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How to Show Different Menus to Logged in Users in WordPress

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Do you want to show different menus to logged-in users in WordPress?

By default, WordPress allows you to show the same navigation menu in a specific location in your theme. But what if you wanted to show a different menu to logged-in users on your website?

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily show different menus to logged-in users in WordPress.

Showing different navigtion menus to logged in and non-logged in users in WordPress

Why Show Different Menus to Logged in Users in WordPress?

Changing different areas of your WordPress website based on your visitors and their activity makes your site feel personalized for each user.

This personalized content helps you improve the user experience on your WordPress website.

Now, if you run a website where users don’t need to register or log in, then you can probably use the same navigation menus across your website.

However, other websites may greatly benefit from showing custom menus to logged-in users.

For instance, websites like an online store, a WordPress membership site community, or an online learning platform, can all benefit from personalized navigation menus.

A personalized navigation menu for logged-in users helps them more easily find things they signed up for.

For instance, a user on an online store can manage their account, or a member of a paid community can easily renew their subscription or view the online courses they purchased.

By default, WordPress does let you create as many navigation menus as you want. However, you can only choose to show one menu at a particular location in your WordPress theme.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily change this behavior and show different menus to logged-in users in WordPress.

Creating Menus for Logged in and Non Logged in Users in WordPress

No matter which method you use, you’ll first need to create both of the navigation menus that you want to show to your logged-in and logged-out users.

Simply head over to the Appearance » Menus page in the WordPress dashboard. If you already have a navigation menu that you use on your website for all users, then this can be your default menu.

Main menu

After that, click on the ‘create a new menu’ link to create a new custom menu for your logged-in users.

Here you can add menu items that you want to show to registered or logged-in users. For example, you might want to add a logout link to your menu.

On the left-hand side of the screen, you can see a list of your website pages. Simply check the box next to any page you want to add to your menu and click the ‘Add to Menu’ button.

Logged in menu

You can also drag and drop the menu items on the right side of the screen to rearrange them.

Further down the page, you can choose a location to display your menu. But, you don’t need to assign a location to this menu now. We’ll do that later in the article.

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Menu’ button to store your changes.

For more details on creating menus, take a look at our beginner’s guide to WordPress navigation menus.

Method 1. Show Different Menus to Logged in Users in WordPress Using a Plugin

This method is easier and recommended for all WordPress users.

First, you need to install and activate the Conditional Menus plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit the Appearance » Menus page and switch to the ‘Manage Locations’ tab.

From here, you’ll see the list of available menu locations defined in your WordPress theme and the menus that are currently displaying.

Manage menu locations

For instance, it is showing that our Primary Menu location is showing a navigation menu titled ‘Main Menu’.

Now, we need to tell the plugin to show a different menu when a certain condition is matched.

To do that, click on the ‘+ Conditional Menu’ link, and then select the navigation menu you want to show to the logged-in users from the drop-down menu.

Select logged in menu

Next, you need to click on the ‘+ Conditions’ link.

This will bring up a popup where you’ll see a bunch of conditions to choose from.

Select logged in user aa the condition

Simply check the box next to the ‘User logged in’ option, and then click on the Save button.

You can now visit your website to see the logged-in user menu in action. You can also log out of your WordPress admin to view the navigation menu that’ll be shown to all other users.

Different menu for logged in users

Method 2. Manually Select Logged in Menu in WordPress Using Code

This method requires you to add code to your WordPress website. If you haven’t done this before, then take a look at our guide on how to copy and paste code snippets in WordPress.

First, you need to add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function my_wp_nav_menu_args( $args = '' ) {
if( is_user_logged_in() ) {
// Logged in menu to display
$args['menu'] = 43;

} else {
// Non-logged-in menu to display
$args['menu'] = 35;
}
return $args;
}
add_filter( 'wp_nav_menu_args', 'my_wp_nav_menu_args' );

Make sure that you replace 43 and 35 with the IDs for navigation menus you created earlier.

You can find the ID of a navigation menu by selecting it on the Menus page. You will see the menu ID number in your browser’s address bar.

Find navigation menu ID

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily show different navigation menus to logged-in users in WordPress.

You may also want to see our guide on how to get a free email domain, or see our expert roundup of the best business phone services for small business.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

99 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
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  2. Jan-Paul Kleijn says

    First I thought of a plugin. Gotta quit thinking like that.
    Then I saw your post and was sold.
    Thank you for posting this, you helped me very nicely.

  3. Ariet says

    Hello,

    This totally works!
    But it change my footer menu too.. is there a way where my footer manu stay the same?

  4. Tarron Acuff says

    So, I have 2 menus. One for the public and another that I would like employees to see when they are logged in. The employee menu would replace the main menu only when an employee is logged in.

    Here is what I am currently using in my functions.php file

    // Set the Role as a body class

    function add_role_to_body( $classes ) {

    $user = wp_get_current_user();

    $user_roles = $user->roles;
    foreach( $user_roles as $role ) {
    $classes[] = ‘role-‘ . $role;
    }

    return $classes;

    }

    add_filter( ‘body_class’, ‘add_role_to_body’ );

    ***Here is what I added for CSS***

    /* First hide the menu items for non “employee” user */
    #top-menu li.menu-for-employee {
    display: none;
    }

    /* Show the menu items for the “employee” user */
    .role-employee #top-menu li.menu-for-employee {
    display: initial;
    }

    When I log in as an employee both menus are showing.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Wasim says

    its not working for me. It display default menu after I add this code, even my primary menu gone.

  6. Joe says

    Hi Guys,

    I nice tutorial but i was wondering could you use the same approach to replace a responsive menu at a certain screen size?

    I have two menus but would rather have just one responsive menu at 768 px by replacing the menu with another.

    Thanks

  7. Pet says

    Awesome job with your guides. I am building my first wordpress site and I am finding your site incredibly helpful in guiding me along, thank you.

    I really wanted to show different menus for logged in users (like ‘edit profile’) and for logged out users and that brought me here. The code you shared works alright for me. I now have two menus which are showing up nice. However, the last part of the code, add filter string, I believe, is messing me up a little bit. Now, another menu is showing under the sidebar widget. The ‘logged-in’ menu. I am using sydney theme and I have tried to no avail to remove this unnecessary menu. Any idea on how I can make it not display?

  8. giovanna says

    Hi can you help me please? I have another trouble please? I need to hide one menu to all and allow only the vendors to see what I have to do please? what is the specific code i have to use please?

  9. ericlee says

    When you modify the functions.php like so- wouldn’t it get wiped when you upgrade your WP next version ?

  10. Nikhil Chaudhari says

    the function set secoundary menu also? i only want to set primary menu. how to do that

  11. Nikhil Chaudhari says

    this above function set secondary menu all i want to set only header menu?
    how to do that

  12. Asfaha says

    Hi,

    thanks a lot for this solution, I’ve applied and woks perfect and saved me installing one more plugin.

  13. Shafaq says

    this is the code for replacing existing menu to logged user menu by addming location top-menu and with menu loggedin no need else statement with this

    add_filter( ‘wp_nav_menu_args’, function ( $args )
    {
    if( is_user_logged_in() && $args[‘theme_location’] === ‘top-menu’ ) {
    $args[‘menu’] = ‘loggedin’;
    }
    return $args;
    });

  14. Ashraf Ali says

    ———————————————————–
    function my_wp_nav_menu_args( $args = ” ) {

    if( is_user_logged_in() ) {
    $args[‘menu’] = ‘logged-in’;
    } else {
    $args[‘menu’] = ‘logged-out’;
    }
    return $args;
    }
    add_filter( ‘wp_nav_menu_args’, ‘my_wp_nav_menu_args’ );
    ———————————————————–

    Now how do i get it to work with

    —————————————————

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    Please Advice

    • Kasper says

      You can lock pages to hide them from logged out users. There are several plugins that make this very easy to do. Users Ultra comes to mind.

  15. Zev says

    Everything worked perfectly.

    However, I still have the issue of a repeated primary menu in the secondary navigation menu section which I can’t seem to remove (I don’t have a secondary menu set up).

    • Vince says

      I’m having the exact issue. The change reflects in the secondary menu location out of nowhere and I too don’t have a secondary menu setup. :/ Please advice how to deal with it.

      Thanks in advance.

  16. Chiranjeevi Vinodkumar says

    LISTEN!!!

    Most of us, uses themes.
    So first go to the functions.php of your theme.
    Search with navigation as keyword.

    In case of Shopkeeper theme..

    ==================================================================
    register_nav_menus( array(
    ‘top-bar-navigation’ => __( ‘Top Bar Navigation’, ‘shopkeeper’ ),
    ‘main-navigation’ => __( ‘Main Navigation’, ‘shopkeeper’ ),
    ‘footer-navigation’ => __( ‘Footer Navigation’, ‘shopkeeper’ ),
    ===================================================================

    This is how you look.. so pick the one which is primary, In my case, Its “Top Bar Navigation” hence used “top-bar-navigation”

    I used the following code and worked like a charm!!!

    This is my way of thanking the author.

    Good day !!

  17. Ann Novakowski says

    Here’s what worked for me with WP . I used this to create a specific primary menu for logged-in Buddypress users. It will NOT affect my footer menu OR social media menu for any visitors, so everyone sees the same secondary menus regardless of whether they’re logged in or not. This is based on all of the comments above (HT to Fransiska!).

    Added the following to my Child Theme’s functions.php file:

    // CHANGE MAIN MENU =ONLY= IF MEMBER IS LOGGED IN

    function my_wp_nav_menu_args( $args = ” ) {
    if ($args[‘theme_location’] == ‘primary’) {
    if( is_user_logged_in()) {
    $args[‘menu’] = ‘logged-in’;
    }else{
    $args[‘menu’] = ‘logged-out’;
    }
    }
    return $args;
    }

    add_filter( ‘wp_nav_menu_args’, ‘my_wp_nav_menu_args’ );

  18. Matthias Campbell says

    Hello,
    I added this code (probably wrongly) in my functions.php within my theme in wordpress editor and now I have a constant 500 server error. Even after removing the code.

    Before this i attempted to create a site specific plugin but that didnt work. Could you please tell me if the snippet requires an opening and closing bracket?
    If so how do i do that?
    My host cant help me now and they’re requesting I pay a programmer to help me for 50Eu per hour. Please help me. Its urgent.
    I am still logged into wordpress but what ever I click I get the 500 error with this specific error.
    PHP Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘}’ in line 1194.
    This is because I pasted the snippet after all the text in the functions.php file.
    I then removed the snippet to see if that would fix it, via editor and FTP and I still get the error.
    I look forward to hearing your response.
    Kind regards

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It depends on where you are adding the code. If there is a closing PHP tag before it then you need to add a php start tag like <?php

      If this code is the last thing in the functions file then you don’t need to add a closing tag.

      Admin

  19. Hubert says

    If you have multiple menu locations and want to apply different menus for each location you can use the code bellow:

    function my_wp_nav_menu_args( $args = ” ) {

    // Primary menu location
    if( ‘primary-main’ == $args[‘theme_location’] ) {

    if( is_user_logged_in() ) {
    $args[‘menu’] = ‘Primary-Logged-In’;
    } else {
    $args[‘menu’] = ‘Primary-Logged-Out’;
    }

    return $args;
    }

    // Secondary menu location
    if( ‘secondary-menu’ == $args[‘theme_location’] ) {

    if( is_user_logged_in() ) {
    $args[‘menu’] = ‘Secondary-Logged-In’;
    } else {
    $args[‘menu’] = ‘Secondary-Logged-Out’;
    }

    return $args;

    }

    }
    add_filter( ‘wp_nav_menu_args’, ‘my_wp_nav_menu_args’ );

  20. Leopold says

    This was almost too easy!
    Thanks alot for the simple article.

    In this way I don’t have to install any plugin..

    • Chris says

      Hi Gaurang,
      I’m curious to know why you feel using the plugin is better, than coding the functions.php file? I was told a while ago to watch how many plugins are actually used for a wordpress site, and the code above seems simple enough; minus the having to monitor every time your theme updates….

      Thanks,

  21. Jason Sisson says

    this is awesome tried it. works. but i also would like to redirect by role
    is that simple or much harder

  22. Ryan R. Bayne says

    Thanks. Working with menu functions for the first time.

    Creating the WTG Portal Manager plugin which will allow a portal to be defined very quickly. Every portal having it’s own menu. The plugin make the relationship between portal and menu clearer plus provide other unique options.

  23. veer2412 says

    thnkx for the help.. but what if i want to show different users different posts on my site.. is there any way to do that using coding??

  24. WPBeginner Staff says

    Under Appearance > Menus you need to choose a location for your menu. Seems like there are two areas on your site where you can add menus. So you need to create two different menus and then assign a location to them.

    • Heather Gile says

      what would the revised code for this be, if there was a distinction of ‘Primary’ and ‘Top’?
      $args[‘primary-menu’] = ‘logged-in’;
      $args[‘top-menu’] = ‘logged-in’;

      else

      $args[‘primary-menu’] = ‘logged-out’;
      $args[‘top-menu’] = ‘logged-out’;

      ?

    • Kyle says

      WordPress will not let me put 2 menus in my “top header” location. The code you provided works, but it changed ALL of my menus to the logged in or out, and is not displaying my normal nav menu

  25. b2995 says

    I have a top menu as well as a site menu (under logo). How would I change the code to switch just that top menu. Right now, ALL my menus change.

  26. Seth says

    Thanks for this.

    On the homepage, menu names that have a submenu (a drop-down menu) do not show the drop-down. When I go to any other page that isn’t my homepage, this isn’t a problem, and all menu items are shown.

    This is the case on the homepage for both logged-in and logged-out items. Any idea how to fix this? Thanks

    http://www.viridianmgt.com/wordpress

  27. Wouter Bredenbeek says

    Only changing a certain menu can be achieved by changing $args[‘menu’] = ‘logged-in’;
    into $args[‘secondary-menu’] = ‘logged-in’; for example. Should do the trick!

    • DANIEL says

      That code doesn’t work. I have registered a ‘primary-menu’ and ‘secondary-menu’ and trying the function provided with your change in args no menú changes.

      I fix this using this code:

      function my_wp_nav_menu_args( $args = ” ) {
      if ($args[‘theme_location’] == ‘secondary-menu’) {
      if( is_user_logged_in()) {
      $args[‘menu’] = ‘logged-in’;
      }else{
      $args[‘menu’] = ‘logged-out’;
      }
      }else{
      $args[‘menu’] = ‘Principal’;
      }
      return $args;
      }

      add_filter( ‘wp_nav_menu_args’, ‘my_wp_nav_menu_args’ );

      NOTE: ‘ Principal is the name of the primary static menu.

      • Rory PQ says

        So close, both my footer and main menus are changing. I’m trying to just change my footer menu. I’ve tried so many variations of this code but no dice. Any solution thoughts?

        When I inspected my theme with Firebug it said my footer is “id=footer-nav”. Should I use this name rather than “secondary-menu”?

        Many Thanks

  28. lemonthirst says

    Hurray! Finally found it, it never crossed my mind that this simple function would ease up my work so much.
    Thank you guys!

  29. Grant says

    When I try to enter the code into the functions.php file it gives me the following error:

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ’03’ (T_LNUMBER) in /home/grantkessler/public_html/wp-content/themes/GameNews/functions.php on line 201

  30. Alex says

    Big thanks for sharing code but it really add this menu in all areas! Is there a way to show it only in specific menu ?

  31. zaman says

    I created site specific plugin and menu’s working fine, but my footer menu is also changed, its not showing the one i selected but the logged-in or logged-out.

  32. Grant says

    Hi when I try to put in the code it messes up my site completely giving the error message:

    function my_wp_nav_menu_args( $args = ” ) { if( is_user_logged_in() ) { $args[‘menu’] = ‘logged-in’; } else { $args[‘menu’] = ‘logged-out’; } return $args; } add_filter( ‘wp_nav_menu_args’, ‘my_wp_nav_menu_args’ );
    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /homepages/5/d156331781/htdocs/reviewthegame/wp-content/themes/Made-Theme/made/functions.php:12) in /homepages/5/d156331781/htdocs/reviewthegame/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 899

  33. joseph says

    Is there a way to only apply this to a specific menu?
    I have tried this:
    if( $args->theme_location == ‘primary-menu’ ) {
    //Code here
    }
    but it doesn’t work. any ideas how to achieve this?

    • shanewaj rahman says

      This is what I have done to over come two menu problem.
      I have removed that function and put this code in the header.php
      where I was calling my menu.

      false,
      ‘menu_id’ => ‘nav’,
      ‘menu’ => ‘Registered’,
      ‘items_wrap’ => ‘%3$s’)
      );
      }
      else
      {
      wp_nav_menu( array(‘container’ => false,
      ‘theme_location’ => ‘primary’,
      ‘menu_id’ => ‘nav’,
      ‘items_wrap’ => ‘%3$s’,
      ) );
      }?>

      • Gerald Tyler says

        Fransiska, can you explain your suggestion further? I have several sub-menus I’m putting in sidebars, and the solution on this page makes all those short menus now full menus with all of the Primary menu names, none of my various custom menus. Your suggestion sounds like we can apply this trick to just the primary menu position, not the sidebars. Make sense? Can you provide the full code? I’m not having any luck guessing on how it goes together.

        joseph
        Oct 25, 2013 at 1:16 am

        Is there a way to only apply this to a specific menu?
        I have tried this:
        if( $args->theme_location == ‘primary-menu’ ) {
        //Code here
        }
        but it doesn’t work. any ideas how to achieve this?

        Fransiska
        Jan 31, 2014 at 2:53 am

        Use

        if ($args[‘theme_location’] == ‘primary’)

        instead and it’ll works

  34. Jamie Mannion says

    Great tip, that came at a perfect time in my site development.

    Works a treat! I think I’ll extend on this to show different menus for different user_meta.

    Thanks for sharing!

  35. karen says

    Hi, thanks for that, most helpful. though I’m still not sure where to put the code?
    (After creating the menus, add this code in your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin) – where is the functions.php file?
    cheers

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Go to Appearance » Editor you will see functions.php file in the list of files on your right hand. However, if you do not see a functions.php file there, then this means you are using a theme framework or a child theme. In that case you need to create a site specific plugin for your site and add this code inside that plugin. See our guide on site-specific plugin.

      Admin

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