Deleting a User account

Users can be deleted from a GitLab instance, either by:

  • The user themselves.
  • An administrator.
Note: Deleting a user will delete all projects in that user namespace.

As a user

As a user, you can delete your own account by:

  1. Clicking on your avatar.
  2. Navigating to Settings > Account.
  3. Selecting Delete account.

As an administrator

As an administrator, you can delete a user account by:

  1. Navigating to Admin Area > Overview > Users.
  2. Selecting a user.
  3. Under the Account tab, clicking:
    • Delete user to delete only the user but maintaining their associated records.
    • Delete user and contributions to delete the user and their associated records.

Blocking a user

In addition to blocking a user via an abuse report, a user can be blocked directly from the Admin area. To do this:

  1. Navigate to Admin Area > Overview > Users.
  2. Selecting a user.
  3. Under the Account tab, click Block user.

Deactivating a user

Introduced in GitLab 12.4.

A user can be deactivated from the Admin area. 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.
  • Will not receive any notifications from GitLab.
  • Will not be able to use slash commands.

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

Note: A deactivated user does not consume a seat.

To do this:

  1. Navigate to Admin Area > Overview > Users.
  2. Select a user.
  3. Under the Account tab, click Deactivate user.

Please note that for the deactivation option to be visible to an admin, the user:

  • Must be currently active.
  • Should not have any activity in the last 180 days.

Activating a user

Introduced in GitLab 12.4.

A deactivated user can be activated from the Admin area. Activating a user sets their account to active state.

To do this:

  1. Navigate to Admin Area > Overview > Users.
  2. Click on the Deactivated tab.
  3. Select a user.
  4. Under the Account tab, click Activate user.
Tip: A deactivated user can also activate their account by themselves by simply logging back via the UI.

Associated Records

  • Introduced for issues in GitLab 9.0.
  • Introduced for merge requests, award emoji, notes, and abuse reports in GitLab 9.1.
  • Hard deletion from abuse reports and spam logs was introduced in GitLab 9.1, and from the API in GitLab 9.3.

When a user account is deleted, not all associated records are deleted with it. Here’s a list of things that will not be deleted:

  • Issues that the user created.
  • Merge requests that the user created.
  • Notes that the user created.
  • Abuse reports that the user reported.
  • Award emoji that the user created.

Instead of being deleted, these records will be moved to a system-wide user with the username “Ghost User”, whose sole purpose is to act as a container for such records. Any commits made by a deleted user will still display the username of the original user.

When a user is deleted from an abuse report or spam log, these associated records are not ghosted and will be removed, along with any groups the user is a sole owner of. Administrators can also request this behavior when deleting users from the API or the Admin Area.