How to Disable or Lock a User Account in WordPress with User Locker


Recently while working on a client’s site, we had to disable a user account in WordPress. Basically, some of their writers were no longer with the company. They did not want to delete the user because it would require re-assigning the posts to another user. Doing that would basically strip away the original author’s credit and assign it to someone else which is obviously not fair. We are certain that bloggers who give access to one-time guest authors sometimes run into the same issue. So how should you deal with this situation? In this article, we will show you how to disable or lock a user account in WordPress with User Locker.

Change the Password Approach

The first thing that would come to mind is change the password. Now the user can never access the site right? Well not exactly. They can always reset the password, so you would have to change their email address. WordPress requires a unique email for each user. So while this method would work, it is not the most efficient method.

User Locker

We found a plugin called User Locker which lets you lock or disable the account. Let’s install and activate the plugin. Once you have activated it, a new menu option will be added: Settings » User Locker.

This has the default settings. Unlike the Limit Login Attempts plugin which bans the IP for a specified period of time, this plugin has the option to lock the account indefinitely.

User Locker Settings

Now the real useful part comes in when you go to edit a user. Click on the Users tab and edit any user. You will see new fields called User Locking. This lets you manually disable or lock any user account. You can also store reasons for disabling or locking. If you use the @ sign then, it stores it as a private reason.

User Locker Profile Page Settings

Once a disabled user tries to login to your WordPress account, they will see an error message like this:

User Locker Login Page Screenshot

This is a pretty handy plugin. If you have other methods of locking or disabling user accounts in WordPress, then please let us know.