Restoring permissions when separating out WordPress multisite blogs

If you separated out your multisite WordPress blogs into individual blogs, but your administrators don’t have access to plugins, user management, and other important panels, then you will likely need to update your wp_options table to not have WPMU-specific user capabilities. First, make sure you’ve done everything in this post. I’m unsure if these instructions are old enough that they don’t account for certain changes required for current versions of WordPress, but I had to do the following steps in addition. As always, make a backup of your database first.

Run this query:

SELECT *
FROM `wp_options`
WHERE option_name LIKE 'wp_%user_roles'

You will likely see two rows, one with option_name equal to wp_<num>_user_roles and the other with option_name equal to wp_user_roles. Delete any wp_<num>_user_roles rows, then update wp_user_roles in wp_options to this value:

a:5:{s:13:"administrator";a:2:{s:4:"name";s:13:"Administrator";s:12:"capabilities";a:62:{s:13:"switch_themes";b:1;s:11:"edit_themes";b:1;s:16:"activate_plugins";b:1;s:12:"edit_plugins";b:1;s:10:"edit_users";b:1;s:10:"edit_files";b:1;s:14:"manage_options";b:1;s:17:"moderate_comments";b:1;s:17:"manage_categories";b:1;s:12:"manage_links";b:1;s:12:"upload_files";b:1;s:6:"import";b:1;s:15:"unfiltered_html";b:1;s:10:"edit_posts";b:1;s:17:"edit_others_posts";b:1;s:20:"edit_published_posts";b:1;s:13:"publish_posts";b:1;s:10:"edit_pages";b:1;s:4:"read";b:1;s:8:"level_10";b:1;s:7:"level_9";b:1;s:7:"level_8";b:1;s:7:"level_7";b:1;s:7:"level_6";b:1;s:7:"level_5";b:1;s:7:"level_4";b:1;s:7:"level_3";b:1;s:7:"level_2";b:1;s:7:"level_1";b:1;s:7:"level_0";b:1;s:17:"edit_others_pages";b:1;s:20:"edit_published_pages";b:1;s:13:"publish_pages";b:1;s:12:"delete_pages";b:1;s:19:"delete_others_pages";b:1;s:22:"delete_published_pages";b:1;s:12:"delete_posts";b:1;s:19:"delete_others_posts";b:1;s:22:"delete_published_posts";b:1;s:20:"delete_private_posts";b:1;s:18:"edit_private_posts";b:1;s:18:"read_private_posts";b:1;s:20:"delete_private_pages";b:1;s:18:"edit_private_pages";b:1;s:18:"read_private_pages";b:1;s:12:"delete_users";b:1;s:12:"create_users";b:1;s:17:"unfiltered_upload";b:1;s:14:"edit_dashboard";b:1;s:14:"update_plugins";b:1;s:14:"delete_plugins";b:1;s:15:"install_plugins";b:1;s:13:"update_themes";b:1;s:14:"install_themes";b:1;s:11:"update_core";b:1;s:10:"list_users";b:1;s:12:"remove_users";b:1;s:9:"add_users";b:1;s:13:"promote_users";b:1;s:18:"edit_theme_options";b:1;s:13:"delete_themes";b:1;s:6:"export";b:1;}}s:6:"editor";a:2:{s:4:"name";s:6:"Editor";s:12:"capabilities";a:34:{s:17:"moderate_comments";b:1;s:17:"manage_categories";b:1;s:12:"manage_links";b:1;s:12:"upload_files";b:1;s:15:"unfiltered_html";b:1;s:10:"edit_posts";b:1;s:17:"edit_others_posts";b:1;s:20:"edit_published_posts";b:1;s:13:"publish_posts";b:1;s:10:"edit_pages";b:1;s:4:"read";b:1;s:7:"level_7";b:1;s:7:"level_6";b:1;s:7:"level_5";b:1;s:7:"level_4";b:1;s:7:"level_3";b:1;s:7:"level_2";b:1;s:7:"level_1";b:1;s:7:"level_0";b:1;s:17:"edit_others_pages";b:1;s:20:"edit_published_pages";b:1;s:13:"publish_pages";b:1;s:12:"delete_pages";b:1;s:19:"delete_others_pages";b:1;s:22:"delete_published_pages";b:1;s:12:"delete_posts";b:1;s:19:"delete_others_posts";b:1;s:22:"delete_published_posts";b:1;s:20:"delete_private_posts";b:1;s:18:"edit_private_posts";b:1;s:18:"read_private_posts";b:1;s:20:"delete_private_pages";b:1;s:18:"edit_private_pages";b:1;s:18:"read_private_pages";b:1;}}s:6:"author";a:2:{s:4:"name";s:6:"Author";s:12:"capabilities";a:10:{s:12:"upload_files";b:1;s:10:"edit_posts";b:1;s:20:"edit_published_posts";b:1;s:13:"publish_posts";b:1;s:4:"read";b:1;s:7:"level_2";b:1;s:7:"level_1";b:1;s:7:"level_0";b:1;s:12:"delete_posts";b:1;s:22:"delete_published_posts";b:1;}}s:11:"contributor";a:2:{s:4:"name";s:11:"Contributor";s:12:"capabilities";a:5:{s:10:"edit_posts";b:1;s:4:"read";b:1;s:7:"level_1";b:1;s:7:"level_0";b:1;s:12:"delete_posts";b:1;}}s:10:"subscriber";a:2:{s:4:"name";s:10:"Subscriber";s:12:"capabilities";a:2:{s:4:"read";b:1;s:7:"level_0";b:1;}}}

This is the same value that wp_user_roles would be set to if if you installed a fresh copy of WordPress. If this particular value breaks your site or doesn’t otherwise work, try getting the value from a latest version install instead.

About Kelly Carter

I'm a freelance web developer, doing business under the name Rainworks Web Development. I'm a skeptical technophile, voracious reader, softcore gamer, and haphazard tinkerer. I have a long-term partner, a cat, and no time for glass ceilings.

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