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Configure self-hosted n8n for user management#

User management in n8n allows you to invite people to work in your n8n instance.

This document describes how to configure your n8n instance to support user management, and the steps to start inviting users.

Refer to the main User management guide for more information about usage, including:

For LDAP setup information, refer to LDAP.

For SAML setup information, refer to SAML.

Basic auth and JWT removed

n8n removed support for basic auth and JWT in version 1.0.


There are three stages to set up user management in n8n:

  1. Configure your n8n instance to use your SMTP server.
  2. Start n8n and follow the setup steps in the app.
  3. Invite users.

Step one: SMTP#

n8n recommends setting up an SMTP server, for user invites and password resets.

Optional from 0.210.1

From version 0.210.1 onward, this step is optional. You can choose to manually copy and send invite links instead of setting up SMTP. Note that if you skip this step, users can't reset passwords.

Get the following information from your SMTP provider:

  • Server name
  • SMTP username
  • SMTP password
  • SMTP sender name

To set up SMTP with n8n, configure the SMTP environment variables for your n8n instance. For information on how to set environment variables, refer to Configuration

Variable Type Description Required?
N8N_EMAIL_MODE string smtp Required
N8N_SMTP_HOST string your_SMTP_server_name Required
N8N_SMTP_PORT number your_SMTP_server_port Default is 465. Optional
N8N_SMTP_USER string your_SMTP_username Optional
N8N_SMTP_PASS string your_SMTP_password Optional
N8N_SMTP_OAUTH_SERVICE_CLIENT string your_OAuth_service_client Optional
N8N_SMTP_OAUTH_PRIVATE_KEY string your_OAuth_private_key Optional
N8N_SMTP_SENDER string Sender email address. You can optionally include the sender name. Example with name: N8N <> Required
N8N_SMTP_SSL boolean Whether to use SSL for SMTP (true) or not (false). Defaults to true. Optional
N8N_UM_EMAIL_TEMPLATES_INVITE string Full path to your HTML email template. This overrides the default template for invite emails. Optional
N8N_UM_EMAIL_TEMPLATES_PWRESET string Full path to your HTML email template. This overrides the default template for password reset emails. Optional

If your n8n instance is already running, you need to restart it to enable the new SMTP settings.

More configuration options

There are more configuration options available as environment variables. Refer to Environment variables for a list. These include options to disable tags, workflow templates, and the personalization survey, if you don't want your users to see them.

New to SMTP?

If you're not familiar with SMTP, this blog post by SendGrid offers a short introduction, while Wikipedia's Simple Mail Transfer Protocol article provides more detailed technical background.

Step two: In-app setup#

When you set up user management for the first time, you create an owner account.

  1. Open n8n. The app displays a signup screen.
  2. Enter your details. Your password must be at least eight characters, including at least one number and one capital letter.
  3. Click Next. n8n logs you in with your new owner account.

Step three: Invite users#

You can now invite other people to your n8n instance.

  1. Sign in with your owner account.
  2. Click your user icon > Settings. n8n opens your Personal settings page.
  3. Click Users to go to the Users page.
  4. Click Invite.
  5. Enter the new user's email address.
  6. Click Invite user. n8n sends an email with a link for the new user to join.