I am filtering the map_meta_cap() function, which is called from $user->has_cap (which is called from current_user_can()). I only want my filter to execute if the current user is an administrator, so I need a conditional in my filter that checks their role.

I can't use current_user_can(), because that invokes my filter, causing an infinite loop.

Is there a reliable way to check whether someone is an administrator without using current_user_can() ?

  • Might want to look at the $current_user global, remembering to add global scope when inside a function..
    – t31os
    Jan 26, 2011 at 20:28
  • thanks. i have seen a few ways i could check the user role from that object, but wasn't sure how reliable they were... might use in_array('administrator', $current_user->roles) ?
    – jessica
    Jan 26, 2011 at 20:33
  • As long as you perform that logic late enough(ie. on/after init) it should be fine.. :)
    – t31os
    Jan 26, 2011 at 22:14
  • Have done, though i've re-examined my previous thoughts, see answer... :)
    – t31os
    Jan 27, 2011 at 0:53

1 Answer 1


You could check the $current_user variable to determine the role.

I believe it should be realiable after init(maybe even on init) for a logged in user, a guest visitor obviously won't have any data associated with him or her yet(so it'll be empty/unset).

You can also call up get_currentuserinfo() to populate the $current_user var, but i've personally never found a need when calling $current_user after init(but i'm sure there may be cases when you need to call it, so it's linked below for reference).


  • sweet, i will check if $current_user->roles is empty, and if so, use get_currentuserinfo(). Thanks again!
    – jessica
    Jan 27, 2011 at 19:57

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