Yogesh Chauhan's Blog

user_can vs current_user_can in WordPress

in WordPress on July 19, 2021


user_can function returns if a user (passed as an argument) has a specific capabilities (also passed as an argument).


user_can($user, $capability, $meta_args )

Where $user is required as an user ID or object. $capability is also required as a string (capability name).

The $meta_args are optional and useful if you want to check if the capability is a meta capability.

The return value is boolean — true or false against your check.

edit_post and edit_user capabilities are meta capabilities.

Meta capabilities are used by the map_meta_cap() function to check if the user has any capabilities that are relating to the meta capabilities.


user_can( $user->ID, 'edit_posts' );
user_can( $user->ID, 'edit_post', $post->ID );
user_can( $user->ID, 'edit_post_meta', $post->ID, $meta_key );


current_user_can is similar to the user_can function but it’ll check against the current logged in user.


The syntax omits the first argument from the user_can syntax.

user_can($capability, $meta_args )

The return value is boolean — true or false against your check same as user_can.


user_can( 'edit_posts' );
user_can( 'edit_post', $post->ID );
user_can( 'edit_post_meta', $post->ID, $meta_key );

Make sure to test before deploying since this function produces unexpected results sometimes.

Hide admin bar

You can hide admin bar using this code if the current logged in user is not admin or has not been granted any administrative access

if ( ! current_user_can( 'manage_options' ) ) {
    add_filter( 'show_admin_bar', '__return_false' );

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