How to Customize and Remove Items in Your WordPress Dashboard and Post Edit Screens

How to makes things easy for your WordPress users...and you!If you’ve read my previous post and have been waiting for the step-by-step tutorial, here it is. If you haven’t read my previous post, I suggest you give it a quick scan to learn the real world use case that prompted me to write this tutorial. I hope I didn’t keep you waiting too long and if you subscribed to my site, I’d like to say thanks:)

In this tutorial you will learn how to remove many of the non-essential pieces of information included by default in your WordPress Dashboard and Post Edit screens. I realize non-essential is a relative term. What might work for me or my Authors may not work for you, so go ahead and tweak the settings to suit your own needs.

As a reminder, the default Dashboard area looks like this:

This is what a cluttered WordPress Dashboard looks like…and we want to make it look uncluttered like this:

Click to Enlarge

Here’s what you do. Go to your Dashboard area and look at the far right. You’ll see a few things, but look for the button that says “Screen Options”.

WordPress Dashboard Screen Options
Click on the "Screen Options" button

Have you ever clicked that button? If not, you’ll probably be surprised to see the hidden options below:

What are the screen options in the WordPress Dashboard area?
Surprise! Look at all the hidden options!

Simply checking or unchecking these items will allow you to decide what you want to show, and what you want to hide on the Dashboard.
[box color=red]Important Note: These settings apply to the currently logged in user only.[/box]

In the example above, you can see in the upper right of the image that I am logged in under the username,  testuser. I created the testuser account as an Author level user. Any changes you make to the Screen Options settings will only apply to the user that was logged in when the settings were set.

So, for my use case, I simply logged in as the user that I wanted to hide these details from and unchecked all options, then choose the one column setting. Now their Dashboard looks like this:

Click to Enlarge

As you can see, this really simplifies things for a person new to WordPress. Not only that, but because all of those extra options are gone, the user is more likely to focus on and better understand the options they do have on the left side.

The same applies to the Post Edit screen options. Have a look at those:

The WordPress Post Edit screen options
Post Edit Screen Options

Do your Author level users really need to see the Send Trackbacks, Custom Fields, and Discussion options when writing their posts? Probably not.

As your users get more and more familiar with writing posts, they’re also likely to start exploring these available buttons and discover these options on their own. Alternatively, you can always go in and turn these options back on for them too.

I would recommend that you also explore the screen options for more pages within the WordPress administration area while you’re logged in as the administrator. The rabbit hole runs deep with more options;)