After reading the Roles and Capabilities article I can see that the Subscriber role has read capabilities only. What capabilities (if any) would be assigned to an unauthenticated user? i.e. a website visitor browsing around but not logged-in.

2 Answers 2


Every user (loggedin or visitor) has the exist hardcoded capability.


See line 745 in the source example.

Not logged in users have no other capabilities unless coded in a plugin or theme.

EDIT: GitHub link to the specific line on WP 6.3: https://github.com/WordPress/wordpress-develop/blob/6.3/src/wp-includes/class-wp-user.php#L810-L811

  • 1
    It's currently line 812, and thank you for this! Just saved me!
    – BIU
    Dec 7, 2022 at 8:50

Visitors have no capabilities. Not even the capability "read" which seems a bit odd to me.

  • 1
    According to Codex read gives most basic level of access to Dashboard, so it doesn't make sense for unregistered users either.
    – Rarst
    Nov 24, 2014 at 21:30
  • A I didn't check the codex for the read capability. Thought it would be something like read posts.
    – Horttcore
    Nov 25, 2014 at 15:58
  • 1
    This is incorrect. Jory Hogeveen's answer is correct.
    – John Dee
    Aug 30, 2020 at 21:49

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