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How can I make inactive users searchable in Confluence


I would like to find pages in Confluence that our termed/inactive users created or contributed to.  I can see the users on our user management page but I can't specifically search for them using the contributor or creator search in Confluence.  

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 2.52.08 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-02-02 at 2.47.26 PM.png

2 answers

1 accepted

@Erica Larson , I was looking for a way to find pages where a specific inactive user was mentioned, and found that I can paste this URL into the address bar (insert your site URL and the username of the inactive user). Hope it works for you too!


Erica Larson Community Leader Jan 06, 2020

@Susan Ostreicher - Thank you.  This solution worked great.  I switched out "mention" with "contributor" or "creator" and I was able to find what I was looking for. 

Like Susan Ostreicher likes this

I tried and did not work :( please help @Susan Ostreicher 

Hi @Hoa Nguyenthi , you replaced YOURURL with your url and INACTIVEUSERNAME with the username of the inactive user, correct?

If so - is it possible that there aren't any results because that user is not mentioned in any pages? 

Without knowing the details of your case, I'm not sure why it isn't working, but those are the first two things I'd check. 

@Hoa Nguyenthi It looks like that may be the user's full name, instead of a username. Does it work using the username, maybe something like cuongd1? I can't access an Atlassian Server instance right now to confirm this, but I think that you can view details even for inactive users in user management. 

Thanks for your suggestion but it still not working @Susan Ostreicher 

Hi @Hoa Nguyenthi

It looks like you're using Confluence Cloud - the link above works for Confluence Server. 

I tried the format below on Confluence Cloud, and it seems to work:"ACCOUNTID"

The account ID is a long string that includes a colon and several hyphens. It's visible in the URL when you're viewing a user profile. I'm not sure if it's possible to view profiles for inactive users... in case not, there are instructions in this post for getting the account ID programmatically:

You also need to add quotation marks around the account ID when you run the search. Here's a more specific example:"22557058:AAAf1c4f677-6aa5-4af3-aa9f-6b12ddf40556"

And in case it helps, I referred to the article on advanced searching using cql in Confluence Cloud to try to figure this out. It might have other good information for you if you need to do other advanced searches.

Like Hoa Nguyenthi likes this

Hi Susan


The solution mentioned above worked like a charm. However, I am looking for specific pages with a search string created by a certain user. Could you help me with this issue pls. 


Thanks Divya

0 votes
Thomas Deiler Community Leader Feb 02, 2018

Dear @Erica Larson,

this is a classic mass data job to be done over the API.

Get all pages with history of one space:

Then you extract from each returned page information the creator (username) of it, and request its status:

The result JSON should tell you, if the user is inactive. If you get a HTTP code 404, the user doesn't exist any more. So you know which pages are without creators.

So long


Thomas Deiler Community Leader Feb 06, 2018

Dear @Erica Larson,

have you figured out my solution? Do you need more assistance?

So long


Hi Thomas.  

Thanks for your suggestion but I am not sure that is what I am looking for.  I may have worded my question wrong.  I want my inactive users to be searchable within in Confluence.  I don't need to find all pages created by inactive users.  I want my users to be able to find specific pages that were created or contributed to by inactive users.  


Thomas Deiler Community Leader Feb 06, 2018

@Erica Larson,

got you. But as soon as a user is inactive, you cannot search for them - they are "out". And the history of a page will not be searched. The search focuses on the present not the past.

So long


I'm not sure what this concept means, that of a search for documentation not concerning itself with the "past"  Certainly, documentation is all about retaining history and knowledge developed in the "past."  And clearly documentation of inactive users is *more* valuable, since they are no longer there to ask.  Weird idea, that only the current moment matters when looking for clues on how things have been done...

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Gal Fatal Community Leader Jan 14, 2021

Facing the same issue. How come I cannot search for pages created or be contributed by inactive use. 

That's a common scenario: someone is leaving, became inactive, and someone else now needs to search pages created by the one who left.

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