Support » Fixing WordPress » Remove new meta box arrows

  • Hi all, I have just updated my first site to WP 5.5 – first thing I notice, the bloody awful meta box arrows, these are also present on all ACF fields and this just causes a big mess on the page.

    Is there a filter I can add to functions.php to remove the meta box arrows or that functionality? I am reluctant to update any further sites until I can disable this and then see how I get on with the rest of the update.


Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Moderator Steve Stern (sterndata)


    Forum Moderator & Support Team Volunteer

    Which arrows? Please post a screenshot. ( if you don’t have a favorite image posting site.)

    Thread Starter adejones


    Sure, here are 2 screenshots. The first is from my ACF options page, and the second is when editing a page, you can see the up/down arrows on each meta box and one which I assume should collapse the box but doesn’t work on the ACF field sets.

    Moderator Steve Stern (sterndata)


    Forum Moderator & Support Team Volunteer

    You’re still using the classic editor. I don’t see any extra arrows in your image. I recommend asking at so the plugin’s developers and support community can help you with this.

    Thread Starter adejones


    Thanks for the reply, I am talking about the up/down arrow next to the meta box titles. The arrows are a feature/function of WP not ACF so not sure they’d be able to help. The arrows were not present in any of my sites using WP v5.4.2 and hence I suspect they’re introduced in v5.5?

    I see in the News announcement that they say you can now move meta boxes with your keyboard, not sure if they’re related to that?

    I’ve looked further in to the accessibility updates and have found this –

    Hi @adejones,

    The arrows are an intentional addition in WordPress 5.5 for the purpose of improving accessibility on a few fronts.

    First, the arrows serve as a visual indicator that the meta boxes can be moved/rearranged. This is not always apparent to users with accessibility needs. And second, the arrows are a control added to the screen that allows anyone navigating the page with only the keyboard to rearrange the meta boxes. Previously, that was not possible as there were no controls to select.

    There is currently no way to disable these arrows.

    Hope this helps!

    Thread Starter adejones


    Hi Jonathan

    Thanks for the reply. I understand it’s an addition for accessibility and can see the benefit in most cases, however I have a certain set of websites where I know the clients don’t need this feature and I would like to remove it because the arrows are just confusing and ugly, especially as I also use ACF a lot so I have random arrows in various field sets through the page editor, I may contact Elliot Condon at ACF to see if he has a filter to just disable them on ACF fields.

    When I very first tested the arrows in my ACF options page, the page just all went crazy and I struggled to revert it back to how it was originally placed, so it may be great for accessibility but not so great for ones patience and mental state after playing with them.

    These arrows are not good UX. They are right next to the close/open button and they have resulted in far more user headaches then they have fixed. There needs to be an option to remove these.

    The position of the arrows is not good for UX, I always have the same issue that accidentally y click on them



    I found a bit of a solution if you accidentally click on the arrows and it moves the window to a place that it shouldn’t be and you cant get it back.

    Go to ACF and create a NEW field group and create one field inside (doesnt matter what we are going to delete it, we just need something on the page), place it on the page/post/template where you are having the issue and then go back to the page/post and you should be able to move the item back to its original position. Then go back to ACF and delete the field group you created earlier.

    Hope this helps.

    I agree that this arrows are not a good UX choice.
    A better visual indicator that make clear the meta boxes can be moved/rearranged can be the classic “drag and drop” icon, that is different from the arrows used to open/close the box. Also, the position for this icon can be different as well, maybe on the left side, before the box title.
    When a new feature is added, it’s important to take time to think where this option can be to offer the best user experience.

    The work around I went with was to use the “Seamless (no metabox)” style. There doesn’t appear to be a good way to filter this, but one work around that may work for you if you still would like to have the metabox style is to use CSS and set their selectors to display-none.

    There’s a good response on this over in the MetaBox site.

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by ghettifish.
Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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