I have built a complex query which should do 3 things:

  1. select posts with ids in the $additional_ids array using post__in;
  2. ignore posts with ids in the $ignore_ids array using post__not_in;
  3. select posts with a combination of cpt values (ie. is an animal, is blue and eats grass) using meta_query.

Here's what I have so far:

$args_assets = array(
        'post_type' => 'assets',
        'posts_per_page' => -1,
        'post__in' => $additional_ids,
        'post__not_in' => $ignore_ids,
        'meta_query' => array(
            'relation' => 'AND',
        'orderby' => 'title',
        'order' => 'asc',

The query works fine WTHOUT the 'post__in' => $additional_ids line. As soon as I add the post__in argument, the query returns an empty result.

Is it possible to combine post__in with a meta_query? If so, what's the best method?

Thanks in advance for any help!

  • Seeing a typo in your post__not_in value. Var name is misspelled?
    – jdm2112
    Dec 13, 2016 at 17:37
  • Comment out all your query args except the meta query and see what you get. Looks like a format problem in the args of your meta. The $query_animal and others should be in an array.
    – jdm2112
    Dec 13, 2016 at 17:42
  • @jdm2112 $query_animals etc are arrays. If I comment out post__in everything works which makes me wonder if there's a problem with my logic. The query should select the post__in IDs AND the ids from my meta_query. Perhaps the relation between post__in and meta_query is wrong? Dec 13, 2016 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


post__in and post__not_in are mutually exclusive.

Note: you cannot combine post__in and post__not_in in the same query.


Either make the query with post__in and meta_query combination or make the query with post__not_in and meta_query combination. Any of them but not the union of them.

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