Under settings, have the following option enabled:
- Create a new alias. Delete the old alias.

I had already created URL aliases for Users, changed the pattern, and updated. Nothing. Had to delete the existing User aliases and only then did Bulk Update work.

Comments

Status:Active» Postponed (maintainer needs more info)

Did you clear your (Drupal) cache first? If so, please try to reproduce this bug from a clean install of Drupal 7.

I ran into this same situation. I expected bulk updates of user URL aliases to update all users, but only users who are missing aliases get updated.

The problem is in user_pathauto_bulk_update_batch_process in pathauto.pathauto.inc. The query is restricted to users whose url_alias.source is NULL. You can comment out $query->isNull('ua.source'). Since the url_alias table is only joined for the WHERE, you can also comment out $query->leftJoin('url_alias', 'ua', "CONCAT('user/', u.uid) = ua.source"). (Which also makes things run waaaaaaay faster because that join on integer with a concat string is super slooooooow.)

That leaves the question: why was it this way in the first place? Why did bulk updates only hit users without an alias instead of hitting all users?

Status:Postponed (maintainer needs more info)» Active

I s'pose there's a concern that other modules may depend on the join to url_alias (since the query is tagged for alters). You can leave the join for them. It might be wise, though, to apply the patch from here: #1415930: Use cast inside concat for better legacy MySQL performance & pgsql compliance. Change the concat to use a cast on the integer.

All that remains then is to delete line 298.

Status:Active» Closed (duplicate)

The 'Bulk update' tab is badly named. It's actually 'Bulk generate' for new items only. You can regenerate Pathauto URL aliases using VBO or the 'Update URL alias' on admin/content or admin/people. See #1003490: Allow users to re-alias entities with the Bulk update page.

Okey dokey. Thanks.

But hmmm. I'm still kinda stuck. If I wanna do bulk updates on hundreds or thousands of users at a time, VBO doesn't really cut it. I can only do updates to one page at a time with VBO, and that'd take forever.

Or is there some secret sauce to do all existing users all at once? If not, I'd suggest a patch that does offer a "bulk update" in addition to a "bulk generate".

@elephant.jim: sounds like a good idea. At a minimum, the tab should be renamed to clarify its function.

Just ran into this too. The tip in #4 to use 'Update URL alias' on admin/people did the trick.

@polskikrol The bulk update page says "Select the types of un-aliased paths for which to generate URL aliases", but I didn't read it :)

I ran into this problem with some content. When I went to the contents, I found the "automatic generate URL" was unchecked. If I ran pathauto bulk updated and delete old aliases, I go back to unclean URLs. In order to fix this, I must go to each node and check "automatic generate URL" and NOT bulk update from pathauto itself.