How to manually specify the current active page with wp_nav_menu()

The question:

Is there a way of manually specifying which page is currently “active” when using wp_nav_menu()?

I have a “Products” page, and on that page I have links to various (dynamic) custom taxonomies. When I click on one of these taxonomies, I stay on the “Products” page but wp_nav_menu() loses reference to that fact that I’m still on the “Products” page. Is there a way I can fix this?



The Solutions:

Below are the methods you can try. The first solution is probably the best. Try others if the first one doesn’t work. Senior developers aren’t just copying/pasting – they read the methods carefully & apply them wisely to each case.

Method 1

If you just want to add the current_page_item class to one menu item, you could hook up to the nav_menu_css_class filter, and add that class if needed. It is called when the menu is printed.

If you want access to the whole menu and add classes, hook in to the wp_get_nav_menu_items filter, where you get the whole $items array. You can edit the classes properties of individual items.

Method 2

As long as you are using <body <?php body_class(); ?>> WordPress will assign the class current_page_item to your menu along with current_page_parent if your using drop down menus.

Method 3

Jan mentioned nav_menu_css_class filter, so I looked it up and this example was helpful to me

function my_special_nav_class( $classes, $item ) {
    if ( is_single() && $item->title == 'Blog' ) {
        $classes[] = 'special-class';
    return $classes;
add_filter( 'nav_menu_css_class', 'my_special_nav_class', 10, 2 );

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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