get_user_meta( int $user_id, string $key = '', bool $single = false )

Retrieve user meta field for a user.

Description Description

Parameters Parameters


(int) (Required) User ID.


(string) (Optional) The meta key to retrieve. By default, returns data for all keys.

Default value: ''


(bool) (Optional) Whether to return a single value.

Default value: false

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Return Return

(mixed) Will be an array if $single is false. Will be value of meta data field if $single is true.

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Source Source

File: wp-includes/user.php

function get_user_meta($user_id, $key = '', $single = false) {
	return get_metadata('user', $user_id, $key, $single);

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Changelog Changelog

Version Description
3.0.0 Introduced.

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User Contributed Notes User Contributed Notes

  1. Skip to note content
    Contributed by Codex

    Getting all meta data
    This example demonstrates leaving the $key argument blank, in order to retrieve all meta data for the given user (in this example, user_id = 9):

      $all_meta_for_user = get_user_meta( 9 );
      print_r( $all_meta_for_user );


    Array ( [first_name] => Array ( [0] => Tom ) [last_name] => Array ( [0] => Auger)
    [nickname] => Array ( [0] => tomauger ) [description] => etc.... )

    Note: In order to access the data in this example you need to dereference the array that is returned for each key, like so:

    $last_name = $all_meta_for_user['last_name'][0];

    To avoid this, you may want to run a simple array_map() on the results of get_user_meta() in order to take only the first index of each result (thus emulating what the $single argument does when $key is provided:

      $all_meta_for_user = array_map( function( $a ){ return $a[0]; }, get_user_meta( $user_id ) );
      print_r( $all_meta_for_user );


    Array ( [first_name] => Tom [last_name] => Auger [nickname] => tomauger [description] => etc.... )

    Additionally, if you want to return ALL meta for a specific user and filter out empty values, you can run array_filter() on the results of the array_map() above:

    // Get all user meta data for $user_id
    $meta = get_user_meta( $user_id );
    // Filter out empty meta data
    $meta = array_filter( array_map( function( $a ) {
    	return $a[0];
    }, $meta ) );
  2. Skip to note content
    Contributed by Codex

    This example returns and then displays the last name for user id 9.

      $user_id = 9;
      $key = 'last_name';
      $single = true;
      $user_last = get_user_meta( $user_id, $key, $single ); 
      echo '<p>The '. $key . ' value for user id ' . $user_id . ' is: ' . $user_last . '</p>'; 


    The last_name value for user id 9 is Franklin

  3. Skip to note content
    Contributed by Goran87

    To check if returned value is empty, ie does not exist, you could use something like:

    global $current_user; 
    if ( $current_user ) {
    	$permission = get_user_meta( $current_user->ID, 'some_meta' , true );
    	if ( ! empty( $permission ) {
    		// do stuff
    // works for both array and single values

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