Moderate users

GitLab administrators can moderate user access by approving, blocking, banning, or deactivating users.

Users pending approval

A user in pending approval state requires action by an administrator. A user sign up can be in a pending approval state because an administrator has enabled any of the following options:

When a user registers for an account while this setting is enabled:

  • The user is placed in a Pending approval state.
  • The user sees a message telling them their account is awaiting approval by an administrator.

A user pending approval:

  • Is functionally identical to a blocked user.
  • Cannot sign in.
  • Cannot access Git repositories or the GitLab API.
  • Does not receive any notifications from GitLab.
  • Does not consume a seat.

An administrator must approve their sign up to allow them to sign in.

View user sign ups pending approval

To view user sign ups pending approval:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Overview > Users.
  3. Select the Pending approval tab.

Approve or reject a user sign up

A user sign up pending approval can be approved or rejected from the Admin Area.

To approve or reject a user sign up:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Overview > Users.
  3. Select the Pending approval tab.
  4. Optional. Select a user.
  5. Select the User administration dropdown.
  6. Select Approve or Reject.

Approving a user:

  • Activates their account.
  • Changes the user’s state to active.
  • Consumes a subscription seat.

Block and unblock users

GitLab administrators can block and unblock users.

Block a user

In order to completely prevent access of a user to the GitLab instance, administrators can choose to block the user.

Users can be blocked via an abuse report, by removing them in LDAP, or directly from the Admin Area. To do this:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Overview > Users.
  3. Optional. Select a user.
  4. Select the User administration dropdown.
  5. Select Block.

A blocked user:

  • Cannot log in.
  • Cannot access Git repositories or the API.
  • Does not receive any notifications from GitLab.
  • Cannot use slash commands.
  • Does not consume a seat.

Personal projects, and group and user history of the blocked user are left intact.

note
Users can also be blocked using the GitLab API.

Unblock a user

A blocked user can be unblocked from the Admin Area. To do this:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Overview > Users.
  3. Select the Blocked tab.
  4. Optional. Select a user.
  5. Select the User administration dropdown.
  6. Select Unblock.

The user’s state is set to active and they consume a seat.

note
Users can also be unblocked using the GitLab API.

The unblock option may be unavailable for LDAP users. To enable the unblock option, the LDAP identity first needs to be deleted:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Overview > Users.
  3. Select the Blocked tab.
  4. Select a user.
  5. Select the Identities tab.
  6. Find the LDAP provider and select Delete.

Activate and deactivate users

GitLab administrators can deactivate and activate users.

Deactivate a user

Introduced in GitLab 12.4.

In order to temporarily prevent access by a GitLab user that has no recent activity, administrators can choose to deactivate the user.

Deactivating a user is functionally identical to blocking a user, with the following differences:

  • It does not prohibit the user from logging back in via the UI.
  • Once a deactivated user logs back into the GitLab UI, their account is set to active.

A deactivated user:

  • Cannot access Git repositories or the API.
  • Does not receive any notifications from GitLab.
  • Does not be able to use slash commands.
  • Does not consume a seat.

Personal projects, and group and user history of the deactivated user are left intact.

note
Users are notified about account deactivation if user deactivation emails are enabled.

A user can be deactivated from the Admin Area. To do this:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Overview > Users.
  3. Optional. Select a user.
  4. Select the User administration dropdown.
  5. Select Deactivate.

For the deactivation option to be visible to an administrator, the user:

  • Must be currently active.
  • Must not have signed in, or have any activity, in the last 90 days.
note
Users can also be deactivated using the GitLab API.

Automatically deactivate dormant users

Introduced in GitLab 14.0.

Administrators can enable automatic deactivation of users who either:

  • Were created more than a week ago and have not signed in.
  • Have no activity in the last 90 days.

To do this:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  3. Expand the Account and limit section.
  4. Under Dormant users, check Deactivate dormant users after 90 days of inactivity.
  5. Select Save changes.

When this feature is enabled, GitLab runs a job once a day to deactivate the dormant users.

A maximum of 100,000 users can be deactivated per day.

Activate a user

Introduced in GitLab 12.4.

A deactivated user can be activated from the Admin Area.

To do this:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Overview > Users.
  3. Select the Deactivated tab.
  4. Optional. Select a user.
  5. Select the User administration dropdown.
  6. Select Activate.

The user’s state is set to active and they consume a seat.

note
A deactivated user can also activate their account themselves by logging back in via the UI. Users can also be activated using the GitLab API.

Ban and unban users

Version history
On self-managed GitLab, by default this feature is available. To hide the feature, ask an administrator to disable the feature flag named ban_user_feature_flag. On GitLab.com, this feature is available to GitLab.com administrators only.

GitLab administrators can ban and unban users. Banned users are blocked, and their issues are hidden. The banned user’s comments are still displayed. Hiding a banned user’s comments is tracked in this issue.

Ban a user

To block a user and hide their contributions, administrators can ban the user.

Users can be banned using the Admin Area. To do this:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Overview > Users.
  3. Optional. Select a user.
  4. Select the User administration dropdown.
  5. Select Ban user.

The banned user does not consume a seat.

Unban a user

A banned user can be unbanned using the Admin Area. To do this:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Overview > Users.
  3. Select the Banned tab.
  4. Optional. Select a user.
  5. Select the User administration dropdown.
  6. Select Unban user.

The user’s state is set to active and they consume a seat.

Delete a user

Use the Admin Area to delete users.

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Overview > Users.
  3. Select the Banned tab.
  4. Optional. Select a user.
  5. Select the User administration dropdown list.
  6. Select Delete user.
  7. Type the username.
  8. Select Delete user.
note
You can only delete a user if there are inherited or direct owners of a group. You cannot delete a user if they are the only group owner.

You can also delete a user and their contributions, such as merge requests, issues, and groups of which they are the only group owner.

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Overview > Users.
  3. Select the Banned tab.
  4. Optional. Select a user.
  5. Select the User administration dropdown list.
  6. Select Delete user and contributions.
  7. Type the username.
  8. Select Delete user and contributions.
note
Before 15.1, additionally groups of which deleted user were the only owner among direct members were deleted.