and blogs far more vulnerable. Security is the main reason to change username logins, but it’s not the only one.

More reasons to change your WP username

Other reasons to change the WordPress username can include:

  • One that better reflects your role, business, or site theme
  • Saved the wrong username in error or spotted a typo after you created it
  • Transferring the site to someone else

Whatever your reasons, the point is you don’t have to settle with the current user ID.

3 Ways to Change WordPress Usernames

There are 3 ways to change your WP username, and they are, in order of ease:

  1. Create a new WP user to replace the old one
  2. Use a dedicated plugin
  3. Use phpMyAdmin (advanced users)

#1 Create a new WP user to replace the old one

The simplest way to change your WP username is by creating a new admin-level user. Have a different email address ready as you can’t use the one from the old account yet.

Go to Users => Add New from the Dashboard side menu.

You’re now at the Add New User screen.

Fill out the details, including your preferred username and the new email address. You can revert to the original email later if you want to, but only after you delete the old account.

Tip: Remember to save your new password so that you can log back in as a new user.

Select Administrator from the Role dropdown menu.

Click Add New User to create the new account.

Log out of WordPress.

Now log back in with your new Username and Password.

Go to Users => All Users from the Dashboard side menu.

Locate your old user account and click the Delete link.

You’re now at the Delete Users screen. WordPress needs to know what you intend to do with the old user’s content before removing the account permanently.

Follow these 3 simple steps.

  1. Click the Attribute all content to: radio button
  2. Select the new user you created from the dropdown box
  3. Click Confirm Deletion to complete the process

WordPress deletes your old user account and transfers all its content to your new one.

You can now add the old email address to your new account if you want to use it.

Go to Users =>All Users from the Dashboard side menu.

Locate your new user account and click the Edit link.

Scroll down to the Contact Info section on your Profile screen.

Replace the email in the Email (required) box with the old email address.

WP sends a confirmation email that you must accept before it accepts the address change.

#2 Use a dedicated plugin

Using a plugin is another easy way to change the username of an active account. You can safely remove it after changing the user details if you want to restrict your WP plugins.

The one we use for this guide is WP Edit Username by Sajjad Hossain Sagor.

Read How to Install New Plugins if you’re new to WordPress.

Install and Activate the WP Edit Username plugin.

There’s a new link in your Dashboard side menu called Edit Username. Click it.

Note: this new menu item is only visible to Administrators.

You’re now at the Edit Username Settings screen.

You can create a message here and decide who gets an email notification after the update. That’s useful if you’re changing the username for someone else.

Click Save Changes when you’re done.

Note: There’s no saved confirmation message, so watch the browser tab’s update wheel instead.

Now let’s go and change a username.

Go to Users =>All Users from the Dashboard side menu.

Locate your user account and click its Edit link.

Scroll down to the Name section and click the new Edit button right of the Username field.

Enter the new Username in the pop-up box, then click Update Username.

The plugin displays a username updated from–to message to confirm the change.

There isn’t an OK button, so you must click Cancel to close the confirmation box. Don’t worry; cancel on this screen only closes the box; it doesn’t abandon the username update.

The plugin also sends an email to confirm the new username. Who receives that message depends on the options you chose after activating the plugin.

Press F5 to refresh the screen. WordPress logs you out and presents the login page.

Log in using the new username.

Final steps

You can now deactivate or delete the plugin from your server if you have no further use for it. The Edit button disappears from the side of the username box in the user profile screen. It’s replaced with the message: Usernames cannot be changed.

Next up is the third and last resort method for changing your WordPress Username. 

#3 Use phpMyAdmin (advanced users)

Only use this method if you don’t have access to your WordPress Admin Area.

PLEASE DO A FULL BACKUP OF YOUR WORDPRESS WEBSITE BEFORE CONTINUING

Using phpMyAdmin is a last resort method and not recommended for novice administrators. Hire expert help if you’re uncomfortable working in cPanel or making changes to the database. It’s a 30-second job for someone who knows what they’re doing, so it won’t cost much.

It’s always wise to change login details after a third-party has accessed them. You can log back into your Admin Dashboard and change the username to whatever you want later.

Log in to your web hosting cPanel account (contact support if you don’t have the details).

Point to note: Your cPanel may look different from the screenshots below. The sections and links should still be the same, so don’t worry if the colours or theme are different.

Click phpMyAdmin from the DATABASES section.

The phpMyAdmin screen opens in a new browser tab.

Click on your WordPress database name in the left side column.

All your WordPress database tables load below the database name in alphabetical order. They will have have a randonly generated prefix, something like dhYf_.  In this tutorial, I'll use the simple prefix wp_ .

Scroll down and click wp_users to open the table in the right-side column.

Click the Edit link for the user login you want to change the username for.

There are several rows and columns on the next screen. The user_login row should be second from the top. Change the username in its Value column to whatever you want it.

Click Go to save the changes.

And that concludes this guide on the three ways to change WordPress usernames.

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