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:

woocommerce permissions and 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”. In the top-right corner of this screen, look for the “Select Role to View / Edit” dropdown.

select user role wordpress to delete

Choose the role you want to delete. In the image above, I want to delete “SEO Editor”. Click “Load”.

Scroll to the bottom the screen and click “Delete role”. You can see this link in the image below:

delete a role wordpress

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

delete the seo editor role in WordPress

Finally, you’ll see a message saying that the deletion was successful. Any users in the “SEO Editor” role will be moved to the “Subscriber” role.

“Subscriber” is a very basic role with the fewest permissions of all the default WordPress user roles.

User role moved to subscriber


  • 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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Thank you!

Kevin Wells

Nice tip!

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)?


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   ???

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x