I want to programmatically decide whether to render a link or not. This should apply to all links e.g anchor tags (no wysywigs) Not only menu links.

I tried using hook_link_alter.

 * Implements hook_link_alter().
function mymodule_link_alter(&$variables) {
  $my_logic = TRUE;
  if ($my_logic) {
    // Any way to not render the link?
    // I tried:
    // $variables = []; and unsetting keys with no luck
    // $variables['options']['#access'] = FALSE; With no luck.
    // I guess i could set a flag here and somewhere else process it, but where?

I can alter the structure, but I don't see any way to unset the element. What I want is basically to not render the element if $my_logic.

I also tried to use a service with the path_processor_outbound tag, but I have the same problem. I can "access" all generated links but can just alter / modify the output of processOutbound() but not to not process.

I think I can´t use a custom access check because i don´t want the url´s to be inaccessible if directly requested and I rather don´t want to do the check in a template

  • 2
    Unsetting a link wont make the path inaccessible FYI - you need permissions or access control for that.
    – Kevin
    Commented May 9, 2022 at 12:58
  • @Kevin Thx for pointing that out, actually custom-access might be a way to go, it´s not a requirement to be inaccessible, i just dont want to render the path and it´s link element into the source
    – john Smith
    Commented May 9, 2022 at 13:06

1 Answer 1


I couldn't find a way to prevent the link from rendering, but I did find a couple of ways of hiding it, which was good enough in my use case.

  • Add a 'hidden' class to the link (along with CSS to display:none it)
  • Set the link text to an empty string.
  $item['options']['attributes']['class'][] = 'hidden';
  $item['text'] = "";

If your goal is just to tidy up a menu/hide a link rather than prevent access to the destination page then this might help.

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