It could look like a possible duplicate, but I have tried a plenty of solutions, and none of them has worked. The very last any basic one:

function kbnt_special_nav_class( $classes, $item ){
 $classes[] = "special-class";
 return $classes;
add_filter('nav_menu_css_class' , 'kbnt_special_nav_class' , 10 , 2);

And my nav call:

wp_nav_menu( array( 'theme_location' => 'header-menu', 'menu_class' => 'navigationList', 'container' => 'ul') );

Ul gets the correct class. However, the li items still have page_item classes and nothing else. Why? I have spent 30 minutes on this issue and still haven't found why. Thanks a lot in advance!

  • 1
    Your code works for me, where did you place your fiter ? – Benoti Nov 8 '16 at 18:30
  • @Aniket Sahrawat, kybernaut.cz's code is correct. The index would only be needed if the intention was to change a specific item in the array which is not the case here. – Dave Romsey Nov 8 '16 at 18:49
  • To remove all $classes just add unset($classes); in the callback function. – Benoti Nov 8 '16 at 19:51

You code is working for me with (and without) some modifications on your code, to place in functions.php :

add_filter( 'nav_menu_css_class', 'menu_item_classes', 10, 4 );

function menu_item_classes( $classes, $item, $args, $depth ) {


    $classes[] = 'current-menu-ancestor';

    return $classes;

If it's still not working, verify that your are working on the right theme_location id in wp_nav_menu().

Hope it helps !

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