WordPress and “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.”

W LOGOUPDATE: It’s amazing the number of hits this page gets, where people get this (or a very similar) error and this has helped them. I’m very glad this helped, but I just want to add, this page is more than 3 years old now and although the logic is simple here, remember it is old and “things” may change (eg, plugin folder name, or how plugins are managed to name just two). I hope this helps you. Good luck

Years ago I hand-coded my first website, and sometimes I still do the odd bit of dabbling like that. But these days there are so many great content management systems (CMS) out there, that really, why bother. I use to use Druple, and I have nothing against that, but a while back now I migrated to WordPress…. All was fine until…

The other day I upgraded using their backend and I lost all permissions. Any guest could use the site as normal, there were no problems there, but I couldn’t login. It took a few days searching on the web (without luck) and eventually, I jumped back into cpanel, and phpmyadmin and started digging.

The solution was a lot simpler than what I hadĀ envisioned.

During the update process, one of the plugins caused havoc in the backend, and when trying to display the dashboard, the plugin was breaking privileges. First I had to work out, which plugin it was, and if in fact if it was a plugin that was the cause. As it turned out, it was, and this is how I found it:

1. created a new folder called “old_plugins” *
2. moved all the plugins from the “plugins” folder to the “old_plugins folder” *
3. logged in – sweet – I was allowed and all appears good
4. visit the plugins page (you will get a warning that your plugins have been deactivated since they can’t be found.
5. put the plugins back into their original directory *
6. reactivate each plugin until you find the faulty one. For me it was a google reader plugin for the dashboard, which I never used anyway – so it’s now gone!

Once you find the faulty plugin, you’ll get the permission error again, simply go back to your ftp or file manager (I just used cpanel) and move the faulty plugin out…

* You could probably have just renamed the plugins folder, visited the plugins page, re-renamed the plugins folder, and gone through the reactivation process that way, this is just the way I did it.

also (cross)-posted at wordpress.dav3.net