I need to keep in sync the username and the email of my users. I don't know if there is a better way so I have tried running this code right after the user updates his profile data:

global $wpdb;
    array('user_login' => $email),
    array('ID' => $user->ID)

but this way the auth cookie becomes invalid and the user is logged out.

I have also tried forcing the creation of the auth cookie right after the update, like this:

$user = get_user_by( 'id', $user_id ); 
if( $user ) {
    wp_set_current_user( $user_id, $user->user_login );
    wp_set_auth_cookie( $user_id, true );
    do_action( 'wp_login', $user->user_login );

but with no results.

  • Is there a technical reason why they must be the same in the database or is it only for presentation? – Evan Mattson Dec 30 '16 at 12:48
  • not really. WP allows to login using the email also, so it's not exactly a REAL issue. The problem is that this website is communicates with another web app and I have to replicate the users... I just want to keep everything in sync to avoid potential issues. – David Guida Dec 30 '16 at 12:53
  • Note that bypassing WP internal functions to set user login to email address will break other WP functions like lost/reset password. Plus email address can contain special characters like spaces percentages quotes etc. Its best to sanitize the email address before setting to user login. – user42826 Dec 30 '16 at 18:11
  • now THAT is interesting. I haven't thought about that, thank you very much! – David Guida Dec 31 '16 at 9:04

Try hooking in as soon as the user is created or updated.


function wpse_250785_sync_user_login_with_email($user_id) {
    $user = new WP_User($user_id);

    if ($user->user_login != $user->user_email) {
        $user->user_login = $user->user_email;
add_action('user_register', 'wpse_250785_sync_user_login_with_email');
add_action('profile_update', 'wpse_250785_sync_user_login_with_email');

Disclaimer: Untested, but should work ;)

  • If I remember correctly, wp_update_user() won't update the user_login field, that's why I am running $wpdb->update(). BTW, I'll try the 'user_register' hook... I am pretty sure I have already done this but I'll try again :D – David Guida Dec 30 '16 at 13:19
  • I don't see any thing in there that would prevent that from being updated. It is only the UI which doesn't give a user the means to change it. – Evan Mattson Dec 30 '16 at 13:30
  • I don't want to sound harsh, but this is right from the WP docs ( codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/wp_update_user ) : user_login: "A string that contains the user's username for logging in. Please note that the function cannot alter this field, since WordPress does not allow usernames to be changed." – David Guida Dec 30 '16 at 14:40
  • My mistake, thanks for going easy on me. I was actually referencing the developer doc here developer.wordpress.org/reference/functions/wp_update_user which doesn't mention that. That's quite strange that it isn't allowed without using wpdb directly like that. Not the strangest thing in core though, I'm sure ;) – Evan Mattson Dec 30 '16 at 23:07
  • no problem, I spent two days banging my head on it, that's why I was 99.9% sure :D – David Guida Dec 31 '16 at 9:05

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