Though not crucial per se, the WordPress Admin bar is undoubtedly a handy front-end tool for administrators, editors, and writers, making solving related problems imperative. This may seem unusual because we also taught you to turn off the WordPress Admin bar (more on that below), but we want to provide solutions for all types of website owners. Therefore, we’ll go over several potential causes of the missing WordPress Admin bar, and guide you to solutions without judgment. Treat the instructions below as a checklist, and if nothing works, you can always reach out to your hosting provider’s Customer Support. With that, here’s how to fix the WordPress Admin bar that is not showing.
Note. “Not showing” doesn’t necessarily mean the bar is entirely gone. You will often see a white bar in its place but cannot interact with it.
1. Enable a deactivated WordPress Admin bar
Unsurprisingly, if you went through the steps to disable a WordPress bar or used our WordPress toolbar deactivation code snippet, reverting those changes is the fastest and the simplest way to get things back to normal. Here are three frequent ways to activate an Admin bar in WordPress:
1. Using the WordPress Admin Section on a per-user basis
Whether you use our instructions for disabling the bar or suspect it could have been turned off for your account accidentally or by another admin, this is the first thing to try. Here’s what to do:
- Sign in to the WordPress Admin section.
- In the sidebar on the left-hand side, click on Users, then select Profile.
- Find the option titled “Toolbar” and put a checkmark in front of the option titled “Show Toolbar when viewing site.”
- Click the Update Profile button at the bottom to preserve the configuration.
- Suggested. Go to All Users under “Users” and see if you can check settings for other admins—their toolbars may have been turned off, too.
2. Entering or tweaking code for global changes
As you had the chance to see, a line of code can remove the WordPress Admin toolbar for the entire website. Well, as long as the edited theme is active unless you used a code snippet plugin or a site-specific plugin. Therefore, find the line below and either delete it or add symbols such as # or /* in front of it to disable it.
add_filter( ‘show_admin_bar’, ‘__return_false’ );
If that doesn’t look familiar, consider searching for this code:
If you cannot find either of these, try the code to add the WordPress Admin bar back:
All these can be found while editing a WordPress theme, specifically functions.php or in the aforementioned things.
3. Checking your footer.php file for incorrectly placed code
While you’re there, you should also double-check the file titled footer.php in the same folder (wp-content/themes/theme-name/). There’s a common thing that would cause this issue. The
<?php wp_footer(); ?> line at the bottom of the file must be before/in front of the closing boy tag
</body>. If it is not, move it. Expectedly, if it doesn’t exist, add it. To clarify, this is how it should look like:
?php wp_footer(); ?>
2. Re-enable Admin bar by deleting browser cache or WordPress cache plugin data
Before you move on to more complex sources, it’s time to double-check whether cached data caused made the WordPress admin bar go missing. It’s also a good idea to repeat this procedure after making the changes described in the methods below. With that said, we already went over ways to clear the cache on WordPress manually. As for browsers, we’ll demonstrate the procedure for Chromium-based ones since they are predominant. Though similar, if you’re using Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or another one, search exact steps. Follow these steps to clear cache in browsers based on Chromium:
- After opening the browser, click the three-dot menu in the upper right corner (named More or represented with three parallel lines in other browsers).
- Go to More tools.
- Select Clear browsing data.
- Select the range or pick All time.
- Make sure to put a checkmark in front of “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files”.
- Choose Clear data.
3. Try disabling your WordPress theme to make the Admin bar appear
A regular issue that causes the missing WordPress Admin bar is a poorly coded theme or one that a user edited improperly. In both cases, temporarily disabling the active theme and switching to a different one can show whether it was the culprit. To do so, you need to:
- Expand the left sidebar in the WordPress Admin section.
- Go to Appearance then Themes.
- Click on Deactivate below the active theme.
- WordPress will now revert to the default theme, or you can enable one proven to work with the Admin bar by clicking Activate underneath its name.
Visit the front end of your website. If the Admin bar is still missing, the theme was not the root of the problem. If it appears, you’ll need to find an alternative, contact the developer, or find a knowledgeable person to solve the problem.
4. Fix WordPress Admin bar not showing problem by deactivating plugins
We often present this possibility when a radical error occurs on your website. However, it can be the reason for “minor” issues like a missing WordPress Admin toolbar, either because two or more plugins conflict, one is incompatible with your theme, or a plugin is poorly coded. Whatever the case may be, deactivating it will solve the concern. Do the following to fix the WordPress Admin bar not showing problem:
- Since you can access the Admin section, open Plugins in the left sidebar.
- Go to Installed Plugins.
- You’ll now see a list of plugins, with active ones having a “Deactivate” option. Deactivate them one by one, checking the front-end in-between.
- You can reactivate plugins after checking them or wait until you find the problematic one to enable them all at once. Once the bar reappears, you found the culprit. You have the same options as with themes.
5. Enable WP Debug to discover why the WordPress Admin toolbar is missing
Finally, if none of these solutions helped, you should let the CMS (Content Management System) help you. We talked about this in our “how to debug in WordPress” guide. Investigate the issue by accessing error logs afterward. If you’re lucky, the debug tool can determine the file, line number, and problematic character or syntax. Make sure to disable the tool after you’re done troubleshooting.