How to Limit Amount of Menu Items in WordPress

Snippets by IsItWP

Are you looking for a way to limit amount of menu items? While there’s probably a plugin for this, we have created a quick code snippet that you can use to limit amount of menu items in WordPress.

If your theme uses wp_nav_menu to pull in a menu a user set in your Theme Location, but you want to limit the max number of top-level menu items, then this code is exactly what you need.

For example: We tested a theme that supports menus, and has a “mainmenu” theme location to pull in a menu as the mainmenu / top nav on the site. But due to the design / CSS (fixed-width), there’s only room for a maximum of 7 items in the top level of whatever menu is pulled in.

This solution uses a filter to do that to any WordPress theme you choose to use.


All you have to do is add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or in a site-specific plugin:

add_filter( 'wp_nav_menu_objects', 'mytheme_menufilter', 10, 2 );
function mytheme_menufilter($items, $args) {
	// want our MAINMENU to have MAX of 7 items
	if ( $args->theme_location == 'mainmenu' ) {
		$toplinks = 0;
		foreach ( $items as $k => $v ) {
			if ( $v->menu_item_parent == 0 ) {
				// count how many top-level links we have so far...
			// if we've passed our max # ...
			if ( $toplinks > 7 ) {
	return $items;

Note: If this is your first time adding code snippets in WordPress, then please refer to our guide on how to properly add code snippets in WordPress, so you don’t accidentally break your site.

If you liked this code snippet, please consider checking out our other articles on the site like: 9 best WordPress real estate plugins and How to secure your WordPress forms.

Comments   Leave a Reply

  1. hello. I have some Menus should be appeared generally. But I have one Menu too, named ‘Editor’ just to be shown for Editors in wordpress. this will be defined by a field named wpum_relationship_to_lib which is a multiple choices field including different options like: editor, student, employee and so on. people can be 2 or 3 or just one at the same time. but it is important that one the options the user chose must be “editor” to access the Menu “Editor”. I wrote some codes in a test platform and unset the menu for non-editors an also before log-in and it works but in the main platform with required changes it does not. would you guide me please?

  2. Thanks, that’s what I needed.

  3. > then this code is exactly what you need.

    What code?

    1. Hey Brad,
      I just updated the post with the snippet.

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