How to Fix The Joomla White Screen of Death

The Joomla white screen of death is simply Joomla security situation where your Joomla website returns a blank page with no error showing. This is usually related to a PHP error on your website. The traditional ways to address this problem is to conduct a security check, update your installation, update and secure your modules and plugins amongst other measures discussed below.


Further Reading:


It sometimes happen when you do a major website migration,  you do an update to your Joomla website, you have an extension installation error, when you do a  change to some code in your site or you wrongly installed an extension, and then you refresh your website and all you see is a blank white screen - the White Screen of Death.

Ordinarily, , you want to revert back to a previous state or even a previous version that worked well, you may also be considering undoing your most recent activity or simply restore a functional backup of your Joomla website This tutorial takes you through how to recover your Joomla website from the White Screen of Death (WSOD). These steps have been very useful to us in addressing WSOD problems and should work for you.

  1. Identify the Problem
  2.  Address Problems with extension? Disable the extension
  3.  Problems with the Joomla core? Reupload the core files
  4.  Seek help from your web host or template supplier


1. Identify the Problem


The trick to figure this one out is to realize that the blank page in Joomla is actually an error page where the error is being suppressed rather than displayed on the screen. So the first step towards solving the problem is to actually find out what that error is. To get a detailed report of the error, you'll need to try a few things:


Option #1. Change Error Reporting to Maximum from Joomla Backend

Try logging into your Joomla administrator area. If you can get in, go to Global Configuration > Error Reporting and set it to Maximum. Now check the frontend of your site to see if any errors will display. If that is successful, then resolve the issue found. Addressing the displayed error will fix the problem in most cases

If you can't access your site';s backend administrator area, then add this in your configuration.php file

public $error_reporting = development


Option #2. Edit Files in FTP

This is the other option to identify the error causing the WSOD. Access your Joomla files by logging in to your cPanel control panel section or via FTP. A good FTP software will be FileZilla. Find your index.php file located in the root of your site. Then open the index.php file and add this code directly after the very first line of the file

ini_set(display_errors; TRUE); error_reporting(E_ALL)

Option #3. Edit PHP.ini file

The other option to identify the problem will be to edit your PHP.ini file. The PHP.ini file is a vitally important file that controls many of your server's settings. If you don't know where it is, seek help from your web hosting provider. We recommend that you change these two settings:

Set Display error to On:

display_errors = On

Set error reporting:

error_reporting = E_ALL  ~E_NOTICE  ~E_STRICT

Also read: How to move a Joomla website from localhost to a live server and secure it

Option #4. Check Your Server Log

If all the options above do not help, then you can chec your server log for the problem causing your website to show a blank page.. Check your server error log for any indication of what is causing the issue.

If you are on localhost, you can usually find it in a directory called logs within the installation folder of your local server.

You should now be able to find the error message now. What next?

When you have discovered what is causing the error message, it's time to analyze it.

Even if you don't understand the message, the message will be able to tell you which extension is causing problems.

If the name of an extension can't be found, you might see an error message which will suggest that there's a problem with the Joomla core files.

What can you do now that you've identified the troublesome extension?


Option 5 Edit Conifiguration.php File

Go to root folder via FTP or Control panel and edit configuration.php

Find public $error_reporting = ‘none’;

and change to public $error_reporting = maximum’;

You will get the error report on the blank page.

If that doesn’t work for you,

Go to index.php and add the following line.


error_reporting( E_ALL );

You will now have an error report on the blank screen.


Further Reading:


2. Solution:: Problems with extension? Disable the extension


The quickest and easiest solution is to login to your site via FTP.

If the troublesome extension is a component, go to the /components/ folder and change the name of the extension folder. For example, change /com_sh404SEF/ to /com_sh404SEF_disabled/

You may also need to change the directory name within the component in the /administrator/components/ directory as well.


Further Reading:


3. Solution: Problems with the Joomla core? Reupload the core files

If you didn't install any extensions and you think it may be caused by the core Joomla files, try reinstalling all of Joomla core files. You can do this by downloading the latest version found on and overwriting all the directories to your servers FTP.

If you have access to the administrator area, you can also try Step 5 from this tutorial.


4. I still see a Joomla blank screen

If you still see a blank screen with no error showing, there might be other reasons why you are getting a blank screen in Joomla. One of these reasons is that there might be an empty index.html file in the directory which you are trying to access, possibly in the root directory. Typically, an empty index.html file is used to protect the contents of a directory from being accessed manually. This is because by default, the index.html file is displayed and since the file is actually empty, the user would just get a Joomla blank screen. So to solve your problem, check whether there is an empty index.html file in the folder which is being accessed, and temporarily rename it.
Thread carefully here, many folders are going to have an index.html. If this is solution does not work, don't forget to revert the index.html


Main Reasons why a Joomla fatar error is thrown


The following section will show a number of reasons why a fatal error can possibly have been thrown on your Joomla site, resulting in a white screen.

  1. Out of memory error - the most likely issue on most sites is that your Joomla has run out of memory. This usually happens when you are on shared hosting, and your host is limiting the amount of memory that it can use. We strongly suggest that you upgrade to a niche Joomla hosting server. See our full InMotion Hosting review here.


4. Try These Fixes


Fix 1: Go to plugins/system/remember/ and rename remember.php to _remember.php and refresh the website.

If that didn’t work, upload the previous backup file and refresh again.


Fix 2: Go to /public_html/plugins/user/joomla/ and rename joomla.php to  _joomla.php and refresh.

If that too doesn’t work, upload the previous backup file (joomla.php as well) and refresh again.

If all these methods failed, try the next one.


Fix 3: Go to configuration.php and edit public $cache_handler value as empty. Hope these work for you.


Further Reading:

You will also want to read :  Good Optimization Will Boost The Speed of Your Joomla Website


Still stuck? it's time to ask for help ...

If you can fix the white screen of death with solutions above, it's probably time to call in outside help: The Todhost customer support will be the first point to seek more help. You may also need to contact your Joomla template developer

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