How to change the default “admin” WordPress user

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The default WordPress username is “admin”. Hackers know this and apparently the current wave of brute force attacks on WordPress installations around the world is using this knowledge to try and crack your login and take control of your site.

In other words if you use the default “admin” username then the hacker only has half the equation to try and crack.

An essential step to secure your WordPress site is to use a different user name, and in doing so make it that much harder for hackers to do their thing.

But what if you already use “admin” as your username? How do you change it?

You *could* wade through the database for your site and try to change it that way, but the following steps are much simpler and probably faster…

  1. Login using your admin user account. I’m presuming here that your “admin” user account has administrator privileges.
  2. Once logged in goto Users > Add New – fill in all the details for a new user account. Choose a non obvious username and set the privileges for this new account to Administrator as well.
  3. Once that new account is created, log out of your “admin” user account and log back in using your new user account that you just created.
  4. Once logged in under the new user account, goto to the User list in the admin and delete the old “admin” account. When you do this WordPress will prompt you to reassign all the posts associated with “admin” to another account. Choose your new account from the drop down list.
  5. Once you have completed the step of deleting your own “admin” account all the posts previously posted under “admin” will be associated with your new account and you are no longer using the default username.

A simple step that might just help prevent an intrusion by an unwanted 3rd party.

If you are using “admin” as your login user name, please change this now.

Use Plugins to Change Your Username

How to change the default “admin” WordPress user

Another option is changing your username with a WordPress plugin. If you haven’t been able to understand our step by step process above, then you might want to opt for something a little bit easier, like this.

Using plugins to change your username is definitely advantageous if you’re a beginner and need a bit of help doing so.

For the best plugins to help you change your username, there is Admin Renamer Extended, WPVN Username Changer, and Username Changer. All three are excellent for helping users change their username without having to do it manually.

Touch the phpMyAdmin from cPanel

You will need to be able to get into your PHPMyAdmin, which is possible if you have cPanel or any other WordPress plugin. All you need to do it log in to your cPanel and find the ‘PHPMyAdmin’ section.

Once you have access, then you will need to choose your WordPress database and follow the instructions on the screen.

PHPMyAdmin

Choose ‘WordPress database’

Once you are inside of this, you can look for WP_users and select the browse button, which you can see in the screenshot below:

WP_users

From here, select the ‘browse’ button, and select the pencil icon to change your username and password for WordPress login.

browse

Enter your new login details, including your username and password. You can enter your username in front of the ‘user_login’ and your password in front of the ‘user_pass’.

Once you have done this, you can select the drop-down present that is in front of the ‘user_pass’ and choose MD5. This is going to encrypt your password.

How to Protect Your WordPress Administrator Account

WordPress Security

Even if you think that your WordPress websites or blogs have a high level of security and you don’t think that you will ever have to deal with a security breach, we still recommend that you make changes like this every now and then.

The reality with the internet these days is that nobody is exempt from being a target. The good news is that as you can see, it only takes a few minutes either way to change the ID of your WordPress account.

If other WordPress users don’t have administrator status, then there is no need for them to do this. However, we still suggest that you stick with strong passwords for all of your WordPress activity online, so that you can stay safe out there.

How to Avoid WordPress User ID Conflicts

WordPress User ID

WordPress by default uses incremental numbers to assign new user IDs. This means that a built-in administrator will have a WordPress ID of 1, the second administrator 2, and so on.

If you think that there will be more WordPress users than numbers available, you should set the incremental value to a number that is higher than the one used for the WordPress administrator ID.

Charlie has been building WordPress themes, reviewing web hosts and utilizing social media since their respective inceptions.

7 thoughts on “How to change the default “admin” WordPress user

  1. Amrish says:

    I have been changing out my admin by creating a new user with different email address and with admin role, then deleting admin and assigning admin post to new user, and changing the email address back to the original admin email, and using a nickname related to the brand, so that posts from that user are “official” from the brand, and not just admin.

    I don’t know if that is still a security risk as such but it removes admin, and there are other ways to secure the site as we know… this only takes a few minutes..and I’m not against using a plugin, but it seems easier to just do what I have done..

  2. Nathan Pinno says:

    Would this also work to switch the user who administers the site? I never use ‘admin’ as my username when I setup a site, and I will be wanting transferring ‘ownership’ to a new admin for a site I’m developing for someone else.

    1. Kris says:

      Just go to users in your wordpress admin then edit a user and changed the role of that user.

  3. Andy Chen says:

    Thanks, very useful tips! just used it, worked good.

  4. Steve says:

    Good post! this is the very first thing that should be done after installing WordPress in my opinion. Good stuff Charles

  5. Once you do this then it will show that all your posts have been created by the new username.
    Then they have your username again.
    Will this really make a difference?

    1. charles says:

      Yes, but isn’t it better to change the posts displaying as being created by “actualname” rather than “admin”? Keep in mind too that in the user admin you do have some control over how the site displays your name on posts etc.

      I really do think this is an important security step.

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