I am trying to delete user from Tridion and I am getting an error:

Unable to delete item. This item is in use.

I am able to disable that same User.

Is there any way that I can check what items are using the User that I am trying to delete? Is there any action similar to Where Used (either from CME, Core Service, Database,...)?


2 Answers 2


For us, the user was specifically granted access to Folders/Structure Groups and had Workflow tasks assigned to him. Once the access was removed and Workflows finished, the user could be deleted.

SELECT * FROM [Tridion_cm].[dbo].[WFL_ACTIVITY_INSTANCES] where ASSIGNEE_ID = '164' or PERFORMER_ID = '164'

Change 164 to the user ID and that will find the items you need to remove and/or finish.

Hope that helps...

  • I'm surprised to hear that. I would not expect that to prevent you from deleting the user, but rather just be cleaned up as part of the deletion. The most likely 'in-use' scenario I can think of is if the user literally has items checked out or assigned to them in workflow. Jul 1, 2016 at 5:53

I can't think of many things that would have a user "in use". Perhaps you could check if it is an assignee in a workflow.

Beyond that, it might be possible to find out using a database query. (Of course, any queries that might modify the database should always go via the API, to stay in support, but a SELECT is fine.)

For this kind of thing, your best bet is probably to contact support. They can help you with a query, and make sure that you don't do anything which would later cause you problems.

  • You can probably do a search for items with user as author.
    – Nuno Linhares
    May 15, 2016 at 20:23

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