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Function Reference/get user meta


Retrieve a single meta field or all fields of user_meta data for the given user. Uses get_metadata(). This function replaces the deprecated get_usermeta() function.


<?php get_user_meta($user_id$key$single);  ?>


(integer) (required) The ID of the user whose data should be retrieved.
Default: None
(string) (optional) The meta_key in the wp_usermeta table for the meta_value to be returned. If left empty, will return all user_meta fields for the given user.
Default: (empty string)
(boolean) (optional) If true return value of meta data field, if false return an array. This parameter has no effect if $key is left blank.
Default: false

Return Values

Will be an Array if $key is not specified or if $single is false. Will be value of meta_value field if $single is true.
If the meta value does not exist and $single is true the function will return an empty string. If $single is false an empty array is returned.


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

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 (this 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 ) );



Change Log

Since: 3.0

Source File

get_user_meta() is located in wp-includes/user.php.


add_user_meta(), delete_user_meta(), get_user_meta(), update_user_meta(), get_user_option(), delete_user_option(), update_user_option(),

See also index of Function Reference and index of Template Tags.