Video Tutorial

Recover from the WordPress White Screen of Death

Today I’ve got a short video that will help you recover from the horrible white screen of death with your WordPress website.

If you’ve been using a self-hosted WordPress website for sometime, you might have experienced this, and if you haven’t, eventually you will. The White Screen of Death can be caused by two different reasons. One is that you recently added some code in the editor that is causing an error or a plugin you recently upgraded could not be compatible with your version of WordPress.

In this video, I will show you how to recover your site, when you no longer have access to your dashboard.

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    • King's Road Reply

      Ok, I've got the White Screen of Death stopping me getting into the admin area after trying to update to WordPress 3.1. Thing is, I don't know what the error is – any ideas on how I can identify the error in order to fix it?

      Feb 28, 2011
      • dhartzler10 Reply

        My initial assumption is that one of the plugins is not compatible with the new version of WordPress. I recommend renaming all the plugin folders and you should be able to get back to the dashboard. Then one by one, start naming them back and after each one, refresh the dashboard. Once it breaks, you know which one is the problem and rename it again.

        If you need more specific information, let me know, I'd be glad to help.


        Mar 2, 2011
    • Margs Reply

      Thank you so much for a simple yet effective solution. I couldn’t access my plugins and I had a fair idea which plugin was causing the problem I just didn’t know how to go about fixing it. However, after watching your video I went straight in to my cpanel, straight to the plugin and did exactly what you said. Voila… Problem solved! So nice to be able to update my plugins. Thanks a million!

      Oct 16, 2011
      • Dustin Hartzler Reply

        Glad it worked! I was frustrated for hours one day, so I thought I would share the tip so everyone else didn’t have to waste their time too!

        Oct 31, 2011
    • Chichi Reply

      I know i played with my functions too. But what if you don’t remember the exact function error that u did? is there a way to simply undo

      Dec 28, 2011
      • Dustin Hartzler Reply

        The easiest way is to redownload the theme file and restore the functions.php file. That will get your site back up and running, then you can troubleshoot what caused it to break!

        Jan 2, 2012
    • texarun Reply

      Thanks Dustin, you are great! I just had this white screen issue and after finding your site I could correct the error that I made when customizing my custom_functions.php file. I am grateful
      Arun Chattopadhyay

      Apr 26, 2012
      • dhartzler10 Reply

         @texarun I’m so glad this helped! That’s exactly why I created it 🙂

        Apr 26, 2012
    • TradeOnlineCa Reply

      Thank you very much.  I was able to recover from the white screen.  A recent update of WordPress SEO 1.2.8 caused my problem.  Thanks again for the excellent video.

      Aug 30, 2012
    • DimitarDachkinov Reply

      I had the WhiteScreanOfDead for 2 hours. Finally solved the problem by removing the white space above the <?php code. It is very important NOT to change any of the WP files OR if you decide to do that like I DID, remember what did you change before – for example I was plaing with wrappers.php – located in your theme/library and forgot to delete 3 lines of white space…That saved my life!Thank you ALL for your help

      Dec 5, 2012
      • dhartzler10 Reply

        @DimitarDachkinov White space will break things too! I’m glad this helped 🙂

        Dec 5, 2012
    • JKooi Reply

      Hello, thanks for posting the video, I’m new to WordPress, and have the 3.8 version.  I haven’t done anything in the programming or coding section, that’s beyond my abilities.  I’m able to get into the dashboard, but every time I make a change or update, it takes me to the white screen.  There’s no error messages and the changes all seem to have worked, but I always have to open up WordPress again to make the next change.  I’ve tried deactivating all the plugins, but still got the white screen.  The theme is new, but I had the problem before I installed that.  Any advice is certainly appreciated.  Thanks.  Jeff

      Jan 18, 2014
    • dhartzler10 Reply

      JKooi  hmm, that’s weird….have you checked with your hosting company? Did WordPress ever work normally?

      Jan 18, 2014
    • JKooi Reply

      Thanks for the quick reply.  I haven’t checked with the hosting company yet.  I found out early that although their customer service is quick to respond, their troubleshooting is very weak.  I did go into their error log and it didn’t have anything in it.  I’ll probably have to give it a shot though.  To answer the other question, yes it worked normally.  This happened a couple weeks ago, and I was hoping it was a plugin update, and they would fix the plugin with a new update.  Reading about how others couldn’t even log in, I was hoping it’d be an easy fix. At least im lucky in that I’m not completely locked out.  Thanks Again.  Jeff

      Jan 18, 2014

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