How to Fix a Missing Admin Bar in WordPress

When you log into your WordPress site’s back-end, you will see a floating bar in every page that you go to. That’s the admin bar – and it’s useful to the webmaster as it carries a lot of shortcuts in managing a website.

If you are always using the Admin bar and one day find that it’s missing, don’t panic. Read below to find the solution as to how to fix the missing Admin bar problem.

Most Common Causes of a Missing Admin Bar in WP

These are two of the most common causes of missing Admin bar issues:

  1. Plugin Problem – one of your activated plugins is not compatible with your current theme.
  2. Theme Problem – your chosen theme has code issues.

The above items will not allow WordPress to execute a proper coding system (to allow for the appearance of a floating Admin bar) if they are not properly coded themselves. Since this code is found in the footer area of your WordPress, you need to manually enter a code as a footer function so as to activate the floating Admin bar.

This is the code we’re talking about:

<!-- <?php wp_footer(); ?> -->

Note that your floating Admin bar will disappear if the above footer code is missing from your WordPress theme or messed up by a plugin.

Fixing the Missing Admin Bar Issue in WordPress

Before we go any further, please note that you should back up your WordPress themes and files before tinkering on the technical side of the platform. Making small mistakes with the codes can cause greater problems than a missing floating Admin bar, you know.

When you’re all set (and everything is backed up) look for this in the WordPress themes footer.php file:

<!-- <?php wp_footer(); ?> -->

The above code should be found before the </body> code.

If the wp footer code is not found in the footer.php area, you can fix the issue by using the control panel of your website’s account. Likewise, you can also use an FTP client (e.g. FileZilla) to connect to your website’s back-end.

At this point, look for the wp-content/theme folder of your current theme. You then need to download said theme folder on your computer.

Now, open this folder and find the footer.php file. When you find it, scroll down to the bottom of the codes and look for the wp_footer we mentioned above. You should see this:

<!-- <?php wp_footer(); ?> -->

Keep in mind that it’s located before the </body> code.

If you can’t find said footer code, add it before the </body> code and save the file. You then need to upload the revised file back to your website’s server.

The above actions should solve the problem of missing Admin bar in your WordPress site.

Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks

If the above section did not solve your missing Admin bar problem, try the following:

  1. Use your site’s default theme – If you changed your website’s default theme, you need to make sure that said action is not causing the missing Admin bar issue. It is for this reason why you need to switch back to your site’s original theme and see if the problem of missing Admin bar is still there. If it didn’t solve the problem, then it only means that your theme is not the one causing the problem. However, if changing back to your old theme solves the problem, that means that the missing Admin bar issue is indeed caused by a particular theme.
  2. Poorly coded plugin – Plugins that are not properly coded can cause a lot of problems on a website. Fortunately, it’s easy to locate a dysfunctional plugin. Simply deactivate all the plugins that you’re using and reactivate them one by one. Do this until you find the plugin that’s causing the problem.
  3. Use the Debug function – You can turn on the debug function by opening the wp-admin.php folder. You can then change the code from this:
define('WP_DEBUG', false); 

to this:

define('WP_DEBUG', true); 

The above actions will allow WordPress to unhide previously hidden warnings regarding your site. Said warnings will give you an idea as to what may be causing the missing Admin bar issue.

We hope that the above solutions to the WordPress missing floating Admin bar issue will work for your site. We’ll appreciate any feedback from you. Good luck!