Very similar to this question except I need to save users, not nodes.

Use case: I added a field (single boolean) to a feature so that the field is added to user profiles. I then pushed the feature to my staging server. However, existing user accounts do not have the default field value for this field assigned. Re-saving each account fixes the problem, but there are 1000 users.

How can I quickly re-save all users on my site?

  • 2
    Users are entities too, you can use exactly the same logic from the other question (VBO with PHP, or a manual update) and just replace node_save() with user_save() – Clive Apr 20 '13 at 14:35
  • @Clive @rooby Thanks for the tips here. I just tried user_save($entity); this causes the user to be saved (I confirmed by adding a rule that shows a message on the site). However, no value is assigned to the new field, even if I run the save action multiple times. If I do it manually, though, from the People page, the default value is set. – Patrick Kenny Apr 20 '13 at 15:17
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    How about forcing it through...$items = field_get_items('user', $entity, 'field_name'); if (empty($items)) { $entity->field_name[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value'] = 1; } user_save($entity); That should do the trick – Clive Apr 20 '13 at 15:20

You can use the "Execute arbitrary PHP script" bulk operation in VBO and when you run it enter:


You could also run this PHP (you can do so by enabling the devel module and going to devel/php on your site):

$uids = db_query('SELECT uid FROM {users} WHERE uid != 0')->fetchCol();
$users = user_load_multiple($uids);
foreach ($users as $user) {

If you don't have many users you shouldn't need the time limit line.

Also, Clive mentions that field_attach_update is faster. To use that replace the user_save line with field_attach_update('user', $user)

  • What is the VBO save action for users? I looked for it but I couldn't find it. – Patrick Kenny Apr 20 '13 at 14:42
  • @Patrick is there not a generic save action for entities? (I haven't checked I just assumed there would be) – Clive Apr 20 '13 at 14:43
  • 1
    My mistake, there is a "Save content" one for nodes but no equivalent user one. I have removed that part of my answer. – rooby Apr 20 '13 at 14:47
  • 1
    Thanks, I put a note about field_attach_update(). I also added an even nicer solution using VBO execute PHP code (thanks Bojan) – rooby Apr 20 '13 at 14:57
  • 1
    The PHP code via Devel worked great. I had to add 'WHERE uid > 0' to avoid an integrity constraint error in the logs. – Ben Jan 13 '15 at 1:01

rooby's answer is probably the easiest/quickest method but just to offer a code solution that can be used with VBO...

You can define your own action to save the user like this:

function MYMODULE_rules_action_info() {
  return array(
   'MYMODULE_update_user_account' => array(
     'label' => t('Save a user account'),
     'parameter' => array(
       'account' => array(
         'type' => 'user',
         'label' => t('User'),
     'group' => t('MODULENAME'),

function MYMODULE_update_user_account($account) {

Once you've clerared the caches you should see your new action appear under VBO/rules and anywhere else actions are used.

Edit: It seems this might re-inventing the wheel somewhat if VBO will already let you do it natively, but it's a nice simple example of a rules action so I'll leave it here in case anyone needs it. Plus it removes the need for eval() to be used which is never a bad thing.

  • Seeing as this is now the leading answer, if anyone actually does end up doing it this way, please submit it back as a patch. The rightful module is the user module because the node module provides the save content action, however there might be more chance of it being committed to the views_bulk_operations module. - Maybe a drupal 8 user module patch that might have a chance at back port to 7. – rooby Apr 21 '13 at 0:26

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