I'm attempting to use pre_user_query' to change the query to include somemeta_query` variables.

My goal is to only display users in the user list if they share a common meta_value with the current logged in user...

function modify_user_list($query){
    $user = wp_get_current_user();

    if( ! current_user_can( 'edit_user' ) ) return $query;

    $user_id = $user->ID; 
    $user_branch_number = get_user_meta($user_id, 'user_branch_number', true);

    $query->query_vars['meta_key'] = 'user_branch_number';
    $query->query_vars['meta_value'] = $user_branch_number; 
    $query->query_vars['meta_compare'] = '=';

add_action('pre_user_query', 'modify_user_list');

If I print_r the query it will show that the query_vars have been updated appropriately, but the user list in the admin panel is unaffected - same old list of every single user.

  • You aren't returning the $query after you change the vars.
    – shanebp
    Apr 21, 2015 at 20:06
  • 3
    @shanebp in this hook query has been passed by reference so there is no need to return the query.
    – Sumit
    Apr 21, 2015 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


You are using pre_user_query according to WordPress documentation

Fires after the WP_User_Query has been parsed, and before the query is executed

Then you should use pre_get_users just like pre_get_posts when your arguments have some meaning to WordPress.

pre_get_users Fires before the WP_User_Query has been parsed

Replace your hook with

add_action('pre_get_users', 'modify_user_list');

  • Thank you, I didn't realize I was using the wrong hook !
    – sirmdawg
    Apr 22, 2015 at 22:34
  • any idea how to change the results above the list ? I still se e "100" subscribers, but only 5 are shown ( the five that should show )
    – sirmdawg
    Apr 22, 2015 at 22:51
  • @mkirkpatrick I din't get your question ? When I tested that snippet it was working fine! Can you please brief your problem a bit ?
    – Sumit
    Apr 23, 2015 at 7:23
  • The results int the list work as intended, but for some reason the sorting options above the list still include the total number of users.
    – sirmdawg
    Apr 24, 2015 at 19:46
  • 2
    I got a filter views_users but no luck as there is no global variable for current user query! so how can we alter the count ? And there is no filter in count_users() :(
    – Sumit
    Apr 25, 2015 at 11:27

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