User Identification

What Does User Identification Mean?

User identification (user ID) is a logical entity used to identify a user on software, a system, a website, or within any generic IT environment. It is used within any IT-enabled system to identify and distinguish between the users who access or use it.


A user ID may also be termed a username or user identifier.

Techopedia Explains User Identification

User ID is one of the most common authentication mechanisms used within computing systems, networks, applications (like password managers), and over the Internet. Regardless of the type of user and the user’s rights, each user has a unique identifier that distinguishes it from other users. Typically in an authentication process, user ID is used in conjunction with a password. The end-user must provide both of the credentials correctly to gain access to the system or application. Moreover, system administrators use user IDs to assign rights, track user activity, and manage overall operations on a particular system, network, or application.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.