Is it possible to be able to delete a member without deleting his/her comments for posterity purposes such as retaining it for forums and the like?

2 Answers 2


If you're comfortable with SQL, you can update the database to change the member_id on the comments to one that's not being deleted. So, you could create a 'past member' member, and then update the comments to use the member_id of the 'past member'. This will disconnect those comments from the members you want to delete.

Other options:

Save a backup of the database, and then delete the member and their comments. If you ever want to see the old comments, run a copy of the site against the older database.

Don't delete the members at all, but move them into a member group that has no privileges.

  • 2
    +1 for moving them into a member group with no privileges. Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 10:43
  • Is there a way to move comments to another member without resorting to SQL? Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 23:05
  • Nevermind my comment above. It was relatively easy to reassign the comments using the member_delete hook. Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 2:19

To answer your direct question, it is not possible to delete a member and keep their comments using EE's native process of deleting members. Deleting a member from the control panel will delete the comments. I believe you can elect to have entries/comments moved to a different member.

  • I think moving entries/comments to a different member is what I already did. The problem for me is that the entries were moved but not the comments. Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 23:03
  • Maybe it just moves entries then. If it's just one member, you can always run an SQL query in the DB to update the associated member ID.
    – Anna_MediaGirl
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 5:45

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