How to Fix Missing Admin Bar Issue in WordPress

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Recently, one of our users reported that they are missing the admin bar on their WordPress site, and asked for our help. The admin bar is a floating bar that appears on every page of your site when you are logged in. It contains some useful shortcuts to different sections of the WordPress admin area. In this article, we will show you how to fix the missing admin bar issue in WordPress.

Normal and Missing Admin Bar Examples

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Why Missing Admin Bar Issue Occur?

Usually this happens when a plugin or an active theme is not allowing WordPress to properly execute the code in the footer area of your website. This code is triggered with the function <?php wp_footer(); ?>.

When a theme is missing this code, or a plugin does something that messes it up, then you will end up with a missing WordPress admin bar issue.

Fixing the Missing Admin Bar

The most common culprit causing this problem is a missing <?php wp_footer(); ?> line in your theme. This function is usually found in a theme’s footer.php file just before the </body> tag.

Before you do anything to fix it, make sure you create complete WordPress backup or at least backup your theme files.

Connect to your website using an FTP program like Filezilla, or use the File Manager in your web hosting account’s cPanel dashboard.

Next, go to your theme folder which is located inside /wp-content/theme/ folder and download a copy of your theme’s folder to your Desktop as backup.

You would need to locate the footer.php file inside your theme folder and scroll down to the end of the file to see if you have <?php wp_footer(); ?> line before the </body> tag.

If you do not have this line, then you need to add it and then upload the changed file back to your server.

If you are using a child theme and your child theme does not have a footer.php file, then you need to check the parent theme’s footer.php file to locate the wp_footer function.

If adding the wp_footer() function to your theme does not solve the missing admin bar issue for you, then don’t worry there are other things you can do to troubleshoot this error.

Troubleshooting

Temporarily switch back to a default theme. Sometimes you may see wp_footer function in your theme files, but the admin bar still might not work. In this case, you need to switch to a default theme to make sure that your current theme is not causing this issue.

A poorly coded plugin can cause this error as well, so to check if a plugin has caused this issue, you need to deactivate all plugins on your WordPress site. If this resolves your problem, then this means that there was a plugin that caused this issue.

Now you need to figure out which plugin caused this issue. You can do this by reactivating your plugins one by one until you find the plugin that caused the issue.

Lastly, you can turn the debugging on by opening wp-config.php file and changing define('WP_DEBUG', false); to define('WP_DEBUG', true);. WordPress will now show you warnings and notices that were previously hidden. These warnings and notices can hint towards the file causing this issue.

That’s all, we hope this article helped you fix missing admin bar issue in WordPress. You may also want to check out our guide What everybody ought to know about the WordPress admin bar.

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