Totara 12 will no longer be fully supported from October 2023. Urgently consider upgrading to a later version.

Help documentation for up-to-date versions is available here.

Site Administrators can create new user profile categories and fields which will appear on each user’s profile page.

The available profile field types are:

  • Checkbox
  • Date (no timezone)

  • Date/Time
  • Dropdown menu
  • Text area
  • Text input

Adding a new profile field

To create a new custom profile field:

  1. Go to Site administration > Users > Accounts > User profile fields.
  2. Select the field you want to add from the dropdown menu. 
  3. Complete the common settings
  4. Complete any specific settings for that field type. 
  5. Click Save changes

New profile fields will appear on each user’s profile page unless Who is this field visible to? is set to Not visible in which case only the Site Administrator can see the field. The fields can also be displayed on the signup page if Display on signup page? is set to Yes.

Example of custom profile fields and categories.

Common settings 

All new fields must be given a unique Short name and a Name (this is displayed on the profile page). You can also enter a description for the field.

There are a number of common configuration options that apply to all custom profile field types:


Is this field required?

This option specifies whether this is a mandatory or optional field for user accounts.

Required fields are not required during account creation, instead if necessary users are asked to provide missing information after their first log in.

Is this field locked?This option determines controls the user's editing rights.-
Should the data be unique?If you need the data in the field to be unique across the system (such as an ID number) select Yes to this option and the profile page update will perform a validation check on the data.-
Display on signup page?Depending on the authentication method(s) in use on your site, some users may create their own accounts. If you would like this custom field to appear on the signup page, select Yes.-

Who is this field visible to?

Each custom field can be given one of three visibility settings:

  • Not visible
  • Restricted visibility
  • Visible to everyone

The Not visible setting would typically be set by an administrator who wants to hold private data on the users.

The Restricted visibility setting would normally be selected for a field that holds sensitive information that should only be visible to the user themselves and the Site Administrator. 

The Visible to everyone setting would be used for any type of information.

Fields set to use Restricted visibility may also be visible on a user's profile. This is restricted to users with the capability View user full information (user:viewalldetails). By default the capability to view this information is restricted to the Site Administrator and Site Manager roles.

CategoryThis option allows you to choose the profile category you want your custom filed to appear in.-

Specific settings 

There are also a few field type specific settings that will require configuration.


Checked by default

Choose whether this field is checked by default.


Date (no timezone)

There are no specific settings for this field type, only the common settings.

Use this field type if you do not want this value to change if the timezone is changed. For example, use this for recording user's birth date as this shouldn't change if the users timezone changes.


Start yearChoose the start year between '1900' and '2050'.-
End yearChoose the end year between '1900' and '2050'.-
Include time?

Choose whether to include the time for this field in the user's profile.

  • Checked (Yes)
  • Unchecked (No)

Dropdown menu

Menu options (one per line)Specify the menu options per line e.g. Prefer not to say, Male, Female, Other.-
Default valueEnter a default value e.g. Prefer not to say. This will be displayed as the default on a user's profile page.-

Text area

Default valueEnter a default value. This will be displayed as the default on a user's profile page.-

Text input

Default valueEnter a default value. This will be displayed as the default on a user's profile page.-
Display sizeSpecify the width of the text input in characters. The default is 30.-
Maximum lengthSpecify the maximum number of characters this field will allow. The default is 2048.-
Is this a password field?

Choose from:

  • Yes
  • No

If Yes is selected, all of the characters will be masked.

LinkTo transform text into a link, enter a URL containing '$$', where '$$' will be replaced with the text. For example, to transform a Twitter ID to a link, enter '$$'.-

Adding a new category

Custom profile fields can be placed into logical profile categories. Profile categories containing the respective profile fields are also displayed on each user's profile page.

To create a profile category:

  1. Go to Site administration > Users > Accounts > User profile fields.
  2. Click the Create a new profile category button.
  3. Give the category a name.
  4. Click Save changes

Adding a custom profile category.

You can set the order in which your custom profile fields appear under the associated profile category using the up/down arrows (/) on the User profiles fields page. You can also edit () and delete () profile categories as required.

On this page

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to Site-level user management in Totara Learn. Here you can learn more about user management, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

Provide feedback about this page using the link in the bottom right of this page. 

Still have questions? Why not post them in the forums of the Totara Community?