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How to Add or Remove Capabilities to User Roles in WordPress

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How to Add or Remove Capabilities to User Roles in WordPress

WordPress comes with a simple but powerful user management system. Each user has capabilities based on the roles they are assigned. As the administrator, you have the ability to perform all actions on your WordPress site. However, if you are running a multi-author WordPress site, then you might find a need to modify capabilities of some user roles, or create custom user roles with capabilities defined by you. In this article, we will show you how to add or remove capabilities to roles in WordPress. We will also show you how to create your own custom user roles.

In WordPress, each user role has permission levels that allows them to perform certain tasks on the website. You can give additional capabilities to an existing user role, or take away their capability to perform certain action on the website. You can see the full user role table here.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Capability Manager Enhanced plugin. After activating the plugin, go to Users » Capabilities.

Editing Permissions and Capabilities for a User Role

From the capability manager screen, you can load a user role to edit capabilities of all users under that particular user role.

Select and load a role you want to edit

Checking the box next to the particular capability option will enable the users in the selected role to perform that action. For example if you are editing Subscriber user role, and you check the Edit box next to Posts under editing capabilities, then it will enable subscribers to create posts.

Select capabilities for a user role

The plugin is simple to use, but it is very powerful. Please be careful and understand what each permission level means.

Adding Custom User Role with Custom Capabilities and Permissions

From the same capabilities screen, create a new user role by providing a name for the role in Create New Role box on the right. For e.g. Senior Editor, Junior Copywriter, or Support Staff.

Creating a custom user role in WordPress

After creating a new user role, you can assign capabilities to that particular user role by loading it. Again don’t forget to assign read permission to the user role if you want users under that role to access the admin area.

We hope that this article helped you learn how to add or remove capabilities to user roles and create custom user roles in WordPress. For questions and feedback please leave a comment below.

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. muaz farooq says:

    I really like this plugin.really helped me.but there is a problem.I want to show author my only one plugin setting.and in your pllugin Capability Manager Enhanced i cannot see my plugin option here.I there any solution?

  2. DannyMe says:

    Just wondering, I want my Authors to be able to create posts, and the STATUS of these posts will automatically be: Pending Review OR Draft.
    I want the posts made by Authors to be verified and approved by Editor who can publish.

    Is this possible with this app?
    If so how pls?

  3. Debbie N. says:

    If a user cannot see everything in the admin menu is there a way they can use only one of the features? For instance, I’d like them to only be able to backup their website. Is there a way to add that to a role?

  4. Ryan says:

    Thank you very much1 this is what I exactly looked for :)

  5. Conni Stock says:

    I would like to grant access to a subscriber ONLY to the entries of a specific gravity form on my site to read live and export but not edit the form or the settings and/ or be able to view any other backend admin areas.

    The data input into the form is needed as well as the files that will uploaded on the form the subsciber. I am trying to find a secure way to give access for a designated period of time. I have one web site and it is Not set up for multi site functions

    Please advise. Any direction would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Maritza says:

    Thank you so much! The best answer of what I was looking for. I am glad I found you :)

  7. Alex Alonso says:

    Thank you. Much better than the documentation.

  8. ankur khanna says:

    Thanks.. Its great… you made my week.. Cheerss.. keep clam and happy coding.. :)

  9. Hadi Omary says:

    i want to specify one of my taxonomy to be editable by one person
    is there a way to do this ??

  10. Simon Lange says:

    any chance you release or test it for 3.9.2 and higher? 3.7.1 is more than 10months old. so you nice plugin wont be used anymore if its a risk to use.

  11. Devanshu M says:

    I’m the admin of a blog . I have a author also . I disabled publish for author so that i can review posts before publishing but , as author click on submit for review , i am not getting any notification to review that ? Pls Help

  12. Tony Franco says:

    Dear Sirs,

    Thanks by the post!

    I have this plugin installed, is there a way to make the subscribers upload images, and see just their images?

    Now subscribers here just can edit their profile and upload images, but they can see other images of gallery too.. I think it is better to them see just their images….

    Thanks and Regards,


  13. Faiz Akhtar says:

    Thanks !

  14. Michael Rapino says:

    How about adding and removing permissions for installed plugins and specific menu items in the left WP navigation?

  15. Mozart Rocha says:

    What if I don’t have permission to install plugins?

  16. Piet says:

    I think that Justin Tadlock’s Members is a far more comprehensive (read: useful) plugin than the one featured in this article

    • Correen says:

      Piet I have to agree. The Members plugin lays it all out and as an admin all you have to do is check/uncheck permission boxes. So far, so good for me.

  17. Srihari Thalla says:

    Thanks a lot :)

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