clear_auth_cookie is what I'd need in order to catch the actual logout action, but I can't get it to return anything.


As per the Codex, it doesn't give any information.

Ideally I'd like to do:

add_action( 'clear_auth_cookie', 'return_user_data_on_logout');

function return_user_data_on_logout( $user ) {
    $id = $user->ID; //Assuming it returns a WP_User object.
    //Do some logic here, mostly to check if the user if is of certain type     / 
    has certain meta attached to them.

Any ideas?

2 Answers 2


That action doesn't pass that data:

function return_user_data_on_logout( $user ) {

Here, $user will alway be undefined. Additionally, you need to tell add_action how many parameters the function takes.


do_action( 'clear_auth_cookie' );

No information is passed to begin with, that's not how this particular event/action works.

So how do we get the current user being logged out? The answer is we remove the words "being logged out" from that question giving us a much easier question that is far more searchable:

How do we get the current user?

$user = wp_get_current_user();

It's possible that this hook may be too early, and additionally it may not be the best hook to use.

For example, wp_logout is a much better hook to use as it says on the tin what it does


add_action( 'wp_logout', function() {
    $user = wp_get_current_user();
    // ...
  • Works well, it's weird, I tried it before but I must've gotten lost in something that it didn't work.
    – coolpasta
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 22:46
  • When exactly should this fire in order to register? It seems that if I register it late, it just doesn't work.
    – coolpasta
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 22:58
  • That's a good question, and one you should ask, a comment won't do it justice
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented May 11, 2018 at 1:00
  • I tried this within a plugin. The call definitely happened, but the call to the get current user returns empty. Commented May 6, 2021 at 17:40
  • @DebbieKurth without more information it's not possible to diagnose what happened. You should ask a question and include the code you tried and as much detail as possible. My answer is intended only for the original question.
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 18:55

I found a solution and another individual gave me a second and better solution. That dialogue can be found here: Getting User email on logout. wp_logout

Here the two solutions:


add_action( 'clear_auth_cookie', 'mmd_JudgeLogoutCheck', 10,0); <<<< ADD THIS INSTEAD
///add_action( 'wp_logout', 'mmd_JudgeLogoutCheck', 10,0);   <<<<< REMOVE THIS

function mmd_JudgeLogoutCheck()
$current_user  = wp_get_current_user(); 
if ( in_array( 'judge', (array) $current_user->roles ) )  
    mmd_StoreJudgeStatus($current_user->user_email, JUDGE_LOGGED_OUT, 0);  

SOLUTION 2: BETTER. As it does not interfere with woocommerce logout functionality.

add_action( 'wp_logout', 'mmd_JudgeLogoutCheck', 10,1);  <<< NOTE PASSING 1 PARAMETER
function mmd_JudgeLogoutCheck($user_id)
$current_user  = get_userdata($user_id);

if ( (in_array( 'judge', (array) $current_user->roles )) 
    mmd_StoreJudgeStatus($current_user->user_email, JUDGE_LOGGED_OUT, 0);  

  • Your function name is missing quotes, this code will generate PHP Fatal errors
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 19:04
  • Well it is not. And if you look at how I defined the CONSTANT it passes the correct value. It is in use as we speak. No errors. Commented May 6, 2021 at 19:05

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