Need to solve the problem with the WordPress Admin section screen going blank or white? We realize the urgency. After all, the back end is usually the main connection to the website for administrators, editors, authors, and so on. It being inaccessible can prevent people in charge from managing the website, or, if multisite is enabled, even a massive network of websites under one dashboard. Thankfully, site owners can access the website via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to upload files, make some updates, and rectify the issue. That ability lets us show you how to fix the WordPress Admin blank or white screen issue. Let’s start.
What is the WordPress white screen of death?
Although this version of the problem appears identical on the front end, it is less devastating since it only affects the back-end access. Therefore, you don’t run the risk of losing visitors and integration with third-party services and dropping in rankings after not having your pages indexed. However, admins should still resolve the issue shortly to resume normal operations, and we can help.
1. Clear your WordPress website cache
Don’t jump to conclusions and make radical changes. The problem may be temporary and caused by outdated cached information your browser receives. Thus, clearing your WordPress cache manually lets your browser load the wp-admin.php, wp-login.php, and other pages from scratch. If other pages on your website work normally, chances are the dashboard one may too. Besides the aforementioned method, if your caching service is not strictly a WordPress plugin, consider visiting their official website and checking if you can access the user account panel. Investigate whether they permit clearing the cache from there. You may also have to flush CDN (Content Delivery Network) cache if you’re using their services.
2. Restore your WordPress website from a backup
Do you back up your website regularly, and can you remember when the problem began? If the answer is yes to both, you have a quick and efficient way to fix the WordPress Admin white/blank screen issue. The procedure is hard to demonstrate because there is a myriad of plugins and third-party services. Also, we don’t know whether you use a cloud backup service, clone your site, or download backups locally. Nonetheless, going to a previous version of your WordPress site will restore regular functionality. Plus, you’re now on guard and can notice which action produces the wp-admin.php blank page error if you repeat it.
3. Check your WordPress error logs
If clearing the cache didn’t help, and you don’t have a backup, the troubleshooting procedure begins. As mentioned, in some cases you don’t get an entirely blank screen, but something like:
Warning: require(/home/website-name/public_html/website-name/wp-admin/wp-blog-header.php/): Failed to open stream: No such file or directory in home/website-name/public_html/website-name/wp-admin/index.php on line 26
You may see multiple lines with similar or distinct errors and corresponding files. Some errors specify the issue, such as a missing or unexpected character or a line. If you are comfortable accessing your WordPress site via FTP and editing files, you can try to locate the file in question and rectify the problem. Sadly, unless you made a typo or added a poorly coded snippet, the page may continue producing errors. Therefore, we recommend going a step further and getting a detailed look. Since you can’t access the Admin section, do the following:
- After accessing your website via FTP, explore the root folder. It may be titled public_html or www, too.
- Find and open the file titled wp-config.php.
- Locate the last line in the document that says
/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */.
- Place the following code in any place above that line:
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true);
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
- Save changes, then refresh your WordPress admin section page.
- While still in your FTP client, go to the wp-content folder, and open the debug.log file inside.
- Scroll to the bottom and inspect the last lines to look for lines, characters, plugin/theme names, or anything you recognize and can solve.
4. Disable your WordPress plugins
Have you noticed any WordPress plugins mentioned during the debugging process or on the front end? That’s great! Turning a mentioned plugin off can be a simple fix for the WordPress Admin white/blank white screen issue. Even if you have not, disabling the most recently activated plugin or any that are tied to WordPress Admin can help you solve the issue. For instance, you may want to deactivate a WordPress Admin theme or security plugins. Moreover, you may want to disable all plugins to see if any are even responsible. Follow these steps to deactivate your plugins for WordPress:
- Since you can’t open WordPress Admin, browse your site via FTP.
- Open the wp-content folder then locate the folder named plugins inside.
- You can now rename plugins to something such as plugins-disabled.
- Refresh your WordPress Admin page and see if the issue persists.
- If it does, plugins are not the culprit, so proceed to other methods. If it does not, one of the plugins is causing problems.
- Revert the change from step 3. Then, go inside the plugins folder and do the same for one plugin at a time. For instance, rename wp-backup to wp-backup-disabled.
- Keep reverting changes in-between plugins and refreshing the Admin page. Once you disable the right plugin, the issue will be gone, and you know the source. You can keep it disabled, update it, find an alternative, or contact its developers.
5. Deactivate your active WordPress theme
Your WordPress theme can be a frequent cause of this issue, especially if it received a framework update, a recent redesign, became outdated, or was improperly edited. Regardless, disabling the active WordPress theme can solve the problem, and works like this:
- Using FTP, go to wp-content again.
- Go to the themes folder and find the one for the theme you use.
- Rename it like above, from my-theme to my-theme-disabled.
- WordPress will now revert to the default theme, say Twenty Twenty-Two, unless you disabled them all.
- Check the WordPress Admin section page. If that solved the issue, you have the options we outlined in step 7 above.