User, roles and the authentication, registration and security system in Kimai

A user can be part of a team, which can limit/extend the visibility of data. Access to certain features within Kimai are handled by the permission system, which is configurable through user roles.


There are two types of user avatars:

  • Auto generated avatar - a circle with colored background and username initials inside
  • Image URL - a user can configure an avatar URL in their profile (feature needs to be activated in System > Settings)

Deactivated users

If you uncheck the Active checkbox when editing the user profile and save:

  • the user will be hidden from the user listing => but you can display them again by using the search and selecting Both or no from the Active dropdown
  • the user won’t be displayed in most dropdowns and reports
  • the user cannot log in to Kimai

A user can be re-activated at any time. The logged-in user cannot his own profile.

The search supports filtering by the fields:

  • role
  • state (active, deactivated, all)

Besides these filters, you can query for a free search term, which will be searched in the fields:

  • username
  • alias
  • title
  • email

Additionally, you can filter for custom fields by using a search phrase like location:homeoffice. This would find all entries with the custom field location matching the term homeoffice.

The search terms will be found within the full value, so searching for office would find:

  • I love working in my office
  • Office
  • This office is beautiful
  • Our offices are very noisy

Attention: checkboxes have the values 0 (not checked) and 1 (checked).

You can mix the search term and use multiple meta-field queries:

  • location:homeoffice hello - find all entries matching the search term hello with the custom field location matching the term homeoffice
  • location:homeoffice contract:fulltime - find all entries with the custom field combination: location matching homeoffice and contract matching fulltime
  • expired:0 finds all items whose expired checkbox is off

There are also special operators, which can be used in conjunction with custom fields (since Kimai 1.19.1):

  • The   empty string (e.g. location:) will find all entries whose value in the location field is either empty or not existing
  • The ~ search term (e.g. location:~) will find all entries that are missing the custom field (created before the field was created)
  • The * search term (e.g. location:*) will find all entries that have any value in the location field (basically the opposite of ~)

User registration

User registration is disabled by default, as most Kimai installations are available through the public internet.

If your Kimai installation is protected otherwise (e.g. internal network or other authentication mechanism) you can activate it through System > Settings. The self-registration is then available via a link in the login screen.

If someone registers a new account with email, username and password an confirmation email will be sent, including a link that needs to be clicked before the account will be activated. As this feature requires an email to work, you have to enable email support to use it.

Password reset

The reset password function is enabled by default, you can deactivate it through System > Settings.

A user can reach it via a link from the login screen. After entering username or email-address, an email with a confirmation link will be sent. This link needs to be clicked, afterwards the user can enter a new password.

You can configure two settings to influence the security:

  • Token lifetime (in seconds: 3600 = 1 hour) - the allowed time before a link expires
  • Retry pause (in seconds: 3600 = 1 hour) - the allowed time between multiple retries

As this feature requires an email to work, you have to enable email support to use it.


User can log in with a username or email.

If you activate the Remember me option, you can use the most common functions within the next time without a new login.

Remember me login

If you have chosen to log in with the Remember me option, your login will be extended to one week. After coming back and being remembered you have access to all the following features:

  • view your own timesheet
  • start and stop new records
  • edit existing records

If you are an administrator, you will see all your allowed options in the menu, but will be redirected to the login form when you try to access them. This is a security feature to prevent abuse in case you forgot to logout in public environments.