What is the best way to disable access to the user's profile for viewing and editing? Basically users can create an account but won't be able to edit or view their own or other users' profiles.


Add this to a custom module:

function MYMODULE_menu_alter(&$items) {
  $items['user/%user']['access arguments'] = array('access user profiles');
  $items['user/%user']['access callback'] = 'user_access';
  $items['user/%user/edit']['access arguments'] = array('administer users');
  $items['user/%user/edit']['access callback'] = 'user_access';

This will put the user profile view under 'View user profiles' permission and edit under 'Administer users'.

  • thanks very much! worked a treat. I thought that I tried to do this with hook_menu but I suppose it was in the wrong place and should be in hook_menu_alter – space_balls Aug 20 '14 at 6:25
  • Simply superb. I was looking for a contributed module for this. But, this answer did the job in least lines of code. – Pupil May 24 '19 at 5:28

Since the question doesn't seem to be specific for Drupal 7, here's how you do it in Drupal 8. hook_menu_alter is no more, now you use a RouteSubscriber. You can see how this works here: https://www.drupal.org/docs/8/api/routing-system/altering-existing-routes-and-adding-new-routes-based-on-dynamic-ones

The RouteSubscriber would look like this:


namespace Drupal\my_module\Services;

use Drupal\Core\Routing\RouteSubscriberBase;
use Symfony\Component\Routing\RouteCollection;

 * Listens to the dynamic route events.
class RouteSubscriber extends RouteSubscriberBase {

   * {@inheritdoc}
  protected function alterRoutes(RouteCollection $collection) {

    // Edit user
    if ($route = $collection->get('entity.user.edit_form')) {
      $route->setRequirement('_permission', 'administer users');

    // View user
    if ($route = $collection->get('entity.user.canonical')) {
      $route->setRequirement('_permission', 'administer users');

The route names are taken from the core user module. In "setRequirement" you can do everything you can do in the normal route config. Note that setRequirement adds a permission (or role etc), but the ["_entity_access"] => "user.update" requirement is also still part of the route.

Then you need to register the service in your module's service yaml file:

    class: Drupal\my_module\Services\RouteSubscriber
      - { name: event_subscriber }

Instead of creating a module for that you could simply create a rule.

Here's a how-to:

step 1: create a rule that acts on this event: "User account page is viewed"

step 2: set a condition, something like: "NOT User has role(s) Parameter: User: [account], Roles: administrator"

step 3: create an action: "Page redirect Parameter: URL: toboggan/denied" (in case you are using login toboggan but any page url should work here so you could create a page especially for that saying something like: "We're very sorry but at this moment you can't access your profile page."

step 4: make this rule active for example in case you wanted to get the latest version of your production site, download a sql backup, fiddle around with it locally and then be sure to upload it again without disappointing any users who might wanted to update their profile in the mean time.

additionally you could also add another condition to check if the user is viewing another user's profile page or their own so that you make two different rules, one which shows a page saying that they temporarily can't update their profile and another rule which shows a page that states why they can't view a particular user's profile.

I've tested this and added this condition: "Data comparison Parameter: Data to compare: [account], Data value: [site:current-user]" What this does is only deny access to view their own account and then show the correct page you created for this denied access. I think this makes more sense.

  • Always excited to use the power of rules. However this didn't work if the user has the direct URL to the edit page /user/nn/edit. It does prevent them from going to the /user page though. – Tony Dec 8 '14 at 23:44
  • Well spotted. If we could just add one more condition that checks if a url is of the string user/* then we'd be saved. I've tried it with a text comparison comparing the [account:edit-url] and the [site:current-user:edit-url] but that didn't work. Neither did the "Path has url alias" [site:current-user:edit-url] condition. I'll keep looking. – BassPlaya Dec 10 '14 at 7:33
  • I couldn't figure it out and the code from the accepted answer worked well so I gave up. – Tony Dec 10 '14 at 13:37

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