How To Rename the User: "Unknown User" as the Content Creator Caused by User Deletion

Still need help?

The Atlassian Community is here for you.

Ask the community

This article only applies to Atlassian's server products. Learn more about the differences between cloud and server.


A deleted user is shown as Unknown User (username) in Confluence. This KB will provide steps on how to change this appearance. 

This KB will only be useful when Unknown User (username) is displayed as a result of user deletion (perhaps from LDAP side). For missing users after an XML import on please use this documentation instead: User mentions appear as Broken link after XML import


This user has created a content in Confluence, by right Confluence does not allow deletion of this account. Quoted form the relevant documentation (Delete or Disable Users):

You can delete a user from Confluence if they have not yet added or edited any content on the site. Such content includes pages and blog posts, and edits and comments on existing pages.

The reason of the above is that, Confluence will save this user in the database, in order to associate them to the content they had created. This is Confluence's way to ensure that all content in Confluence does not get deleted if a user is disabled.

Confluence presenting the content as created by "Unknown User (username)" most probably caused by this user has been deleted from the external directory. While the user's credential does not exist anymore (such as his full name), the association of content creator and this user still exists in the database.


The only way to change the appearance of Unknown User as content creator will be to create a new account associated to the old username. Note that this user does not have to be active. As an example, The picture above shows a scenario where a page created by a deleted user which has the username, "jd01".

  1. Create a new user with the username "jd01"
  2. Set the Full Name field with the name that you would like to see appear in the page (For example: My Company Confluence Admin)
  3. After that, all old user's contents (All content that was created by "jd01") will be mapped to this newly created user automatically.

Optionally this username can be changed. Please find the documentation to do so: Changing Usernames

In order to make sure that this user is not active, which means to ensure that no one will log in to Confluence as this user, and to make sure that that this user not counted towards the license, you can to disable this user. Please find the instructions below

  • Go to Confluence Admin > Users
  • Click on the user in mention
  • Click on disable

Last modified on Nov 15, 2018

Was this helpful?

Provide feedback about this article
Powered by Confluence and Scroll Viewport.