WordPress admin bar and how to use it

After logging into your WordPress website, you will notice an admin bar on top of it. Admin bar is a thin dark-gray stripe located on the top of the screen which holds valuable administration links and buttons that will help you manage the site on the go. It was introduced on February 23, 2011, when WordPress Version 3.1 “Reinhardt” rolled out to the public.

WordPress admin bar appears to all logged in users, both on the dashboard (your admin area) and on the site (pages that are visible to the public). Please note that the admin bar looks a little bit different when viewing it on the dashboard and your front page. Also, plugins can modify its appearance and it can be hidden on a per-user basis. Don’t worry; we’ll cover the fundamentals in this article, and you will be able to manage your site via admin bar like a pro in no time.

By default, WordPress admin bar contains six elements. Five of them on the left, and one on the right side of the bar. Again, it’s important to know that the admin bar can be extended with plugins, so it can contain practically anything you want. But in this article, we are going to show you just the standard elements that you will probably use on everyday basis.

Admin bar elements

WordPress admin bar elements

The admin bar will look pretty much the same for every user who logs into WordPress. Although there are a few differences that depend on which page you’re looking at and your assigned privileges. Let’s start with the standard elements.

If you are opening the WordPress dashboard on lower screen resolutions such as smartphones, you can expect a smaller admin bar with simplified items. Depending on the screen size, some of the elements might be even completely removed. In that case, WordPress admin bar might look something like the following screenshot.

WordPress admin bar in mobile view

About WordPress

WordPress admin bar about

On the leftmost side of the bar, you’ll find the WordPress logo. When you hover your mouse cursor over it, the logo will reveal five links. Those will lead you to more information about WordPress, wordpress.org official pages, documentation, support forums and feedback.

Homepage (the name of your site)

WordPress admin bar homepage

You will recognise the following element by a little house icon which represents your homepage. Just next to the icon, you will find the name of your website. Depending on the page, it may contain different links.

While on the dashboard (the admin area from which you manage your blog) this element will contain only the link to your website’s front page. By clicking the link, you will see what your site looks like to an average visitor.


WordPress admin bar updates

The next element shows you the number of updates available for your site. If you click the little icon with refresh symbol on it, WordPress will take you to the updates page from which you can control WordPress core, themes, and plugins updates.


WordPress admin bar comments

Just right of the updates icon, there’s the comments section which also shows you the number of comments awaiting moderation. By clicking the link, WordPress will take you to the page where you can see and edit all the comments.


WordPress admin bar new

By clicking on the plus sign icon, you will be able to add new posts, pages, media, and users. By selecting any of the menu items, WordPress will take you to its respective page.

User Profile

WordPress admin bar user profile

On the right side of the WordPress admin bar, you will find a welcoming message (Howdy) with your name and avatar next to it. By expanding the menu, you will be able to open your personal profile pages, edit them, and this will also be a place to logout from the WordPress admin.

Additional admin bar elements on the website

Although the WordPress admin bar is practically the same all the time, there are a few changes that happen after you switch the view from admin area to the website.

Homepage (the name of your site)

WordPress admin bar site view

Once you load the homepage, the icon will change to a dashboard one. It will get four new menu items, as well. From here, you can open the dashboard, themes, widgets and menus pages.


WordPress admin bar customize

This element will be visible only when you open your website (front page). By selecting this option, WordPress will open the Customizer, a tool that allows you to customize the active theme and many aspects of the site.


WordPress admin bar search

Just to the right of your username and avatar, you will see a small magnifying glass icon. If you click on it, the image will expand into a text element which allows you to write and search for any phrase. By hitting the Enter key, WordPress will start searching for the term on your website and redirect you to the search results page.

How to turn on/off the admin bar when viewing your site

Although there isn’t an option to hide the WordPress admin bar from the WordPress admin, you can easily hide it when viewing your site. Some people just don’t like it, others don’t use it at all, while developers say it only gets in their way.

No matter the reason, you can quickly hide the WordPress admin bar when viewing your site:

  1. Locate the WordPress menu on the left side of the dashboard
  2. Find “Users” menu item
  3. Hover your mouse over it
  4. Select “Your Profile” from the extended menu
  5. Find “Toolbar” option
  6. Uncheck “Show Toolbar when viewing site”
  7. Scroll down and click the blue “Update Profile” button

How to turn off WordPress admin bar

As you can see, It is possible to control the option for each user separately. That means that you don’t have to worry if any of the other users still want to have the admin bar available.


WordPress admin bar allows you to easily manage the site and move between settings and different sections on the blog. The bar may look different depending on the page you open, and the plugins you have installed. It is easy to turn off the admin bar when viewing your site, so it doesn’t get in your way, and you can easily expand it by adding new plugins.

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