Renaming users - YAY or NAY?

Discourse offers the ability to rename user accounts.

Older threads mention that this break links and post history.

What’s the current status of this? Is it still discouraged and what are the impacts now?

I think it’s a case by case thing. How long have they been a member? Are they aware of the ramifications?

I’d say in most cases it’s fine as long as you have communicated the impacts (which haven’t changed - prior mentions/quotes won’t work).

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Thanks. I’d like to understand the impacts:

If someone has been quoted previously and then their account name is changed, what appears where the quote was?

Likewise, what’s displayed in the places they were mentioned under the original name. eg: is the name still shown as a clickable mention, but just goes nowhere when clicked?

Seems like this could be avoided by using a unique internal user ID number, rather than their user ID, as name change requests are pretty common.

Their old username appears in the blockquote.

Good question. It shows the old username but I’m not 100% what happens when it’s clicked. Maybe someone else can confirm?


Though I’ve never tried this but AFAIK links are now tagged to the User ID instead of username or something and this shouldn’t create much differences … Needs a Rebake of Posts I guess … I’ll try to figure out and respond.

@Biscuit That’s a Nay as in my tests, it seems to break all the references to old username even after rebake so You should really be careful before taking this step.

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Thanks for testing this. Really appreciated.

Did it still show the old account name in the mention?

And what happened when you clicked on it?


Old Account username & a “Oops that link is unavailable”

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Last time I tested, the original name also stays in Notifications.

For example, if DonnieT Likes one your posts, then changes his name to POTUS and then Likes another of your posts, your Notifications will look something like

:heart: POTUS Obama Commemorative Wall

:heart: DonnieT Oval Office Painted Sable?


With recent GDPR improvements, renaming a user touches more or less all the places that user name would appear now.

So yes, it is safe to do anywhere, but remember that by default Discourse disallows self-initiated username changes a few days after an account is created, for consistency reasons.