How to fix Joomla blank page on Joomla 3 and 4

One of the most frequently reported Joomla problems is that in one area or another of their website, we see a Joomla blank page or an empty page with no errors.

In this tutorial, we're going to show you how to recover from the White Screen of Death (WSOD) in Joomla site.

Find The Error

The first thing we need to do is find the error. Here are 4 options for finding that fatal error.

1. Change Error Reporting to Maximum

  • Try to log into your Joomla administrator area.
  • If you can get in, go to Global Configuration > Server > Error Reporting and set it to Maximum:
    Set error reporting on Joomla 3
    With Joomla 4, go to System > Global Configuration > Server > Error Reporting
    Set error reporting on Joomla 4
  • Change Error Reporting to Maximum
  • Now check the blank page to see if any errors are displayed.
  • If you can't access your site's administrator area, set this in your configuration.php file:
    public $error_reporting = 'development';


2. Edit Files in FTP or File Manager of your hosting

  • Log in to your Joomla site files via FTP or login to File Manager of your hosting panel.
  • Find your index.php file located in the root of your site.
  • Open the index.php and add this code directly after the very first line of the file:
    ini_set('display_errors', TRUE); error_reporting(E_ALL);


3. Edit PHP.ini file

The php.ini file is a most important file that controls many of your server's settings. If you don't know where it is, try contact with hosting/server providers.

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


4. Check Your Server Log

Check your server error log for any indication of what is causing the issue:

If you are not sure how to access this, you can contact your hosting provider.

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

Fixing the Joomla white screen error

When you have discovered what is causing the error message, it's time to analyze it. You will hopefully see errors that resemble those in the image below.

In these examples, the errors come from sh404SEF and from Xmap. Even if you don't understand the message, you know which extension is causing problems.

If the name of an extension can't be found, you might see an error message like the ones below. This may mean that there's a problem with the Joomla core files.

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

1. Fixing a problem with an extension

The quickest and most straightforward solution is to log in 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.

2. Fixing a problem with Joomla 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 server's FTP.

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

If you still can not fix the white screen of death with the solutions above, it's probably time to call in outside help:

  • You can contact the developer of this extension that is causing issues to see if there has been a recent bug fix or if it is a known issue.
  • You can search Google for the error message and see if anyone has a fix.
  • You can ask on the forums.
  • You can ask or hire a professional developer for help.


How to avoid this error

To avoid these types of errors, you should:

  • Check the compatibility of the Joomla version you are using with the current PHP and MySQL on your hosting/server. Some hosting/server providers will upgrade their PHP versions, and it may cause errors on your site. See details here:
  • Before upgrading Joomla or any extension, you need to check the compatibility between them. For example, this extension only supports Joomla 3.5, but because you upgraded Joomla to 3.7, it won't work.
  • Plugins belonging to the System group are extremely important, it can affect the entire website. Ask the developer carefully before installing them.

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