user_can( int|WP_User $user, string $capability, mixed $args )

Returns whether a particular user has the specified capability.

Description Description

This function also accepts an ID of an object to check against if the capability is a meta capability. Meta capabilities such as edit_post and edit_user are capabilities used by the map_meta_cap() function to map to primitive capabilities that a user or role has, such as edit_posts and edit_others_posts.

Example usage:

user_can( $user->ID, 'edit_posts' );
user_can( $user->ID, 'edit_post', $post->ID );
user_can( $user->ID, 'edit_post_meta', $post->ID, $meta_key );

Parameters Parameters


(int|WP_User) (Required) User ID or object.


(string) (Required) Capability name.


(mixed) (Optional) further parameters, typically starting with an object ID.

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Return Return

(bool) Whether the user has the given capability.

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Source Source

File: wp-includes/capabilities.php

function user_can( $user, $capability, ...$args ) {
	if ( ! is_object( $user ) ) {
		$user = get_userdata( $user );

	if ( ! $user || ! $user->exists() ) {
		return false;

	return $user->has_cap( $capability, ...$args );

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Changelog Changelog

Version Description
5.3.0 Formalized the existing and already documented ...$args parameter by adding it to the function signature.
3.1.0 Introduced.

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