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.
Danger: Using the Delete user and contributions option may result in removing more data than intended. Please see associated records below for additional details.

Associated Records

Version history
  • 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.

There are two options for deleting users:

  • Delete user
  • Delete user and contributions

When using the Delete user option, not all associated records are deleted with the user. 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 using the Delete user and contributions option, all associated records are removed. This includes all of the items mentioned above including issues, merge requests, notes/comments, and more. Consider blocking a user or using the Delete user option instead.

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.