I simply wonder why <?php var_dump(get_user_meta(4)); ?> doesn't contain an email address of the user. Instead I have to use

get_userdata(4)->user_email; to query the email of the user.

Why is that or did I miss something? get_user_meta() seems to provide all other aspects and informations of a user, however just not the email-address.


3 Answers 3


get_user_meta retrieves a single meta field or all fields of the user_meta data for the given user.

This means that all the values that are stored in user_meta table can be got using get_user_meta. Email is not stored as meta data so you cant get email using get_user_meta.

Email is stored with username and password in user table as user data.


Just wanted to let you know you have get_user_meta and get_userdata. The email address can be found using the get_userdata function.

For the current user this code can apply:


  $user_id = get_current_user_id(); 
  $user_info = get_userdata($user_id);
  $mailadresje = $user_info->user_email;
  echo $mailadresje;


Please note this is applicable to the current user. If you need to get the user_id of let's say an order you need the following code (which I used to display the users mail on the invoice in WooCommerce) :


  $user_id = $wpo_wcpdf->export->order->user_id;
  $user_info = get_userdata($user_id);
  $mailadresje = $user_info->user_email;
  echo $mailadresje;


Happy programming!

  • Thanks you, fellow countryman :) Commented Nov 3, 2020 at 22:05

If you'd like to just return the user email from a user id and not load the entire user object, here is a quick function which utilizes the $wpdb global variable:

function get_user_email($user_id){
  global $wpdb;
  return $wpdb->get_var($wpdb->prepare("SELECT user_email FROM wp_users WHERE id=%d", $user_id));
  • Is that actually more efficient? I'd guess the other way is still only one database read, and might be in the request's in-memory cache too.
    – Rup
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 16:06
  • Yes it's more efficient. get_userdata() will trigger update_meta_cache() which queries the user's meta data within the wp_usermeta table. Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 17:28
  • OK, fair enough. WP_User::get_data_by( 'id', $user_id ) then, which does the cache but not the meta etc.
    – Rup
    Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 19:40

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