New: WordPress Screen Options Button – Where, Why And How To Use It

Have you noticed the new WordPress ‘Screen Options’ button on the dashboard of your blog?

At first, it wasn’t very noticeable to me, but I now find myself using it everyday because it has some great features.

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New: WordPress Screen Options Button

Where can I find the ‘Screen Options’ button?

You’ll find the ‘Screen Options‘ button in the top righthand corner of your screen when viewing ‘Posts,’ ‘Pages’, ‘Media’ or ‘Comments’ on the dashboard of your blog. Please note that It doesn’t yet seem to be available on the WordPress App.

Screenshot highlighting the Screen Options button on WordPress
Screen Options Button

I am able to see the button when using WordPress on my desktop computer, laptop, iPad and iPhone using Safari and Chrome.

What does the ‘Screen Options’ button do?

It’s a quick way to switch between the new WordPress ‘Default’ view and the old ‘Classic’ view of your blog’s dashboard.

Clicking on the button gives users two choices when viewing information on the ‘Posts’, ‘Pages’ and ‘Comments’ section on their blog’s dashboard.

Screenshot highlighting the menu under the Screen Options button on WordPress
Screen Options Menu

‘Default’ view is the one I’ve been using for the last couple of months. Here are two screenshots of what my blog’s ‘posts’ page looks like with the ‘Default’ view and the ‘Classic’ view.

Screenshot showing the Default view of blog posts on a WordPress blog
Default View
Screenshot showing the Classic view of blog posts on a WordPress blog
Classic view

Many users may recognise the old-style ‘Classic’ view. However, did you know that it now contains more options? Clicking on the ‘Screen Options’ button again will disclose the options. I’ve highlighted some of them on the following image.

Screenshot of the options for blog posts on the Classic view options
Classic option features

Not only can you choose which columns to display under ‘posts,’ but you can also choose how many of your posts you want to see on the dashboard.

If you make any chances, click the ‘Apply’ button to save them.

What does the ‘view mode’ option do?

Changing the ‘view mode’ option to ‘Extended view’ will show a little more information under your posts.

Screenshot highlighting the Extended view option on WordPress
Extended view

In my case, I was able to see the excerpt for each of my posts.

Reminder – click the ‘Apply’ button if you make any changes.

The ‘Classic’ view also has a gateway to the old Classic editor, where you can draft new blog posts. However, WordPress may remove this at any time.

Screenshot highlighting the gateway to the old Classic editor on WordPress
Gateway to the old Classic editor

Struggling with spam? Use the Classic option

As I use the Block editor, I use the ‘Default’ version. However, I use the ‘Classic’ option for specific functions that the ‘Default’ option doesn’t yet do. For example, I use the ‘Classic’ option for deleting all spam from my WordPress spam folder with just one click.

Screenshot highlighting the WordPress Empty Spam Button
Emptying Spam

Don’t allow spam to cause you any problems or to allow you to make any harsh decisions. It can easily be dealt with.

Although the ‘Default’ option offers an option to bulk delete spam, you can only delete 20 spam comments at any one time.

Screenshot highlighting the Bulk Edit button on WordPress
Bulk Edit

So using the ‘Classic’ option helps save me time when dealing with hundreds of spam comments daily.

I’ve not yet discovered a way of marking comments that end up in the spam folder by mistake as genuine (not spam) in the ‘Default’ version. So, again, I use the ‘Classic’ version for performing this task.

While using ‘Classic’ view, if at any time you want to go back to using the new ‘Default’ ( view) option, click the button.

Screenshot highlighting the Default view ( view) button
Default view button

The ‘Screen Options’ function may only be available with specific WordPress plans.

Let’s wrap it up

  • The new ‘Screen Options’ button can be found on the ‘Posts,’ ‘Pages’, ‘Media’ and ‘Comments’ pages of the dashboard of your WordPress blog.
  • ‘Classic’ view option has more options when viewing posts and comments.
  • Delete spam with one click when using ‘Classic’ view.
  • ‘Default’ view only allows bulk action (20 comments) when deleting spam.
  • Works on desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones.
  • Does not work via the WordPress app.

Have you been using the new ‘Screen Options’ button? Have I missed out anything you’ve discovered it does? If you have any questions about the ‘Screen Options’ button leave them in the comments section.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

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81 thoughts on “New: WordPress Screen Options Button – Where, Why And How To Use It

  1. Hi Hugh,
    You are right! There are many new options. Thanks for letting us know.
    Your post won the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party. You will be featured on my site tomorrow. Congratulations!

  2. I will have to check my site to see if this is available, although when having a quick check I did not see this. It will be interesting to see if I can find it. Thanks anyway for all the tips, and again it is so useful to learn all these new additions. Thanks for sharing it at SeniorSalon weekly linkup

        1. My tutorials are more for those on WordPress.Com rather than self-hosted blogs, Sally. I’ve been tempted to go self-hosted but never made the leap. I’m happier knowing I have good support at the end of the line when I need it. But it’s good to hear that WordPress are making improvements and changes to the block editor for self-hosters too. They shouldn’t be left out. WordPress is certainly making lots of improvements to the Block editor on the platform. Far better than it was when it was first launched (when I disliked it). Thanks again for adding my post to the Blogger Daily feature. I’ve lots more of these tutorials lined up.

  3. When my brain is a bit less scrambled than it is now I think this will be very helpful, Hugh. However, when I first saw the title I thought it was going to be WP adding buttons such as ‘Don’tLike’ as many of my followers have not wanted to ‘Like’ a post but wanted to show they read it 🙂

    1. There is a rating button for blog posts where people can vote the post down, but I’ve never seen the point of it, Mary. It’s a little like not writing a one-star review for a book. I could never do that to any writer. There was talk of Twitter adding a ‘don’t like’ button, but I think they decided against it.

  4. Thanks for the explanation of the different options, Hugh. I appreciate the tip about deleting spam especially. I’ve found deleting only 20 spam messages at a time to be frustrating. Now I know how to make it easier.

    1. Yes, unless you have less than 20 spam comments, the bulk action button isn’t much good, Norah. Thank goodness the ‘Classic option includes the ‘Delete spam’ button that deletes all spam in one go.

        1. The Classic view has always been available, Norah. So the ‘Delete Spam’ button has always been there. I wouldn’t be surprised if WordPress move it over to the ‘Default’ view. From what I’ve seen in the forums, it’s something users want to keep.

        2. I just stuck with the new view and haven’t gone backwards and forwards, Hugh. That’s why I’m grateful to you for pointing it out.

    1. Stevie, thanks so much for reblogging and sharing this post about the new screen options button with your readers. It’s a great little feature that I’m sure many will find useful when switching between the two options it offers.

        1. In the ‘Default’ view, it’s in the first box – All – Pending – Approved – Spam – Trash

          In the ‘Classic’ view, it’s on the line under Comments – All – Mine – Pending – Approved – Spam – Trash

          You’ll see it on the screenshots in my post. I hope that helps?

  5. I was going potty in the default version trying to find and old image in my media library. I knew it was there because I could see it in a post back in 2015 but the only way to retrieve it would have been to manually scroll back through from today in the media library. I asked the happiness engineer who introduced me to screen options and the access to classic editor. Bingo I can search by date – this applies to old posts too. And there was my picture that I could include in my post.
    Well done Hugh. Great bit of education.

    1. I tend to use the search bar in the media library when looking for certain photos and images. And I use the search bar on my own blog when looking for certain posts. However, thanks for mentioning the Media library, Geoff, as it wasn’t something I checked if the screen options button was on (I’ve updated this post). I see it has lots of options too.

  6. Really helpful and informative. Beautifully presented with detailed and exact information. Thankyou so much for this great share it is going to help me and other bloggers like me 🙂

  7. Again, you have the coolest tips, Hugh. I did not notice at all. But I just emptied my spam folder with one click. Thank you so much for that.

  8. Thanks for the update, Hugh. I think I blog by rote these days never taking the time to investigate new bells and whistles. I appreciate your detailed look into the new features.

  9. I had noticed the search box. But didn’t fully use it. Thank you for explaining how you switch between the two to gets task done; that is really helpful.

    I really feel wordpress are really enhancing wordpress and it is great stuff.

    Thank you for a great post as always

    1. Yes, I agree, Bella. WordPress seems to be adding lots of new features and making it an even better place to blog. I think an overhaul of the dashboard was well overdue. It’s nice to see the changes they are making. I’m sure they still have lots to do.

  10. I saw some of these features, I may have gotten an email from WordPress unless I dreamed it, Hugh 🙂 This is very helpful. For some reason, I prefer the classic view of the dashboard probably from when I self-hosted in 2016. When it appeared to go away, I was a little annoyed but was learning to adjust. Such a great help with this detail. For some bloggers this detail could make or break their love of blogging!

    1. At first, I stuck more with the ‘Classic’ view, but now I find myself using the ‘Default’ option more, Terri. It’s a great new tool for switching between both options, especially as you no longer have to keep going to your blog’s ‘Account Settings’ page to switch between them both. The ‘Classic’ version is best for dealing with spam, but the ‘Default’ version offers some extra options for Posts and Pages not on the ‘Classic’ version. It’s definitely worth exploring them and switching between them both if you find you like them both.

      I asked WordPress if they were keeping the ‘Classic’ view option, but they wouldn’t commit to an answer. In the back of my mind, I keep remembering the announcement they made at the end of 2019 that said by the end of 2022, they would cease supporting the Classic editor.

    1. You’re welcome, Cathy. I should have mentioned in the post that the ‘Default’ view offers more options to users on Posts and Pages. It’s worth checking them out.

  11. I hadn’t spotted that button but I’ve now checked it out thanks to your post. However it doesn’t give me the option of the ‘default view’, I only see the classic one. But I can choose the columns for my posts list and can opt for the extended view. Would mine be different because I have a self-hosted .org blog?

    1. Yes, if your blog is self-hosted, these options may not all be available to you. However, if you want the ‘Default’ view, there may be a plugin available for it. If not, I’m sure WordPress is working on one.

  12. I hadn’t noticed this option – I’ve been using the classic view without really knowing there was anything else available. Not sure at the moment whether I want to change to the default view but I’ll test it out for a while before making a decision.

    1. It took me a few weeks to get used to the ‘Default’ view, and now I’m liking it more. The ‘Default’ view has a few more features, such as sharing a post straight to social media from the ‘Posts’ page, which the Classic view doesn’t have. However, as I mentioned in the post, the ‘Classic’ view is better at dealing with spam. So the ‘Screen Options’ button is a great new tool for those wanting to use both options.

    1. I think this one went unannounced, but I like what it does, Dan. It’s an easy way to switch between the two views we currently have, although I can’t help but think that the ‘Classic’ view will one day disappear.

  13. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    Some of us may know how to use a word processor better than most people, but we’re completely clueless when it comes to stuff like this.

    1. You’re welcome. I enjoying testing stuff out, so when WordPress introduces something new, I’m usually on it and sharing it with you all. I didn’t see them announcing this new feature, so I was rather surprised when I saw it. Then again, I may have missed the communication from them about it.

      1. The all-white screen hurts my light sensitive eyes, and I need that extra dark area (side bar) that is found in the classic WP pages. Every time there is a change and I see an all-white screen, I have to ask WP never to get rid of the classic. I’m happy to see they found a way to make the choice easier.

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