My previous tutorial “How to Change Your User Name for Track Changes in Microsoft Word” shows how to change user names for comments and edits created with Track Changes. However, Word doesn’t have a straightforward way to change user names connected to existing comments and edits, so that tutorial only works for new comments and edits. As an alternative, today’s tutorial demonstrates how to remove user names connected to all Track Changes (existing and future) and replace them with the default label Author, as shown in figure 1.
Note that this process will also remove time stamps (time and date) from comments and edits.
This solution obviously isn’t ideal for those of us who would like to change our user name for existing comments and edits to something other than Author, but it is useful when anonymity is important.
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 100 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. The steps are the same for Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010.
Remove User Names from Existing Track Changes
1. Open a secondary copy of your original document saved under a different file name. (Please see the Caution statement above.)
2. Select the File tab.
3. Ensure that you are in the Info tab in the Backstage view.
4. Select the Check for Issues button.
5. Select Inspect Document in the drop-down menu.
6. Save your document by selecting Yes in the question dialog box. (This dialog box may not appear if you recently saved your changes.)
7. Uncheck all the options in the Document Inspector dialog box except Document Properties and Personal Information.
8. Select the Inspect button.
9. Select the Remove All button next to Document Properties and Personal Information.
10. Review the inspection results.
11. Select the Close button to close the Document Inspector dialog box.
12. Save, close, and reopen your document.
13. Verify that all user names have been changed to Author in the Track Changes balloons, as shown in figure 1.
If you would like to resume using user names within the same document, visit “How to Stop Microsoft Word from Calling You “Author” in Track Changes.”
Updated December 18, 2021