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How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death

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How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death

If you have been using WordPress for a few years, then you have encountered the white screen of death at least once. The WordPress white screen of death is one of those extremely annoying problems like error establishing a database connection. The reason why this issue is frustrating for users is because it locks you out of your WordPress admin panel. Because there is no error output in most cases, you are left clueless to figure out what is the issue. The worst thing about white screen of death is that sometimes it will only affect a certain part of your site. For example, you may only see the white screen of death on your WordPress admin while everything else works fine. In other cases, you may only see it on a specific post whereas everything else runs just fine. In this article, we will show you how to fix the WordPress white screen of death by looking at a few possible solutions.

Note: Before you make any changes to your site, make sure you have sufficient backups.

Why do you get this error?

Majority of the time when you see a white screen of death, it means that you exhausted the memory limit. This could be caused by a plugin that you may be using that is not functioning properly. It could also be caused by a poorly coded theme that you are using. It could also mean that there is an issue with your web hosting server. Since the problem can be caused by any number of things, it may require a lot of troubleshooting.

Does the problem occur on your other sites?

If you have multiple sites, then the first thing you should do is to make sure that the white screen of death is happening across the board or just on this one domain. If the issue is with all of your sites, then it is a strong indicator that your web hosting provider is having some issues. However, if the issue is only with one of your sites, then this could be an issue with a plugin or theme that you are running. If the issue is only happening with a single post or page, then you know it is definitely a problem with your specific site.

Increasing the Memory Limit

Usually this issue happens because your memory is being exhausted. Use our tutorial on how to increase PHP memory in WordPress.

Disabling All Plugins

If increasing the memory limit did not help, or if you have a high memory limit like 256M or 512M, then you need to start troubleshooting. In our experience of troubleshooting this issue, we have always found that the issue is either with a specific plugin or a theme. Let’s go ahead and disable all the plugins.

Use these instructions on how to deactivate all WordPress plugins at once.

If this fixes the issue, then enable one plugin at a time to get to the bottom of the issue.

Replace Theme with a Default Theme

If the plugin troubleshooting doesn’t fix the issue, then you should try replacing your current theme with a default twenty ten theme. The best way to do this is by backing up your theme folder. Then deleting the theme. WordPress will automatically fall back to the default theme.

Alternatively, you can go in your phpMyAdmin and update the database tables in wp_options table. The following table names would have to be updated:

template, stylesheet, and current_theme. Change the value to twentyeleven.

If this fixes the issue, then you should look at your theme’s functions.php file. If there are extra spaces at the bottom, then you should consider fixing it. If you are using a poorly coded function in your theme’s functions.php file, then it can cause this as well.

Other Fixes

If none of the above fixes it, then you should try to re-install a fresh copy of WordPress. While it is unlikely, but it is always possible that a core file may have been corrupted.

You can also use the WordPress debug function to see what type of errors are being outputted. Add the following code in your wp-config.php file.

error_reporting(E_ALL); ini_set('display_errors', 1);

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true);

Once you add this, the blank screen will now have errors, warnings, and notices. These may be able to help you determine the root cause.

Sometimes, you may have access to the backend, but the front-end of the site has white screen of death. This can happen because of a caching plugin. Simply empty your cache.

If you have a white screen of death only on a very long post page, then you should also try to clearing cache. Another trick that we have found to work is increasing the recursion and backtrack limit. You can paste the following code in your wp-config.php file. Or in some servers you will be required to modify your PHP.INI file.

/** Trick for long posts */
ini_set('pcre.recursion_limit',20000000);
ini_set('pcre.backtrack_limit',10000000);

We understand that this is a very frustrating error, and we hope that one of the tricks above fixed the issue for you. What have you tried that seemed to work for you? If you found another solution to work, then please let us know. We would be happy to expand on this resource, so others do not have to waste as much time finding a solution.


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress lovers led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  • Nese

    Thank you so much. This post and this comment solved it for me.
    You’ve made my day.

  • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Staff

    You can use an FTP client to access files on your web server. Locate the file you edited earlier and undo the changes you made to it.

    You can also use the File Manager in your web hosting account’s cPanel dashboard.

  • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Staff

    You can use the File Manager from your cPanel account to edit the php file.

  • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Staff
  • Chris

    Thanks, both removing plugins and changing themes to default worked for me. but my prob is i can’t activate my plugins. it’ll just open another white screen of death. all plugins.

  • Kaveh

    Thank you so much
    Your instruction helped me fix my problem :)
    tnx again

  • bashar

    Thank you so much.. Problem is solve.
    Really loving wpbeginner.com

  • Tommy

    Hey all I had this problem too and found a solution. It seemed to happen from updating from 3.71 to 3.72.

    Ok so I tried the following:

    rename plugin folder
    delete theme
    change memory in config file
    report errors in config file

    I then saw the error:

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected $end in /home/public_html/wp-includes/cron.php on line 247

    I checked the cron.php and it looked like loads of the code was cut off because it endee with a comment. So I uploaded a new cron.php file from wordpress and it worked.

    I hope this may help others who have this issue.

    Thanks

  • vincent

    Hi, as simpler way is to manually disable all plugins via PhpMyAdmin http://perishablepress.com/quickly-disable-or-enable-all-wordpress-plugins-via-the-database/

  • Mike

    It’s the first time I write here. In my case, everything is blank, I can’t even log in with
    It is still under construction, so I just uploaded a new theme and all went blank.

    I know I have to revert the theme to the “twenty twelve”, but how? If I can’t even log in.

    any help?! THANK YOU

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      Connect to your website using an FTP client, go to /wp-content/themes/ directory and delete the theme you just uploaded. If your webhost offers cPanel, then you can use file manager in cPanel to delete the theme.

  • Jay Lawrence

    Here’s another way to get WSOD! My template, from Yoo Themes, generates a ‘cache’ directory. I accidentally filled the drive with this website causing a zero byte cache file.

    root@www:/var/www/wp-content/themes/yoo_vanilla_wp# ls -l cache/
    total 32
    -rw-r–r– 1 www-data root 25 Mar 13 16:41 index.php
    -rw-r–r– 1 www-data www-data 0 Mar 13 16:43 xml-9ae22c153220f9eda980e5ec3b598954.php

    Delete the “xml*.php” files in here after you’ve cleaned up your drive … back in business.

    That only took a couple hours of hunting – groan.

    • Ope

      Sorry i deleted the xml.php file but it still came back the moment i refreshed the wp-admin page. yet WSOD persist. Any help. am using a yoo theme too

  • Michelle

    I have this White Screen on my website, have tried EVERYTHING and nothing working. I cannot access my wordpress login or admin page. It is a new website, so I dont mind wiping it clean and starting again, but I have tried to upload a fresh install of wordpress 3 times and it keeps crashing dreamweaver. Is there any other way I can fix this?? Need help Please :(

  • Aamna

    I am a subscriber of your site and my client is also seeing the white screen of death
    I have used all the fixes but still no success
    What I fell is that I think my clients site’s wp-content has unnecessary folders like
    1- backups (files in this folder are ( .htaccess, .backup_running, database_arcproject_co_u.sql)
    2-cache
    3-uploads(it has many folders of images)
    Please tell me what should I do?
    Thanx

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      First make sure that your client has a backup. If they don’t have a backup then you need to create one now before you make any further changes.

      After that you can start deleting the unnecessary files from wp-contents folder. Try deactivating all plugins by renaming the wp-content/plugins folder to wp-content/plugins.old.

      • Aamna

        I have tried disabling the plugins but it didn’t worked.
        Anyways how can i take a backup of the site?

        • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

          In case you don’t have access to the admin area, you would first need to make a database backup manually. After that you would need to download all the files from the website, using an FTP client.

  • AJ

    One of the most common causes of whitescreen is white space at the beginning or end of a functions.php file or other php file. Often when cutting and pasting or simply editing code a line break gets in at the top or bottom and bam!!…

    Look before the tag at the bottom.

  • jd

    i did some testing and have uploaded a new theme to the server and have added no limit on the memory and reinstalled the wp to current one. and what i found out to be an issue is with the SQL data base.. when wp tells the SQL server that i have deleted or updated info it seems to keep everything even the deleted items.. NOw the big question what did i do to fix it. well i went to the data base and erased the whole thing and then renamed it back to the same one and went to my site and enter some basic info that showed up .. and BAMMM no white screen i went and turned on the theme and continued my adjustment and creation

  • Lea

    Hi,

    I took over a WP website for a client and I logged in once, updated the pluggins and since then, I can’t enter the Admin section of WP nor see the website. White screen of death indeed, for both.

    I have read in the comments part above that someone had the same issue, which you directed to the article “Locked out of WordPress admin area.” Unfortunately, in that article, you direct the person with a White screen of Death to the “How To fix the WorldPress White screen of death” article, which is this topic here.
    So… I am a beginner to WP and I am lost. + my client hasn’t had a website for the past 24 hours.
    I would really appreciate some help or re-direction to a tutorial/article that tell me how to actually access my admin page !

    Thanks a lot in advance.

    Lea

  • abdul aziz

    Brother !!!!!!!!!! Really Thank you, it was theme problem , can you suggest me how to fix this problem with same theme???

  • Abdul Azzi

    i have followed all steps……… but still having same error..

    please suggest me what i should have to do ???

  • Boby

    Hey, my WordPress page only can visit by me (admin), when i logout, the homepage is white screen. please help

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      Try switching to a default theme like twenty thirteen or twenty fourteen. If this does not solve your problem, then disable all installed plugins. Also update your permalinks.

  • Darlo

    Tried to update my blog today and had problems (was using WordPress app for android). Had considered it to be an app problem and reinstalled it before considering to actually check the site (something I should really have done in hindsight). As I have more than one blog hosted on the same site (the other being fine) I started to get panicky. After diving into a net-cafe I managed to find this trouble shooting guide and now I’m back online.

    Thank you.

  • Lark

    I’m working with the Roots theme. Turned on the computer and had a white page. Had no memory of what I had done a few weeks before. Replacing the custom theme with the default theme and then undoing changes to scripts.php and widgets.php worked for me. Wow, simple solution, but sometimes it’s quite hard to see simple troubleshooting through the panic… Thanks so much!

  • Claudia

    Great help. 1000 Thanks
    My issue resolved.

  • Ian

    Thank you. I thought I’d lost everything.

  • Cesar Pietri

    Thanks,
    It was a great help
    In my case solve rename the plugins folder.

  • Lois Wakeman

    Another cause that I just found (WSOD in site and backend) after upgrade.

    Manual upgrade via FTP was interrupted by a lost connection and somehow a file got missed.

    I used your helpful instructions to turn on debugging having ruled out themes and plugins as problems, which allowed me to trace the offending file and upload it. Voila!

  • soeb

    Thanx it was a great help..!
    In my case it was functions.php file.

  • Rhodon

    I had to activate the debug mode, and this is my error:
    Warning: require_once(ABSPATHwp-admin/includes/dashboard.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /var/www/domains/rhodon.nl/www/wp-admin/index.php on line 13 Fatal error: require_once(): Failed opening required ‘ABSPATHwp-admin/includes/dashboard.php’ (include_path=’.:/usr/share/php:/usr/share/pear’) in /var/www/domains/rhodon.nl/www/wp-admin/index.php on line 13
    How can I solve this?
    Rhodon

  • Junior

    I had to use the edit phpMyAdmin fix to finally get it to work. Editing the database is never fun but your clear instructions made it easy. THANKS!!!

  • Thomas

    It was the blank lines in functions.php

    Thanks so much!
    Finally read it in the comments.

    • JohnLionFlow

      Same here! Removed the blank lines in my theme’s functions.php file and it worked.

  • Christal

    I was able to get out of the “white screen of death” by changing my file name from plugins to plugins-temp, but then my site had reverted back to the old theme, and when I reverted to my new theme (which was installed about a month ago), all of my plugins and widgets were gone! It’s a very basic theme with all of the customizations gone! How do I recover all of this??

  • Niné

    THANKS A MILLION!!!!

  • Eric Gitonga

    I had to go into phpMyAdmin and into my MySQL database to drop all the wp-* tables created from a previous WordPress install before I could solve the White Screen of Death problem. It now works just fine.

  • Ilke

    Hi,
    I was very happy with your advice once about a year ago with a white screen on the entire front-page of a wp-website. Unfortunately, this time (and for another site) it doesn’t work so far.

    I extended the memory several times (I’m at 512M now) and changed the auto keys, that didn’t help. Now I renamed the plugins-folder to plugins.deactivated, and I get this error message:

    Fatal error: Cannot redeclare _1059195956() (previously declared in /public/sites/www.name.nl/wp-includes/version.php:9) in /public/sites/www.name.nl/wp-includes/version.php on line 9.

    Any idea what else I can try?
    Thanks for sharing all this useful information,
    Ilke

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      Try renaming your theme’s folder as well. After that you need to download WordPress and upload a fresh copy of themes folder to your site. WordPress will now fall back to default twenty thirteen theme. Let us know if it worked for you.

      • Ilke

        I did rename the current themes folder and uploaded a fresh themes folder from a new wp 3.7 download. Unfortunately, that gives me a white screen altogether on the front as well as the back office and I still receive the same error-message.

        With debug set to true in wp-config I got
        Notice: WP_User->id was called with an argument that is deprecated since version 2.1
        and a few other deprecated notices as well as a notice that wp_enqueue_script and wp_enqueue_style was called incorrectly, which both refer to the functions.php

        This is really starting to worry me. Do you happen to have some other advice still?

        Best,
        Ilke

      • Ilke

        I also tried renaming the plugins-folder and uploading a fresh one. And I cleared the cache. Still I get the same error-message. Since (with debug set to true on wp-config) I get Notice: undifined index-messages concerning two plugins, should I delete those?

  • Puja singh

    Hi, I am facing the same blank page problem for my site . I tried most of the mention step
    Disable all plugin
    Activate the default theme.
    increase the memory limit to 128 MB.

    but no luck, any help will we appreciated.

  • suneel

    Life saving tutorial…

    Thank u very much

  • Justin

    Thank you. I seem to get it when I’ve been making lots of updates to my site, then I get locked out and have to wait. A memory issue would make sense. Time to clean out a bunch of unused plugins.

  • Michael Lambertz

    Another reason can be false permissions… I tried to copy a wordpress directore via unix command cp -R, and after that all copied files weren’t in the group www-data. chgrp www-data wordpress_dir/ -R did it for me ;-)

  • Jacob Worsøe

    I have periodically white screens on both frontend and backend. The white screens occur in a completely random pattern. Are the recommendations the same in my situation or do they only apply to more permanent issues?

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      Yes. It seems like you’re site is running out of memory because of a process that’s being ran. So the process is the same.

  • Hossein

    thank you soooooooooo much, my problem solved, it was because of blank lines in my functions.php

  • LC

    I can’t even enter the Admin section of WP. I get the blank page. What should I do?

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      Read the article.

      • maria

        it does not say how to get into your admin if you are blanked. out

  • Rosie

    Thanks, this was useful. I had the white screen on the live site, but WP admin was fine. I use WP Super Cache and I cleared the cache with no effect, then deactivated all plugins, and when I’d tried everything else I suddenly thought of the expired cached pages.

    If you use WP Super Cache you have to delete the expired cache too. That worked right away. Then I set my garbage collection (on the Advanced tab) to hourly instead of daily, to try to prevent it happening again.

    • Tom B.

      Hello .. thought I might add 2cents,

      I’m using WP Super Cache too and often crashed to White Screen. Looked at the wp-config.php file and found they were putting their instructions above the SQL allocation in the script, so I moved them down and added the ‘default Memory Limit’ tweak and now my site http://webinardatabase.com/ smokes!

      REF:
      First save a unmodified copy of wp-config.php to your HD.

      Open your wp-config.php, which is located in the root WordPress directory.

      Locate the WP Super Cache code (their code is obvious –three lines- the fourth is a duplicate, but I left it), and move them down (I put mine above the SALTS).

      Then add the following line: define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);
      Just BEFORE the super cache, seemed logical.

      And save, check performance.

      IDK, I think this is a bug. Made no sense to be allocating cache before opening the SQL database.

      Worked for me. Prost! — Thanks Wpbeginner.com

      PS: Just noticed the post below, WP Super Cache requires permalinks be set to post name, this error appeared on a fresh install. 2 more cents.

      • Tom B.

        Follow-up.

        Had to kick WP Super Cache to the curb.. too buggy.. Gone with W3 Total Cache.

        Lone Watie: We thought about it for a long time, “Endeavor to persevere.” And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.

        Union = WP, really is this the answer?!

        • Tom B.

          Ps: Once the plugin is deleted, return to wp-config and manually remove WPSC lines.

          Really, no, really!?!

      • Glenn “TheeMahn” Cady

        Tom, I would like to personally extend a much deserved thanks.

        My wpconfig had define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’); after supercache, moving it above has closed my “White screen of death issue.” I had been refreshing for months. The site now seems fairly snappy.

        Thanks again Tom,

        TheeMahn

  • Jacobus

    Personally I haven’t had this problem, yet, I have the problem that I have to reset my permalinks all the time because of endless redirects. Drives me crazy. Every time I publish a new post on my blog I have to set the permalinks back to standard and then back to post name. Do you know if this is host related or plugin related?

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      IT definitely sounds like a plugin issue.

  • Manish Anand

    Yep, turning on Debug option helped. It was incomplete uploading of query.php file.

    Thanks

  • Joel Andrew Glovier

    Here’s another suggestion when none of the above works, try flushing your rewrite rules cache.

    I had a single page on my site returning as a blank page, and tried almost every solution above, as well as some other things (like installing Debug Bar plugin, etc) to no avail.

    I was able to narrow it down to what I assumed to be a premalink issue, however, since the page had been working before, and stopped working; and also because even when I used a different page template it still was not working properly (I had prior to that assumed to had to do with my custom wp_query in that page template).

    So I started investigating the WordPress rewrite system, and came to find out WordPress keeps a cache of all the custom page slugs and rewrite rules. (more about that here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Rewrite_API/flush_rules and here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/WP_Rewrite)

    I also found that this method is used to flush the rewrite cache: $wp_rewrite->flush_rules();

    So I tried just adding it to the second line in my functions.php file, and after one page refresh the page contents showed up again.

    IMPORTANT: make sure to remove the method after using it once, as there are some costly performance hits associated with leaving that code in your file. You should only need to use it once to resolve the issue, however.

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      Saving the permalinks settings again will also flush the rewrite rules from our understanding. Thanks for the suggestion about this :)

      • Joel Andrew Glovier

        Yeah, but that didn’t work in my case. In fact, normally you don’t even have to save the Permalink settings page, just visit it. But in my case that neither visiting, nor saving, nor chaning to another setting and changing back worked.

        But actually I discovered it was something much more obscure, and the flushing was only a temporary band-aid.

        Turns out I had a conflict between a page with the title/slug of “team” and a custom post-type with the rewrite slug of “team”. The custom post type ended up winning out, except when I put the rules flush in place, in which case it stopped it from winning out.

        But the real reason I was getting the white screen was because when the custom-post type slug was winning out, it was defaulting to rendering the page with the archive.php file, which I had created (as my theme is from scratch), but not put any markup in yet. The file was completely blank, hence my white screen.

        Womp womp womp wanhhhhh.

        • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

          Yup that would do it. We learnt that the hard way by looking at one of our user’s themes.

  • Jonath Lee

    Whenever you’re testing themes or plugins, always leave a tab for “Themes”. In case of WSOD, you may still able to activate the default twenty eleven themes.

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      That doesn’t work if your admin is also locked. The next screen will just return a white screen of death too.

      • Jonath Lee

        It could? May be I haven’t reach the Admin Lock level so, I guess we should leave the tab for the phpmyadmin page instead +_+

  • Johnny

    Damn! Just seen the section in the article about the functions.php file – oops! Oh well it will teach me not to read so quickly!

  • Johnny

    Another ‘gotcha’ is whitespace below the closing ?> in your functions.php file. I got this once a while back and deleting the whitespace below it solved the problem. This can also cause a white screen after hitting the publish button as well.