I'm starting to work with the API and I see on the call to retrieve a user or multiple users one of the fields that is returned is user_type.

So far I have only seen a value of "registered" come back and I was wondering what other values might show up and what they mean. In looking at the quarterly data dump I don't see a field on Users for user_type so does that mean all the users in that table are registered users?

I'm guessing that it might have to do with people who used to be on Stack Exchange but dropped their account, but I wanted to make sure and not assume.

1 Answer 1


If a user posts a question or answer without logging into any account, an "unregistered" account will be created for them. If they eventually log into to OpenID it will be associated with that account, which will become "registered".

Here's the data of a user with the "unregistered" user_type.

I think that the only other possible user type is "moderator", applying to Stack Exchange staff and elected/appointed community moderators (folks with diamonds beside their names).

Here's the data of a user with the "moderator" user_type.

  • 2
    It should be noted that both Stack Overflow and Meta Stack Overflow are exceptions to this: they do not allow unregistered users to contribute questions and answers. Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 2:02

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