Defining a Super-Admin

We strongly recommend that a Super-Admin be handled by setting a global Gate::before or Gate::after rule which checks for the desired role.

Then you can implement the best-practice of primarily using permission-based controls (@can and $user->can, etc) throughout your app, without always having to check for “is this a super-admin” everywhere. Best not to use role-checking (ie: hasRole) when you have Super Admin features like this.


If you want a “Super Admin” role to respond true to all permissions, without needing to assign all those permissions to a role, you can use Laravel’s Gate::before() method. For example:

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Gate;

class AuthServiceProvider extends ServiceProvider
    public function boot()

        // Implicitly grant "Super Admin" role all permissions
        // This works in the app by using gate-related functions like auth()->user->can() and @can()
        Gate::before(function ($user, $ability) {
            return $user->hasRole('Super Admin') ? true : null;

NOTE: Gate::before rules need to return null rather than false, else it will interfere with normal policy operation. See more.

Jeffrey Way explains the concept of a super-admin (and a model owner, and model policies) in the Laravel 6 Authorization Filters video and some related lessons in that chapter.


Alternatively you might want to move the Super Admin check to the Gate::after phase instead, particularly if your Super Admin shouldn’t be allowed to do things your app doesn’t want “anyone” to do, such as writing more than 1 review, or bypassing unsubscribe rules, etc.

The following code snippet is inspired from Freek’s blog article where this topic is discussed further.

// somewhere in a service provider

Gate::after(function ($user, $ability) {
   return $user->hasRole('Super Admin'); // note this returns boolean