I took over an existing multisite network and I don't have the privileges to promote anyone to network admin through the WP Admin UI directly. How can I promote my site administrator to network admin via MySQL and/or WP CLI?

  • you want to create a Network Admin (aka Super Admin) ? Feb 7, 2017 at 22:34
  • no, I want to promote an existing admin to Super Admin
    – acobster
    Feb 7, 2017 at 22:40
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Add Wordpress MU Network Admin via Database
    – acobster
    Feb 7, 2017 at 23:03
  • then why did you asked? Use google first, that's what recommended here! Feb 7, 2017 at 23:05
  • Understood, I got linked to the other question from WP IRC after posting this one
    – acobster
    Feb 7, 2017 at 23:06

3 Answers 3


You might use grant_super_admin()

To add an admin by user ID you can use grant_super_admin. Simple put grant_super_admin in your theme’s functions.php file (usually in /wp-content/themes/CURRENT THEME NAME/functions.php). You’ll need to put the ID of the user as a variable, the example below we’re using the user ID of 1.



Or Some variation of this should do the trick:

INSERT INTO `databasename`.`wp_users` (`ID`, `user_login`, `user_pass`, `user_nicename`, `user_email`, `user_url`, `user_registered`, `user_activation_key`, `user_status`, `display_name`) VALUES ('4', 'demo', MD5('demo'), 'Your Name', '[email protected]', 'http://www.test.com/', '2011-06-07 00:00:00', '', '0', 'Your Name');

INSERT INTO `databasename`.`wp_usermeta` (`umeta_id`, `user_id`, `meta_key`, `meta_value`) VALUES (NULL, '4', 'wp_capabilities', 'a:1:{s:13:"administrator";s:1:"1";}');

INSERT INTO `databasename`.`wp_usermeta` (`umeta_id`, `user_id`, `meta_key`, `meta_value`) VALUES (NULL, '4', 'wp_user_level', '10');


  • I already have a user with those capabilities. What I need is to promote the user to MULTISITE admin.
    – acobster
    Feb 7, 2017 at 22:28
  • 1
    See updated answer Feb 7, 2017 at 22:48

If you have access to the command line and can use wp-cli, then you need to run two commands (assuming your site ID is 1):

wp network meta get 1 site_admins

This will return an array of all the site admins. Here is a sample array:

array (
  0 => 'user',
  1 => 'tedmasterweb',
  2 => 'fredflintston',
  3 => 'jcollins',

You then need to execute the following command setting the key as 4 (one more than the highest number in the array above), e.g.:

wp network meta patch insert 1 site_admins 4 myusername

You might then need to log out and log back in to see the change.

Related documentation



Can you see this in user edit?

enter image description here

  • no, as I said in the original question I don't have the privileges to promote anyone to network admin through the WP Admin UI directly.
    – acobster
    Feb 7, 2017 at 22:58

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