I have a PlugIn which lets a user upload an image to a user profile in the backend. Now I want to access the user id in the uploader to change the filename of the uploaded image.

On the user profile edit page, I get the id via global $profileuser. But when I access it in a function I added as a filter to wp_handle_upload, $profileuser is empty.

Any ideas how to get the profile user (not the logged in user) in this case?

This is my code:

add_filter('wp_handle_upload_prefilter', 'my_pre_upload', 2);

function my_pre_upload($file){
    // get current user
    global $profileuser;
    $myAuthorImg = get_userdata( $profileuser->ID );
    $myAuthorImg = 'author-' . $myAuthorImg . '.jpg";
    $file['name'] = $myAuthorImg 
    return $file;
  • You mean the ID that you were looking at on the page that generated the upload request? I doubt that'll be available automatically; I think you'll have to pass it as an URL parameter with the upload.
    – Rup
    Nov 19, 2014 at 18:40
  • Yes, I need the ID of the user to whom the profile page belongs which I am editing right now. Nov 20, 2014 at 13:22
  • What plugin did you use?
    – ifdion
    Jan 18, 2015 at 0:32
  • I created this PlugIn myself. It is still very crude, so it is definitely not ready for use… Jan 19, 2015 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


You need to pass the $profileuser->ID as the second argument when you call your function and define it accordingly:

add_filter('wp_handle_upload_prefilter', 'my_pre_upload', 2, 2);
// (3rd param is priority, 4th is number of args)
// and pass the $userid as argument to your function

function my_pre_upload($file, $userid = false){
    // if no user specified, get $current_user
    $userid = $userid ?: get_current_user_id();

    $user = get_userdata( $userid );
    $myAuthorImg = 'author-' . $user->ID . '.jpg";
    $file['name'] = $myAuthorImg 

    return $file;
  • 1
    I can not test this right now, but doesn't returns get_current_user_id() the ID of the user which is currently logged in? Just to make sure: What I need is the ID of the user to whom the profile belongs I am currently editing. Thanks! Jan 26, 2015 at 17:15
  • What $userid = $userid ?: get_current_user_id(); means is: if $userid has not been provided, use the current user id. If it has been provided as the second parameter, use that one. So you need to call the function in your code as my_pre_upload($file, $userid) where $userid is the id of the user to whom the profile belongs.
    – tao
    Jan 26, 2015 at 17:19
  • Tried it, and it is as I did afraid: Your code works fine, but it saves the image with the ID of my own user profile when I edit someone else's. Any idea what I can do? (I exactly copied your code in my plugin, only corrected 2 typos.) Jan 30, 2015 at 15:15
  • How to get $user_id was indeed the question. Sep 16, 2021 at 16:47

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