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activate_plugins

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What is the activate_plugins permission in WordPress?

The activate_plugins permission allows users to click “Activate” and “Deactivate” for WordPress plugins. It also gives access to the “Plugins” screen so users can see what plugins are installed.

The screenshot below shows what a WordPress user will see if they are given the activate_plugins permission. They can click “Activate” or “Deactivate”. They can also perform the same actions using the “Bulk Actions” dropdown.

Users with the activate_plugins permission can not delete, install, edit or update plugins. There are separate permissions for these actions:

However, the activate_plugins permission is an essential prerequisite for all the permissions listed above. Because activate_plugins controls access to the “Plugins” area, you need this permission for you can use any of the other plugin permissions.


Who has the activate_plugins permission?

The activate_plugins permission is available on single WordPress sites and on multisite networks.

By default, the activate_plugins permission is only given to Super Admins, and Administrators.

Users not in these roles are not allowed to activate or deactivate plugins.


Control who has the activate_plugins permission

You can control who has the activate_plugins permission by installing the PublishPress Capabilities plugin.

  • After installing PublishPress Capabilities, go to “Capabilities” in your admin menu.
  • Choose the role you want to edit in “Select Role to View / Edit”.
  • Check or uncheck the “activate plugins” box in the “Other WordPress Core Capabilities” area.

All default plugin permissions in WordPress

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