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How to use parent_file filter in WordPress

Sandeep Kumar Mishra
Sandeep Kumar Mishra
July 12, 2022
5 minutes read

parent_file filter

Allows plugins to move sub-menu items around.

To use parent_file filter, first you have to register it using add_filter. You can write this code into functions.php of your activated theme or in a custom WordPress Plugin.

We at Flipper Code, always prefer to create a custom WordPress Plugin while using hooks so nothing breaks when you update your WordPress Theme in the future.

In the below live example, we have defined a function modify_parent_file_defaults which takes 1 parameters and we registered using add_filter. The first parameter parent_file is name of the hook, The second parameter modify_parent_file_defaults is name of the function which need to be called, third parameter is the priority of calling the hook if same hook is used multiple times and the last parameter is the number of arguments (if any) to be passed in the registered function.

Sometime, you have to remove a registered hook so you can use remove_filter to remove parent_file filter.


    Below the 1 parameter is required to use this hook.

  • $parent_file : (string) The parent file.

Live Example

 * Sets the parent file for hidden sub menus.
 * Showing the parent menu active.
 * @param $parent_file
 * @return mixed
function wporg_func_parent_file_callback( $parent_file ) {

Below is an example how you can use this hook.

                        function modify_parent_file_defaults($parent_file) { 
                            // Update the $parent_file variable according to your website requirements and return this variable. You can modify the $parent_file variable conditionally too if you want.

                            return $parent_file; 
                        // add the filter
                        add_filter( "parent_file", "modify_parent_file_defaults", 10, 1 );

To remove a hook callback, use the example below.

remove_filter( "parent_file", "modify_parent_file_defaults", 10, 1 );

Please make sure provide the same callback function name, priority and number of arguments while removing the hook callback.

Flipper Code is a Premium WordPress Plugins development company and integrating new functionalites into WordPress sites in form of custom WordPress Plugins since 2012. If you’re having any trouble using this hook, please contact our WordPress Development Team and we’d be happy to assist you.

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