Username vs Name

Is there a way to allow a user to choose what gets displayed when they post in the forum? We would like our users to be able to choose between using either the Username or Name field. We’ve had some questions around privacy since it defaults to their username. Thanks!


Users do not specifically determine what is shown, this will be determined by your site settings in different places.

User cards & profiles

The three elements to juggle are:

  1. Full name
    This is the ‘real name’ and you can make it required or not. If you are worried about privacy, then you might not ask for it. Alternatively, you could collect it but hide it by unchecking the enable names option

  2. Username
    This is required for Discourse to operate

  3. Priority
    You can de-emphasise names by prioritising usernames, or you can turn this off to focus on the real name

Another useful option is to disable user cards and profiles for anonymous users. In combination with the security below, only logged-in users will see more personal data


If the data exists and is available, you can enable this setting for posts (or not enable it for privacy)

One thing to bear in mind, is that when the username and the real name are the ‘same’ (ignoring spaces), the second element will be hidden to avoid duplication, so for example:

My username robmc is different from my full name

… while my colleague’s matches


Hi Robert,

If I want to remove the username from showing up and only display the Name field would I deselect “prioritize username in the UX”?


I need to go and check whether this is possible. Discourse uses usernames as a default for many things, including traffic referral, mentions, and so on, so hiding this entirely does not seem entirely possible, or sensible.

Can I ask what you mean by this statement, as I’ve been confused

Surely a username is MORE private than a real name? Can you please explain the use-case?

Usernames are only more private if the user picked a private username in the first place. There’s no ability to correct that if the user decides they prefer a username that doesn’t reveal something private about them / which doesn’t identify them publicly (not really a supported feature to change usernames) unlike the editable name field. Sometimes users don’t even have direct control over their username if it’s been populated via SSO. I think you mean that usernames are more private for users who were able to make that choice at the start and don’t have any reason to change their minds later - seems user hostile to vulnerable groups

I would question that design choice, please make it a site setting. (see my comments in Feature request: make the "deduplication" of name vs. user name a site setting)