Re-Using Usernames With SuccessFactors

Re-Using Usernames With Success Factors

SuccessFactors does not allow you to reuse a username even if the user to who it is assigned is currently marked as inactive.

i.e. You’d like to assign the username JohnMayers to one of your new user. However you already have an inactive (terminated) employee who had the username JohnMayers.

If you do try to assign the username to a new employee, you will get Duplicate Username Error.

Purging the inactive employee will not help and will in fact increase your problems, as now you won’t only have the username that you want as duplicate, but also the error “user is purged in database” will appear.

Removing the inactive user from database or un-purging him is a cumbersome process and it takes quite lot of time.


Quick and Easy Solution

The solution comprises of 2 parts:


Import the user data file (UDF) and change the user name of the inactive employee to something else.

i.e. Change the username JohnMayers, change it to JohnM-old.

Please do remember to check the process inactive users checkbox.


  • Login
  • Go to Admin center
  • Search for EMPLOYEE IMPORT in the search tool and hit ENTER
  • Upload the file with corrected data, remember to select PROCESS INACTIVE EMPLOYEES checkbox.

 You can also change the username via manage users.


  • Login
  • Go to Admin Center
  • Search for MANAGE USERS in the search tool and hit ENTER.
  • Uncheck the ACTIVE USERS ONLY box
  • Search for the user (JohnMayers)
  • Change the user name to JohnM-old and click save.


Now that the user name JohnMayers is not allocated to anyone, you can now assign it to the new user you want to.

You can again do this via employee import (scheduled job or by importing via the tool), or by creating a new user from Manage users.

NOTE: Manage user option will not be available if you are using Employee central. For best results, employee import is recommended.

Author: Apurva Jajodia

Extensive experience in SAP SuccessFactors. Specialist in SAP Jam and successfactors frameworks, SSO and role based permissions.

Module(s): Human Resource, Materials Management