A surprising number of people don’t know about or have never used this feature, so it’s something I thought I should point out.

You know all those boxes on the Edit Post page? Did you know you could turn them off? Did you know that WP 3.1 turns many of them off by default?

See? Just click the Screen Options dropdown to show or hide anything you want or don’t want to see. These settings are saved so that you can customize how your own editing screen looks, for you only, every time you go to add or edit a post. Plugins that make meta boxes get their meta box added to this list too, so if you don’t use the manual Publisher boxes from my own Facebook or Twitter plugins, for example, you can just disable them.

People often ask me why there’s a Publish box when they are using Auto-Publish in the SFC or STC plugins, and why I didn’t make that optional. So I just thought it might be worth pointing out publicly that there is already an option for it, built right in. 🙂



  1. Is there a way for a theme to set the defaults? When I’m building a site for a client I typically log in as them and set up the panels the way I want, hiding the metaboxes that aren’t needed and re-arranging them. But when I’m building a site that will have a lot of users contributing content it would be great to modify which metaboxes show up by default.

  2. if you want the custom fields to show up by default see this topic

  3. […] Options on posts and Pages may be missing or hidden. See WP Quickie Metaboxes for the solution or the Master List for an […]

  4. Even the screen options is not clickable to me, so I cant post images at all, cant change screen options. What am I to do?

  5. […] MISSING OPTIONS IN POSTS 3.1 hides some screen options on posts & pages edit screensby default. Just turn on the ones you want. More info here: http://ottopress.com/2011/wp-quickie-metaboxes/ […]

  6. Ok, I only have two rows of screen options and dont see the one for Custom Fields.

    I added your code to functions.php at the very end, I hope it works there.

    Well, it didin’t open up another row of options. To include Custom Fields…

    Is there something else I should be looking at

  7. Thank You! Thank you! Thank you!

    My excerpts disappeared when I upgraded, I had no idea what had happened.

  8. Thank you so much. Saved the day tonight.

  9. Thank for revealing the Screen Options button. I found this thread because the “Allow Comments” (and Trackbacks and pinging) controls are GONE from my Add/Edit Posts/Pages and I’ve been looking for the solution most of today.

    We need to DISALLOW comments for now, but a Leave A Reply box appears with every page and post.

    All boxes in Settings, Discussion are UNchecked.

    I disabled all plugins one by one and refreshed Edit Post to check for the Allow Comments control. Didn’t find a plugin cause.

    I then disabled all plugins one by one and refreshed a page to see if the Leave A Reply box would go away. Didn’t find a plugin cause for that either.

    I activated the Twenty Ten theme, and that didn’t make the Leave A Reply box go away either.

    I sure hope someone here has some other idea how to fix this.

  10. […] which meant different PC, so I was at total loss as to what could cause the problem. Until I read Otto’s post. I felt so […]

  11. I’ve ‘checked’ the comment box as instructed and getting a fault message.
    How do I overcome that? I still don’t have the ability to collect comments! 🙁

  12. […] view Otto’s blog post, go here About the Author: Tim Buttles is the head designer at ThreeToedCrow, offering web design, graphic […]

  13. […] saw NO custom fields.  After momentary panic,  I looked around the FCG support forums and found this helpful link.  Basically, WP 3.1 hides a lot of  post info by default.  Panic […]

  14. Dude… I Love You! ha ha. I have been getting bombarded with spam trackbacks and couldn’t find my check box.

  15. Thanks a lot. I am very relieved to have my excerpts back :), the bonus is I have now removed some clutter. I love WP even more than ever now. Happy Days 🙂

  16. Hey, thanks Otto. I’ve been looking for the answer everywhere. Why oh why do they change things that work fine already. Well, my problem’s solved. Much appreciated.

  17. Thanks Ptto
    Just upgraded to 3.1 and had a real panic when I wanted to change the author and add custom fields.

    Panic over.

    I owe you one.

  18. What about if after days of having 3.1 installed you’re all of a sudden missing all of your editing icons? I have none and cannot figure out how to fix this. I’ve reinstalled 3.1 a few times and deactivated TinyMCE then reactivated a number of times too. Nothing. Any help would be greatly appreciated. (I should also mention this is only happening in one of my accounts and not the others.)

  19. Oh my gosh! Thank you soooooo much for this. This just saved me soo much trouble. You can’t even imagine. You rock.

  20. Works great for me! Thank you very much for sharing this. Don’t know this “dropdown”-menu 🙂

  21. I have the screen options, but the ‘kitchen sink’ is still gone – I’m having to code headers, colors, sizes, etc. by hand still.

  22. Thanks for sharing. And thanks to Donna for her comments. Disabling the Jet pack plugin worked for me.

  23. Fixed my problem, knew there had to be a simple explanation for something so drastic, but would have spent ages – many thanks for sharing sir!

  24. Definitely a browser issue for me. Only three screen options appeared in Safari, and there there were, clear as day in FF.

    Thanks so much for this post. Saved me a lot of grief!

  25. hey, i edited my functions.php file to possibly enable custom feilds to show. now my site is unresponsive. it shows for both the site url and the wp-admin “This theme is sponsored, all links in the footer should remain intact”

  26. THANK YOU. I didn’t think I was a wordpress noob until I did a fresh install and couldn’t find my custom fields.

  27. Awesome. That was totally doing my head in. Thanks Otto :o)

  28. Hi, I have just changed my photoblog theme to “unstandard”. On my main page (Yohan Imagery the thumbnails aren’t displaying. I’ve looked through the forums and it appears to be down to custom fields in the posts? I’ve updated lines of code but still only get limited options (see screenshots. Any advice would be greatly appreciated (but please keep it simple, I’m not very good at this)

  29. Thank you so much for this explanation.

  30. Thanks for all, I found a lot of references here.
    Once again, thank you. 🙂

  31. Fantastic! This was driving me nuts!

  32. gah!!! THANK YOU!!!! 🙂

  33. How do I remove the words “Comments are Closed”

  34. Very true, it’s probably the least used feature of wordpress..

  35. so the thing is, I click the SCREEN OPTIONS on page, post and in fact any admin page and nada, no sign of custom field box to select
    🙁 were is it? why don’t I have it, I am using pagelines as a template have they stolen it?

  36. IMPORTANT: I just realized the “Screen Option” was on Upper Right of my screen, within Edit Page or Edit Post. And “Discussions” is the Option where you can Allow/Disallow Comments.


  37. […] still be looking for the missing Insights Meta Box if it hadn’t been for this post: WP Quickie: Metaboxes, from the invaluable Otto on WordPress (“You have to use an Ottopress to get fresh squeezed […]

  38. Every screen has its own screen options. e.g posts page have different screen options and plugins have different screen options. So, screen options can be set according to the page on which you are.

  39. Some of my options are now missing when after upgrading to the 3.3.1 version. How do I get it back? They include allowing comments, etc.

  40. I have tried to remove the comments section from the bottom of pages by un-checking the allow comments and allow trackbacks options. But it shows a message.. commenting disabled. How to get rid of that.. anyone with any ideas ??

  41. Couldn’t remember how to do this, and was going around in circles. Thank you so much!

  42. Thanks! It helped me solving the issue with disabling comments on certain page!

  43. I was having trouble accessing all those checkboxes under screen options also, turns out it was a browser issue for me. My default browser is Chrome and they weren’t showing up, but are there in Firefox.

  44. I’m having a problem finding out how to get rid of the following which only shows up on my forum page at the bottom:
    please help to figure out how to get rid of this. It’s not on any other page of my site which is what I want for this page too.

  45. Thanks Otto! Why in the heck does the Screen Options button have to be in the right hand corner of the screen and grey in color? At least I haven’t been able to find it in years; but perhaps that just tells more about me 🙂 Thanks again, you did a big favor.

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