I've built a child theme, and I would like to reuse some of the settings created by the parent. I hoped this would be as easy as get_theme_mod( 'setting' ) inside the child theme, but that returns nothing.

I found a feature request that addresses this very thing which leads me to believe WP doesn't offer an easy way to get to those parent theme settings. Has anyone found a way around this?

1 Answer 1


If you look at how the code works, you should notice that theme mods are saved in the *_options table under theme_mods_{theme_slug} with the theme slug being, as near as I can tell, the directory name containing the theme stylesheet, so:

$ptheme = get_template_directory();
$theme_slug = basename($ptheme);
$mods = get_option( "theme_mods_$theme_slug");

As a function:

function get_parent_theme_mods($mod = '') {
  $ptheme = get_template_directory();
  $theme_slug = basename($ptheme);
  $mods = get_option( "theme_mods_{$theme_slug}");
  if (!empty($mods) && isset($mods[$mod])) {
    $mods = $mods[$mod];
  return $mods;
  • I've implemented this, but it didn't seem to work. Logged all the variables out and found that $mods is empty. $ptheme and $theme_slug are showing the values I expect.
    – raddevon
    May 27, 2015 at 19:22
  • Have you checked the database itself for those theme mods?
    – s_ha_dum
    May 27, 2015 at 19:28

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