How to Remove Unwanted WordPress User Roles

Remove Unwanted WordPress User Roles

By default, WordPress arrives with five default user roles: Contributor, Subscriber, Author, Editor, and Administrator.

However, when you start installing plugins, you may see many extra roles.

For example, if you install Yoast SEO, there will be two new roles: “SEO Editor” and “SEO Manager”. If you then add WooCommerce, you’ll find two more roles: “Shop manager” and “Customer”. The more plugins you add, the longer this list will become. This screenshot below shows a site with several extra roles:

Is it possible to delete these extra roles, if you don’t want to use them? Yes, you can delete user roles with the PublishPress Capabilities plugin.

First, install the PublishPress Capabilities plugin into your site.

In your WordPress admin menu, go to “Capabilities” then “Roles” in your WordPress admin menu. Under every role added by a plugin, there is a “Delete” link. In the image below, I want to delete “SEO Manager”.

Delete a WordPress user role

Next, you’ll see a confirmation pop-up box. Click “OK” to delete the role.

Any users in the “SEO Manager” role will be moved to the “Subscriber” role, or whatever is the default role for your site. “Subscriber” is a very basic role with the fewest permissions of all the default WordPress user roles. Click here for more on deleting WordPress user roles.


  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

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3 years ago

Thank you!

Kevin Wells
Kevin Wells
3 years ago

Nice tip!
3 years ago

Hello and thank you for the handy tip! 
However, how do you add back a role that’s been removed (in case you decide later that you need it)?

2 years ago

There is a free version but the link in the article does not make it easy to find it. I am also not clear on if I need the pro version to remove a user role. I guess I will have to try it for myself.
This seems the free version   ???

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