Support » Fixing WordPress » Categories and Tags for which “You need a higher level of permission”

  • Since I moved to Gutenberg seems that there are some old tags and categories that I can not use. If I tried so I can not update or publish the post. I was solving this just modifying the tags and categories through the smartphone application.
    I have been checking a little bit more and seems that the problem is that even if I am the only Admin for the web when I try to access those few categories the “You need a higher level of permission” pops up…

    The page I need help with: [log in to see the link]

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Hi @hkoutdooraventures

    Are you still having this issue? Can you describe the steps you are taking and where you are when you see the permissions error message?

    Thread Starter hkoutdooraventures


    Hi @coreymckrill
    Still having the same problem indeed. With several screenshots:
    · In the Category section I have several that I have been using for the last years
    · If I select the Caving for example it works find. I can go an edit it. Also I can add it to any new post
    · If I try to select Coasteering, for example, though the error message appears.
    · I seem not able to add those Categories/tags with the error to the posts. If I do so the Updating error message appears.
    As far as I recall this is happening since it was updated to Gutenberg.
    So far I did not try to solve it, as I was just tagging/setting categories with the Android app. Now that I have had some problems with the Jetpack there is when I have tried to understand what is not working correctly.
    Thanks a lot!

    Thanks for the screenshots. How strange that some terms work and some don’t!

    Given that you also see these errors when you’re editing categories/tags directly, and not just when you’re using the block editor, makes me think that it might not actually be a Gutenberg issue.

    I wonder if there are any patterns to which categories work and which ones don’t. Here’s a question: for the ones that don’t work, is there another taxonomy on your site that uses the same term? For example, your Coasteering category doesn’t work, right? Do you also have a “Coasteering” tag? Or a “Coasteering” term for some other type of content?

    Thread Starter hkoutdooraventures


    That might be it. I am using indeed repeated words for categories and tags and seems that those are the ones I do not have access to now. “Coasteering” in both tag/category, “Hiking”, etc. Problems of not thinking the taxonomy initially.
    I would just remove the tags now, as not using them. But I can’t delete them as I do not have the permits…
    The strange thing is that I can still use those categories and tags from the Android app… A test post just uploaded with an old date to not confuse readers
    Password: Test
    Thanks again.

    Ok, I think I know what’s going on here, but I’m not sure what the best way to fix it is. The short version is that it sounds like your WordPress has been configured to use something called global terms, which is where each term in the database can be shared by multiple taxonomies. However, this is old, deprecated behavior, and current versions of WordPress core mostly assume that terms are not shared, which is why you get the permission errors. Your site might have gotten configured this way if it’s been around since before version 4.7, and/or if you did something like migrate from

    So, if you are comfortable editing the files in your theme (back up everything first, of course), you could try turning off global terms by adding add_filter( 'global_terms_enabled', '__return_false' ); somewhere in your functions.phpfile. Do this at your own risk, though, because there could be weird side effects and I haven’t tested this. This might fix the problem going forward, but I’m not sure if it would affect the duplicate terms that you already have.

    A safer method would be to add new terms with different slugs and switch all your posts over. So for example, add a new Coasteering tag, but make sure the slug is coasteering-2 or something so it’s different from the category one. This doesn’t solve the root issue though, because you’ll have to remember to keep doing it as you add new categories/tags.

    If you have a paid Jetpack plan, you could also try reaching out to their support to see if they have any ideas, since the problem doesn’t seem to occur with the Android app.

    Anyway, it’s a really tricky problem. Hopefully one of these solutions will work for you.

    Thread Starter hkoutdooraventures


    Hi Corey.
    Perfect diagnosis. Migration from in my case.
    Finally I was able to solve it by using the Android application, once I resolved the connection issues there.
    I removed all the tags that matched exactly the category names and now categories are accessible.
    Belated thanks!

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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