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remove users who has authored content

Hi all ! Today there is a need to remove users who has authored content, but of course I get the following error:

Maycl can not be removed because he or she has authored content in one or more spaces.

Question, how i can change the user authored content to the different user ?
That would be after I was able to remove the old user.
The request:


return 0 row answer.
queerly !!!

8 answers

1 accepted

0 votes
Answer accepted


We don't recommend that you remove users. It can be very useful to have a historical record of who authored which piece of content. That is not to say that we suggest that you leave users active and have them count against your license total. Our suggestion would to be to disable those users rather than delete them.

After you have disabled the user you are going to want to remove that users from any groups that have the "Can Use" permission. This will ensure that this user is completely deactivated and no longer counts against your seat total.

Is there a reason you want to remove rather than deactivate a user?

Hi Anton,

In our case I would really like to remove the users. Because it is created in Confluence Internal Directory, so that we can re-create the user with Active Directory synchronization.

Is there a way to do that?

Like Lochlainn likes this

Has this issue been closed? I need a way to delete a current user that has content. Is using the copy space plugin the only way to remove/move all of their content then delete them?

The reason I need to delete users is because I want to use LDAP for authentication only. I set that up but it doesn't work for "already existing users". It only works for "new" users. No matter what you do, it always uses the local account password for existing users (yes, I have LDAP authentication first in the list). In order to make it work with LDAP, you have to delete the user then recreate them. Since it is a new user, it will now use the LDAP password for authentication. Disabling the user account also doesn't work. When you go to creaete the new account, you get an error saying an account with the same name already exists (and I have to use that name as that is the LDAP name).

Can anyone help or know of a way to force Confluence to ignore the local password of existing users and use LDAP? That would be even better...

Hello, I am in the same situation has Mike Nolterieke. I have a user that was added the local user directory but I need to be able to use LDAP authentication for this user. What is the proper way to delete the local user and sync the LDAP user when they have authored content ? I have noticed that disabling them has no affect.


I don't think you can remove them, you have to disable them instead. This is pretty much the same as deleting, but they're still there. The don't count against your license though.

I also think that if you do delete them, then all their new pages etc become visible to EVERYBODY. This might not be what you want if you user was creating confidential content.


Mick and Daniel thank you for the detailed description, I'm convinced that delete user it wrong, we will disable users. Yet, for the personal benefit, to be time-consuming procedure of removal users ?

Question, how i can change the user authored content to the different user ?

One option might be to use the Copy Space plugin. Put the pages belonging to the old user into a new space e.g. "Transit". You'll need to have Admin rights to use the Copy Space plugin, but one of its features allows pages to be reattributed to the current user. So, follow the steps to copy the space and create yourself a "Copy of Transit". This being achieved, you can remove the "Transit" space completely and move pages from "Copy of Transit" back to their original locations. Removing the empty "Copy of Transit" space will be the final piece of tidying up.

Thank you all for your answers, the question can be closed.

I had the same issue.  The problem was not with freeing up licenses.  We had a re-hire and all of the old permissions were in place, also new permissions were not working. 

I ended up disabling the user, then removing the user from all groups including the license group.  then asked user to log back in without using SSO.  they got the error as expected, so re-enabled and added them back into the license group.  once they logged in, they were able to do what was needed with the new permissions set up.


Hope this helps anyone else having this issue in the future.

0 votes

I've had this problem too. My boss doesn't want to just disable a user (he doesn't want to see a disabled user in the directory) and he wants to completely removed. It seems there is no way to do that, so what I did is just edit the details of the old users and put in the details of the new users so now there is no disabled user in the directory. :)

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