Home > WordPress > A no-hack dashboard removal plugin

A no-hack dashboard removal plugin

I don't know why this wasn't discovered (or a better action put in by the WP folks to begin with that could be disabled) but I was able to find a way to disable the feeds from loading on the WordPress admin dashboard without any need for customized index.php files (which would need to be updated/re-uploaded every time WP is updated.)

I'm not sure why this isn't just a stock WP configuration option. It seems enough people have looked for ways around it. My biggest issue was that it requires connectivity directly with each RSS feed, which does not work very well behind our firewall at work. I'll be damned if I hack up some proxy-capable solution too for the feeds that we don't really even look at.

I knew that there had to be a way to mess with the actions being called to disable them from loading the Javascript, or make the fetch_rss() calls return nothing, or make the index-extras.php script return nothing... the easiest and apparently effective way was making a simple action trigger and finding the right order in which it was effective.

In the end, this is all the code that was required:

function remove_dashboard_feeds() {
   remove_action('admin_head', 'index_js');

add_action('admin_head', 'remove_dashboard_feeds', 1);

To make a long story short, I give you the "Remove Dashboard Feeds" plugin, located here. Just download, remove the .txt extension, throw it in the plugin directory and activate it. Simple enough. Works on WP 2.2, and probably 2.1. Not sure about earlier versions, but nobody should be running those anyway (keep up with the times as much as you can! Stay secure and optimized!)

Categories: WordPress
  1. Tayler
    May 29th, 2007 at 11:58 | #1

    I successfully installed them on 4 different copies of WP 2.2. And get this, it works in the mu-plugins folder of WPMU. Thanks, Mike!

  2. Dan
    June 16th, 2007 at 08:42 | #2

    Had some trouble with this in 2.1... Guess I'll have to get off my lazy a** and upgrade. Thx for the plugin.

  3. mike
    June 19th, 2007 at 21:57 | #3

    Thanks for the feedback. Depending on your WP setup the upgrade should be quite seamless. I did it on a production server without testing it first... all my old custom plugins worked fine and this one does too (although I made this one post upgrade.)

  4. BUGabundo
    June 23rd, 2007 at 10:40 | #4

    It works just fine on MU

  5. Max
    August 6th, 2007 at 22:38 | #5

    Tks a lot for this. I think this is a feature that have to be installed on WordPress options.

  6. mizu
    August 8th, 2007 at 06:06 | #6

    "Error 404 - Not Found
    You have landed on an invalid URL."

    source not found...:(

  7. mike
    August 8th, 2007 at 11:07 | #7

    doh. fixed! changing webservers can be annoying 🙂

  8. mizu
    August 9th, 2007 at 01:29 | #8

    thanks! it just works, and so simple, I like it! big thx for it.

  9. Philip
    August 22nd, 2007 at 16:13 | #9

    I'm not getting this. I go to your download link but just get code. Is there a plug in to download and upload to my hosting environment? What am I missing?
    By the way, I think this is a great plugin idea.

  10. mike
    August 22nd, 2007 at 16:54 | #10

    plugins are just php code.

    this can be put it its own .php file, or put into an existing .php file in the plugins directory. it requires no special configuration or activation (unless you make its own file, then you have to click activate)

    you can download the .txt, rename it to .php, upload it to plugins dir, and activate it.

    or if you have shell access, to go the plugins directory and do this:

    wget http://michaelshadle.com/files/wordpress/remove-dashboard-feeds.txt
    mv remove-dashboard-feeds.txt remove-dashboard-feeds.php

    then go into wordpress admin and activate it.

  11. David M. Besonen
    October 23rd, 2007 at 14:53 | #11

    does this work with WP 2.3.x?

  12. mike
    October 23rd, 2007 at 15:30 | #12

    I have not tested it yet in WP 2.3, although I am running it with an upgraded-to-WP2.3-install at work and it appears to be functioning properly. I haven't actually tried it officially though 🙂 It appears my multiple attempts to subscribe to WP release notifications is still not working, so I am not being notified when a new version of WP comes out. I missed the 2.3 launch by a couple weeks! If it works for anyone else please post. I will report my findings when I upgrade this WP install at least.

  13. mike
    October 23rd, 2007 at 22:17 | #13

    Update: disabled/enabled it on WP 2.3 and it works fine. When disabled, the feeds show up again as expected.

  14. Steve Blamey
    December 7th, 2007 at 06:37 | #14

    You could also add this code to the functions.php of your chosen theme. I am doing that on 2.3.x and it work great. Thanks for the code.

  15. mike
    December 7th, 2007 at 13:43 | #15

    Yeah that's why I pasted the code by itself too. It can go anywhere.

  16. houserocker
    December 15th, 2007 at 01:17 | #16

    thanks for this great and very easy to use plugin!!

  17. pete
    January 13th, 2008 at 09:39 | #17

    cheers 🙂

  18. Bret
    February 14th, 2008 at 13:03 | #18

    Thanks. Simply fantastic. Now my WP dashboard is much cleaner and easier to read. Thanks again

  19. Sven
    April 28th, 2008 at 03:31 | #19

    Hi, I tried to download your plugin but the server answers with:
    Fatal error: Call to undefined function add_action() in /mnt/nfs/mike/web/michaelshadle.com/files/wordpress/remove-dashboard-feeds.php.txt on line 17"
    I'd be happy to get your plugin. So maybe if there is some time...
    Thank you

  20. mike
    April 28th, 2008 at 10:55 | #20

    Thanks for pointing that out. When I switched to nginx I forgot how I had it setup. The link is fixed now, it will not execute it as PHP, it is purely .txt now.

  21. David
    May 8th, 2008 at 10:25 | #21

    Just upgraded from 2.3.1 to 2.5.1 and this doesn't seem to work any longer. Any chance you might have time to tweak it? Thanks!

  22. mike
    May 8th, 2008 at 10:32 | #22

    I was hoping that by 2.5 part of their dashboard enhancements would render this useless, because they'd offer the feeds/etc. as an option. Apparently not!

    I'll make sure it works when I get around to upgrading to 2.5.1 myself, and I'll post an update.

  23. online shopping
    July 24th, 2008 at 03:00 | #23

    It should definitely be a stock WordPress option. Not sure why it isn't. I guess they may be thinking of just making it well known in a later version or something. Interesting enough, that's for sure. I'm going to be experimenting with this and seeing if this might solve another problem I'm experiencing at the moment.

  24. Perry
    October 2nd, 2008 at 12:02 | #24

    Hi There,

    It only works partially for me.
    I use WP 2.6 and i still have those boxes in my dashboard, the are empty, except from that one line: Loading…

  25. mike
    October 2nd, 2008 at 12:25 | #25

    Yeah. It doesn't work in 2.6. I should make an update.

    However I thought I saw they were planning on shipping with an option to turn it off. But I don't remember actually seeing that in my installation. I don't think it made the cut.

    From what I gleaned from the WP 2.7 wireframes/etc. the feeds won't be there anymore (or they won't be activated by default or on the dashboard at least)

  26. chris
    October 27th, 2008 at 15:17 | #26

    I would like to disable the dashboard only for authors. Is this possible?

  27. mike
    November 6th, 2008 at 20:15 | #27

    At this point - I am probably not going to do anything until WP 2.7 comes out. They keep releasing newer versions faster than my laziness allows, and they change some things that require reverse engineering the changes...

    I think in WP 2.7 they have redone the admin interface anyway; this plugin might not be needed.

  28. Joe
    August 10th, 2009 at 07:49 | #28

    Doesn't work on 2.8.3

  29. mike
    August 10th, 2009 at 08:26 | #29


    Yeah, this is not guaranteed to work on anything past 2.2.x or whatever. If I get around to it, I'll look into 2.8 (I need to upgrade myself anyway) - however, I swore they were going to make it an option to turn off the feeds.

  30. Anonymous
    August 16th, 2009 at 06:35 | #30

    @mike is turning off in the dashboard the same as not publishing? Or will they still be published, but just made invisible?

  31. mike
    August 16th, 2009 at 16:13 | #31


    No, this was to disable the feeds from loading automatically using background calls to WordPress and a couple other places. It was actually loaded via AJAX to the PHP script than then called the feeds, if I recall. All this did was disable that from running. Pretty simple. I'll have to work on 2.8.x at some point here.

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