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What is the manage_categories permission in WordPress?

The manage_categories permission controls access to two links inside WordPress:

  • Posts > Categories
  • Posts > Tags

You can see those two links in the screenshot below. This user was only given the manage_categories permission (plus the read permission to access the dashboard).

Users with the manage_categories permission can create, edit and delete Categories and Tags. Don't be confused by the name – this permission applies to Tags also. This screenshot shows

Technically, the manage_categories permission also allows access to the “Links” area but that has been hidden for years. Find out more in our article on the manage_links permission.

Who has the manage_categories permission?

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

By default, the manage_categories permission is only given to Super Users, Administrators and Editors.

Users not in these roles are not allowed to manage Categories or Tags on their WordPress site.

How can you control who has the manage_categories permission?

You can control who has the manage_categories permission by installing the Capability Manager Enhanced plugin.

The Capability Manager Enhanced plugin for WordPress
  • After installing Capability Manager Enhanced, go to Users > Capabilities.
  • Check or uncheck the “manage categories” box in “Categories” row of the “Editing Capabilities” area.

Can you control permissions for only Categories or Tags?

It is possible to separate the manage_categories permission so that you can manage either Categories or Tags.

The Capability Manager Enhanced plugin has an option called “Detailed Taxonomy Capabilities”.

You can check both “Categories” and “Tags” and click “Update”. If do this, you will see new permission options for both Categories and Tags. Each taxonomy will have separate “Manage”, “Edit”, “Assign”, and “Delete”.

Note: you will need to click the “Manage” box for “Categories”. Because of an oddity with how WordPress permissions work, this is neccessary to give users access to the “Tags” area. Users will be able to see the Categories but not control them in any way.

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