Fix WordPress Issue, “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page”

If you are a regular WordPress user, then you are likely to encounter various kinds of errors and problems at some point. Sometimes even if you are the admin of your WordPress site, you may not get access to certain portion of dashboard. You may even be denied access to entire dashboard when trying to log in via /wp-admin/. In this case you will get a white screen displaying the message “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page”. There are many possible causes of this problem. The solution for one user may not work for someone else. In this article we will show you various troubleshooting actions to show you how to fix WordPress issue sorry, you are not allowed to access this page.

How to Fix WordPress Issue Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page

How to Fix WordPress Issue “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page”

Before you perform any action make sure you are allowed to access the page that you are trying to view. Once you are sure that it is not the permission issue but a real problem caused by WordPress then you can perform the following troubleshooting methods.

It is better to be safe than sorry. So start by backing up your full website. You can find many articles on our website to show you how to safely back up your website. For manually backing up here is an article “How to Backup WordPress Manually and Automatically.”

Troubleshooting the plugins.

The most probable cause of this problem is your plugins, Try manually deactivating all plugins. If you can log in to admin dashboard then you can easily deactivate plugins from the dashboard. But in this case, you may not have access to the dashboard so you need to try manual resetting of your plugins. You can use phpMyAdmin or FTP to deactivate plugins.

Using FTP to Deactivate plugins by accessing  files of your site

There are two ways to get access to files on your site and changing them.

  1. You can use the file manager provided in your host’s control panel. Some popular file managers are cPanel and Plesk.
  2. By using an FTP or SFTP client. For window users, you can use FileZilla and for Mac users, you can try Cyberduck

Once you have access to your websites file via FTP or your host’s file manager, perform the following steps.

  1. Navigate to the wp-contents folder (directory)
  2. Via FTP or your host’s file manager, rename the folder “plugins” to “plugins-old”.
  3. If the problem went away then you know one of the plugins were the cause.
  4. Rename “plugins-old” back to “plugins”.
  5. Now you can individually rename each of your plugins in the plugins folder one at a time to find the particular faulty plugin. You can also download entirely new sets of plugins if possible.

Using PhpMyAdmin to Deactivate plugins 

PhpMyAdmin gives you the ability to interact with MySQL database. Your host control panel will have phpMyAdmin pre-installed. You can easily select the phpMyAdmin icon from the database group of your cPanel. In the rare case where you don’t have phpMyAdmin, you can download it yourself from the phpMyAdmin project page.

As with power comes responsibility. Although phpMyAdmin gives you the power to directly edit things in the database, it can be dangerous sometimes. There is no undo button in the database. So be really careful while working with the database.

Inside phpMyAdmin select the database where your WordPress is installed. In my case the name of the database is mustbeweb. Select the table wp_options.

Also Read:   How to Fix Parse Error: Syntax Error in WordPress

Under the option_name column (field) find the active_plugins row.

Now change the option_value field to: a:0:{} as shown in image.

Once you have done this, all of your plugins should have been deactivated. Now if the problem is fixed. If the problem is solved we know that one of your plugin that you deactivated was causing this problem. Now reactivate each one individually and check the problem until you find the particular plugin which is causing the problem. Once you find plugin replace it with the newer version or with another similar plugin.

Troubleshooting the Catching or Performance Plugins

If you have used any kinds of caching or performance plugins then you can start troubleshooting from there. Make sure you clear any caching and deactivate any caching or performance plugins. This also includes server caching software like Varnish and hosted solutions such as CDNs such as CloudFlare. If you don’t have access to the dashboard then you can use FTP or your host’s file manager to deactivate the plugins. Also after any changes, you make in the steps below, clear your browser cache.

Troubleshooting the Themes

The next place which might be causing the problem is the themes. You need to access your server via FTP or you can also open the file manager in your hosting account. Now navigate to /wp-content/themes/. Then rename the folder of your currently active theme. This will force the default theme to activate. Now check if the problem is gone. If you find the problem is gone then you know that the particular theme was causing the problem. You can replace the corrupt theme to solve the issue.

Some Advance Steps You Can Perform.

Once the problem went away you can also enable ‘WP_Debug’ and check the debug log for error messages. If none of these steps resolved your issue, then there is the chance that the problem is with the settings. First, export your settings so you can restore them after testing. Now try resetting your settings to the defaults and see if that fixes the problem.

We hope this article on how to fix WordPress issue sorry, you are not allowed to access this page was useful in solving your issue. You can also check our other article “Fix Error Establishing Database Connection in WordPress”.

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Kantiman Bajracharya

Kantiman Bajracharya is a freelance web developer. He is a computer geek who has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. He has earned lots of satisfied customers while working for numerous successful projects. He is also a WordPress theme creator and web article writer. On free time he likes reading philosophy books, traveling and playing chess.

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