I need to fetch the list of all users who are Authors (with Author capabilities)

get_users allows to fetch users with roles, but if users are filter with author role, it skips users with role admin and editor (but they can also create posts).

So I need some other way to fetch all users having capability of Author Role (they can be from Administator, Editor or any other custom roles with Authors capability)

To Be more precise - Need all users with "publish_posts" capability.


4 Answers 4


Here's a way to collect roles with the publish_posts capability:

$roles__in = [];
foreach( wp_roles()->roles as $role_slug => $role )
    if( ! empty( $role['capabilities']['publish_posts'] ) )
        $roles__in[] = $role_slug;

and then we can query users with these roles:

if( $roles__in )
    $users = get_users( [ 'roles__in' => $roles__in, 'fields' => 'ids' ] );

where we might need pagination for large amount of users.

One can also loop over few users and check with:

user_can( $user, 'publish_posts' )

See docs here.

  • 1
    Capabilities can be assigned to and removed from single users; capabilities not only belongs to roles but also to users. Not sure if it is possible to get all users with a specific capability in a easy way.
    – cybmeta
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 9:23
  • yes that's a good point @cybmeta - I also added another per user check but that might be less scalable
    – birgire
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 9:26

Basically, there are 3 roles who have a right to publish post - "Administrator", "Editor" & "Author", unless you are adding any custom roles.

So you can do is specify an array of these 3 in your get_users function. Something like this:

get_users( array(
        'role__in'     => array('administrator', 'editor', 'author'),
    ) );

This will give you the user details with these roles in array which you can use as convenience.

Hope this helps.


  • Thank you - this works efficiently.
    – Manachi
    Commented Aug 26, 2023 at 7:12

I realize this is an old question but, if you want to get all users that have a given capability, either directly or via a role, the current top answer (by @birgire) will be very inefficient, particularly if you have a lot of users. The first part of that answer needs improving only slightly to get all users in one call to get_users();

$roles = array( 'publish_posts' );
foreach( wp_roles()->roles as $role_slug => $role ) {
    if( ! empty( $role['capabilities']['publish_posts'] ) ) {
        $roles[] = $role_slug;
$user_ids = get_users( array( 'role__in' => $roles, 'fields' => 'ids' ) );

Simply by initializing the $roles array with the capability you are checking for, all users that have that capability directly will be included.


Use get_role() for getting capabilities from any role of the user in your code.

  • I need all users with "publish_posts" capability. how to do it?
    – Anand
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 7:47

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