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Is there any way to prevent/hide trash button for comments?

Note that I only want to prevent users from emptying the trash for comments. Can't seem to find a way. Is there any possible way to do that without plugin? But if I have to, I'll use a plugin.

This is what I've tried so far, but not getting it to work.

add_filter( 'post_row_actions', 'remove_row_actions', 10, 1 );
function remove_row_actions( $actions )
    if( get_post_type() === 'post' )
        unset( $actions['edit'] );
        unset( $actions['view'] );
        unset( $actions['trash'] );
        unset( $actions['inline hide-if-no-js'] );

    return $actions;
share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

First, a note on you code: if you don't encapsulate the code of a conditional with curly brackets: if($something){ encapsulated_actions(); }
it will only execute the next line.

So, you should use:

if( 'post' != get_post_type() ) // if different of desired type, do nothing and return default
    return $actions; 

// do your thing and return modified var
unset ($actions['spam'], $actions['trash'] ); 
return $actions;


if( 'post' == get_post_type())
    unset ($actions['spam']); 
    unset ($actions['trash']); 
    /* The following is best use */
    // unset ($actions['spam'], $actions['trash'] ); 
// returns modified or unmodified var depending on previous check
return $actions;

We need to target four places to block/hide the Trashing of comments. Here, I'm checking for administrative role. To check for specific users, use get_current_user_id().

The function names indicate the ID of the original Question here in WordPress Answers, e.g., wpse_92313 is: Comments screen in backend, how to disable Quick Edit | Edit | History | Spam | for non admins

1) Quick edit action row

add_filter( 'comment_row_actions', 'comments_row_wpse_92313', 15, 2 );   
function comments_row_wpse_92313( $actions, $comment )
    /* Type of the parent post */
    // $parent_type = get_post_type( $comment->comment_post_ID ) );

    if( !current_user_can( 'delete_plugins' ) )
        unset($actions['trash'] );

    return $actions;

2) The Views row ( All | Pending | ... | Trash )

add_filter( 'views_edit-comments', 'wpse_30331_custom_view_count', 10, 1);   
function wpse_30331_custom_view_count( $views ) 
    if( !current_user_can( 'delete_plugins' ) )
        unset( $views['trash'] );

    return $views;

3) Bulk actions

I've just discovered the filter hook 'bulk_actions-' . $this->screen->id

add_filter( 'bulk_actions-edit-comments', 'remove_bulk_trash_wpse_92534' );   
function remove_bulk_trash_wpse_92534( $actions )
    if( !current_user_can( 'delete_plugins' ) )
        unset( $actions['trash'] );

    return $actions;

4) Blocking direct access to trash screen

Redirects example.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?comment_status=trash to the main Comments screen.

add_action( 'admin_head-edit-comments.php', 'wpse_74488_block_trash_access' );   
function wpse_74488_block_trash_access()
    // Don't run the function for Admins
    if( current_user_can( 'delete_plugins' ) )

    if( isset( $_GET['comment_status'] )  && 'trash' == $_GET['comment_status'] ) 
        wp_redirect( admin_url( 'edit-comments.php' ) ); 
share|improve this answer
Thanks for the fast detailed reply! Your code works perfectly except that i wanna show the trash , but then in the trash i wanna hide the "delete peremenatly" @brasofilo – M3o Mar 27 '13 at 14:08
@MeiasSafa, it was a nice investigation ;) - To target the 'delete' action, use $actions['delete'] in the functions comments_row_wpse_92313 and remove_bulk_trash_wpse_92534. – brasofilo Mar 27 '13 at 14:28
Thank you, genuis :D! – M3o Mar 27 '13 at 15:04
@brasfilo - if you look at your nr 2 suggestion, is there anyway to rename the field in the same function ? or to hide the "Empty Trash" button. – M3o Apr 2 '13 at 8:50

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