User permissions

Permissions define what a user can see or do in Matomo (formerly Piwik).

Users and permissions

Matomo defines 3 types of permissions:

  • view permission: applies to a specific site

    With that permission, a user can view the reports for a given site.

  • admin permission: applies to a specific site

    With that permission, a user can view and configure a given site (name, URLs, timezone, etc.). They can also grant other users the "view" or "admin" permission.

  • super user permission: applies to whole Matomo (all sites)

    With that permission, a user can view and configure all sites. They can also perform all administrative tasks such as add new sites, add users, change user permissions, activate and deactivate plugins or install new ones from the Marketplace.

Checking permissions

Usually, plugins should check permissions before:

  • executing an action, such as deleting or fetching data
  • rendering any sensitive information that should not be accessible to everyone

Sometimes you may also need to verify permissions before registering menu items or widgets.

To check a user's permissions, you need to use the Piwik\Piwik class:

  • methods starting with check throw an exception when the expected condition is not met

    Use methods which throw exceptions if you want to stop any further execution when the user does not have an appropriate role. The platform will catch the exception and display an error message or ask the user to log in.

    public function deleteAllMessages()
        // delete messages only if user has super user access, otherwise show an error message
  • methods starting with is and has test for permissions and return a boolean

    Use methods that return a boolean for instance when registering menu items or widgets.

    public function configureAdminMenu(MenuAdmin $menu)
        if (Piwik::hasUserSuperUserAccess()) {
            $menu->addPlatformItem('Plugins', $this->urlForDefaultAction());

Warning: It is important to be aware that just because the menu item won’t be displayed in the UI doesn't mean the user cannot open the registered URL manually. Therefore, you have to check for permissions in the actual controller action as well.

View permission

A user having a view permission should be only able to view reports but not make any changes apart from their personal settings. Method names ending with UserHasSomeViewAccess make sure a user has at least view permissions for one website whereas the methods *UserHasViewAccess($idSites = array(1,2,3)) check whether a user has view access for all given websites.


Piwik::checkUserHasViewAccess($idSites = array(1,2,3));

As a plugin developer you would usually use the latter example to verify the permissions for specific websites. Use the first example in case you develop something like an All Websites Dashboard where you only want to make sure the user has a view permission for at least one website.

Admin permission

A user having an admin permission cannot only view reports but also change website related settings. The methods to check for this role are similar to the ones before, just swap the term View with Admin.


Piwik::checkUserHasAdminAccess($idSites = array(1,2,3));

Super user permission

A user having the super user permission is allowed to access all data stored in Matomo and change any settings. To check if a user has this role use any of the methods that end with UserSuperUserAccess.


As a plugin developer you would check for this permission for instance in places where your plugin shows an activity log for all users or where it offers the possibility to change any system-wide settings.