Support » Fixing WordPress » Hiding admin bar in WordPress 3.3

  • Hello WordPress users,

    Hopefully my query will be a rather easy one to answer, either way. I just upgraded to WordPress 3.3, and I’ve noticed the plugin I’ve been using to hide the admin bar on the public side of the site doesn’t work any longer.

    This led me to wonder if there is now an option in the long-awaited WordPress 3.3 that allows the blog owner to disable the admin bar publicly? I couldn’t find any, and that seemed strange in that I thought this would be a blindingly obvious feature to add in an updated version of WP. Any information about this problem (work-arounds, plugins, etc.), would be greatly appreciated.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 62 total)
  • Thread Starter MarcAdrian


    Ideally, it would be nice to have the following options in the core:

    Admin Bar Display: Front-end: [ ] Back-end: [√]

    You could then choose to display the bar or not, on both front-end and back, or let it display on both.

    The brand new Toolbar, where the Admin Bar was in previous versions, contains vital links like log-out, and the links to go back to the main site.

    It cannot be disabled, and has no hooks to be disabled. If you notice there is no header any more.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    You cannot turn off the admin bar on the backend anymore, however you CAN turn it off on the front end in your profile. As Charles put it, the Toolbar (no more the admin bar) replaces the Admin Bar AND the Header, and has information and tools not replicated elsewhere.

    Well, it’s a dumb idea. With the exception of the logout, it completely duplicated functionality of the sidebar. And it’s ugly as sin.

    Those of us who use Ozh’s Drop Down Menu plugin (and there’s a LOT of us) have no need for this toolbar in the backend at all. Looking through the new admin bar, I don’t see anything (other than the links) that isn’t already in the menus. Even “Log Out” is there – users -> log out.

    I don’t understand why the option to disable this in the backend was removed. Why restriction user choice?

    @ipstenu – what “information and tools” are there in the backend view of this bar are not replicated elsewhere?

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    Logout isn’t in the menus by default, sickhippie.

    If you’re using Multisite, all the network admin links are there. The howdy-toolbar is up there too.

    You don’t have to like it, but it’s here to stay.

    But again, why remove the option to disable for those of us who DON’T need it? Seriously, this is one of the most irritating changes I’ve ever seen in WordPress.

    Log out is in my menus – whether it’s there by default or not, I have it. The majority of WordPress users do not use multi-site, so all that does is prove my point. The howdy toolbar is cute and all, but it just has links to “Edit my profile” and “Log out” – both of which I have (where they should logically be anyway) in the User menu, easily accessible with Ozh’s Drop Down Menu.

    Plain and simple, this is a change for the worse. This is the first time I have been tempted to hack core to make a change – there’s no reason whatsoever that I should be forced to modify core WordPress files, especially to bring back a single option that was removed for what still seems like very shaky logic.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m fully aware the WordPress Developers don’t care about one or two people like me complaining on the forums. I’m also aware that they have stubbornly decided to remove this option no matter what the community has to say about it. You’re absolutely right – I don’t have to like it, and I don’t. However, this change (and your attitude about it) certainly affect my opinion of the direction WordPress is heading. Starting to feel awfully Drupal in here.

    What this change says to the WordPress Community as a whole is “We don’t think you’re smart enough, so we’re restricting your control. If you don’t like it, we don’t care.”

    Sigh :/ I really hope enough people speak up and they change this. The admin bar, at least for myself is completely useless and just takes up screen space. Please remove it!

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    I suspect that more of us use Multisite than use Ozh’s dropdown menu, FWIW.

    I don’t work for WordPress, I’m just a volunteer mod here who helps in the forum. Don’t read anything to my ‘attitude’ 🙂 It represents only myself (and I, personally, find it really handy and easier to use than Ozh’s in general).

    The toolbar has been the direction of WP’s design since 3.0, and has only become more ingrained. I know Matt likes it (heard him say it) so I imagine that it’s where WP’s going from now out.

    See, I suspect the exact opposite – that more people use Ozh’s than use multisite. Neither of us have anything other than intuition to back that up, so we’ll set that one aside. Unfortunately, even as a volunteer mod you are speaking on behalf of WordPress. That’s part of being a mod – you are the voice of WordPress where they don’t have the resources to speak. 🙂

    While I understand this is the direction, Matt likes it, some people find it easier, etc etc, it doesn’t excuse removing functionality – especially when you leave half of that functionality behind.

    Think about it – you have two options, frontend and backend. There was an active decision to remove one of those options but not the other. There is a sizable chunk of the community (Ozh users – over half a million downloads, not that # of downloads means much) who would prefer to have the frontend on and backend off or both off. I wouldn’t be nearly this upset if both options were removed, but to leave one of them is a slap in the face.

    Imagine for a minute if OSX had an option to hide the dock, then with the next version made it only work when there were no dock programs running. That makes about as much sense.

    Maybe I’ll send a link to this thread to the lead devs. At least I would know I would be heard, even if it’s just shouting into the wind.

    Hi there, @sickhippie. I’m from the lead team, so I’ll try to hit the issues you’ve raised.

    1. We’ve long had issues with how much vertical space was taken up by the dashboard header, duplication between the optional admin bar and dashboard header, and people (largely less savvy but greater in number) who are still just flummoxed by how the dashboard and a live site are connected. We’ve gradually moved toward replacing the dashboard header with something slimmer. The “toolbar” is really the new double-sided header (front + back ends), NOT the new admin bar.

    It can’t be turned off in the dash because it is the dashboard header. It can be turned off on the live site because you’re not in the dashboard, so you don’t *need* the header.

    2. If you’re using a plugin like Ozh’s or Fluency, you are choosing to use a plugin that exists to fundamentally change the dashboard. These plugins need to be updated with each new version of WordPress. If you look at Ozh’s changelog, you’ll see that there hasn’t been a commit to his plugin in 4 months — most of the toolbar stuff has happened since then, and he will need to update things. His plugin is intended to change the dashboard, so it should. He should probably amend the plugin to take over the toolbar bits. But that’s his job, not ours. If we didn’t provide hooks for it, that would be a valid complaint, but as far as I know a plugin could revamp it at will. (I could be wrong on that, but I asked Jaquith and he said it should be doable.)

    3. Multisite numbers. We can’t really get very accurate stats, because we only know about *installs* that phone home, not number of users on each one who might need the multisite menus. We know of about 60,000+ multisite installations, half of which have more than two sites. The average is 58.7 sites per multisite install (that gets us into the 3.5 million sites mark, times however many users per site). Then, 31 installs have more than 10k sites. Edublogs, for example, has over a million sites. Universities like CUNY have thousands/tens of thousands of users per install.

    So. The half-million downloads of Ozh’s plugin doesn’t sound like it’s actually more than multisite users. More savvy users? Very possible. Likely even. But also more capable of fiddling with the code, contributing to the plugin to add functionality, or at least emailing the author to see what can be done. In core we are aiming features at a much wider swath of abilities.

    FWIW, I personally HATED the admin bar when we put it in core. Evidence is all over IRC logs, wpdevel, etc. The toolbar is more a move to connect front to back and reduce header height. If we hadn’t kept the admin bar coloring and it was white or light gray like the old header, I do wonder how many people would still be making a fuss.

    There is no more admin bar. There is a dashboard header that is also accessible on the front end when logged in if you want that option. That’s about it. If Ozh updates dropdown menus to replace the new toolbar, that is perfectly fine.

    Better stat courtesy of @nacin:

    “Chop off the 31 sites > 10,000 sites, chop off the 30,000 sites <= 2 sites.

    96.3979 average for the remaining 30,000 networks.”

    @jane – hey there! Good to hear some inside scoop. I agree that vertical space was (and still is) an issue, especially as many plugins create their own main menu items instead of nesting inside stock menus. IIRC, this is what led to Ozh’s plugin in the first place. If I hadn’t worked with people just like you describe, I wouldn’t believe people don’t see the connection between backend and frontend. Alas, never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

    “It can’t be turned off in the dash because it is the dashboard header.” Is this change between 3.2 and 3.3? If not, why the option change in 3.3? Were people turning it off then unable to figure out how to turn it back on? Or was it the Log Out issue that Ipstenu was talking about? It seems more logical to put the Log Out in the User’s menu, but I suppose in the Howdy toolbar makes about as much sense, and is probably easier for the average user – “I click my picture to do things relating to me.”

    @ipstenu – side note: the Log Out in the User menu is put there by Ozh’s plugin, probably since without the top bar logging out would be tricky, to say the least. Also, I apologize for being a jerk – frustration gets the best of me sometimes, and I tend to take it out on whoever is around instead of whoever is responsible.

    I hope that Ozh is working on updates for this. I’m sure it is possible, as there’s hooks for nearly everything non-core-critical. However, were it not for this single option removal, it wouldn’t be necessary.

    I do see your point on the number of users. Still, number of administrators (instead of users) would most likely be more, but that’s all moot – what matters is overall users, as WordPress is designed for users as much as administrators and developers, something I seem to have forgotten.

    Mark Jaquith just sent me an email, and in it he summed up the ideology behind the new look quite well: “Don’t think of it as the admin bar becoming mandatory so much as the header being massively redesigned to be tighter and permanently accessible in the admin.”

    I still don’t like the removal of the option, and a number of others don’t as well, but I do agree that it is in the best interest of the majority of users (not just administrators, but overall users), and it is up to the third-party plugin dev to modify the plugin to fit whatever core is doing – not the other way around.

    Thanks to everyone for filling in the blanks and giving some insight into the logic behind the change. I take back what I said about this feeling like Drupal in here.


    Is this change between 3.2 and 3.3?

    Yep! That’s why it’s called out in the new feature pointer and on the new post-update About WordPress screen. In 3.2 we still had a separate header, and admin bar was totally optional.

    And let’s not knock Drupal. The more free/open source software, the better! 🙂

    Hi, I just updated WP 3.3. My problem is, the Admin Bar does not appear when I log in as a contributor. When I log in as a Administrator, it is OK.

    How to solve this? Thank you.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 62 total)
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