WordPress used to have a “Number of Columns” setting on the dashboard under “Screen Layout” which I believe was removed in WordPress 3.8.

I’m not exactly sure why but I assume it is for WordPress to rather control and ensure the correct layout for you based on your screen resolution/browser size. Test it out: If you have a small screen like a tablet, you have one column and if you have a larger screen like a laptop, you will see two columns but on a much larger screen you would automatically see three columns.

That’s great but a bit annoying for many users since you depend on the space used by certain plugins that give you an overview, especially if they use graphs/charts to display data. As a result on larger screens, the three columns just aren’t sufficient.

So here goes! To add it back in, simply add this code in a custom plugin or into the functions.php file of your active WordPress theme:

It’s a bit of PHP, Javascript and CSS. It is a WordPress admin_head-index.php action hook which calls a dashboard_columns() function that adds the screen option in. It defaults to 2 columns and then has Javascript to adjust the width of the .postbox-container based on selections made between1, 2 and 3.

We implemented this into our WordPress Newsletter plugin now because the newsletters overview chart is so important to most of our users.