Peppered throughout the WordPress admin area are a number of meta boxes that contain information or options related to the screen currently being viewed. The display of these meta boxes can be controlled via the “Screen Options” tab that you’ll find near the top-right of any admin screen.
For example, notice the Author and Discussion meta boxes in Figure 1. When viewing the Dashboard, you will see different meta boxes for recently published posts or news about WordPress; When editing a post, you will see meta boxes for Categories and Tags among others. Each of these can be visible or hidden according to your preferences.
If you click the “Screen Options” tab (see Figure 1) a tray will slide down, revealing a list of check-boxes corresponding to the the meta boxes for the current screen. Meta boxes that are checked will be displayed while those that are not checked will be hidden from view.
Hiding a meta box from view does not interfere with or remove the functionality related to the meta box, so you can safely hide any meta box you do not wish to see or interact with. Further, your meta box display preferences are remembered and are only applied to you, so you can safely hide any meta box without affecting other users.
Not all meta boxes are visible by default. For example, the “Author” meta box allows you to change the author of a page or post. This might be useful if you are tasked with adding a blog post on behalf of someone else, but want their name to appear as the author when viewed by visitors.
In addition to the built-in meta boxes, many themes and plugins will provide custom meta boxes. For example, WordPress SEO by Yoast adds a meta box below the editor that provides SEO-specific options and tools (see Figure 2). You can hide or display those using the screen settings as well.