29 Apr, 2011

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The mysteriously disappearing WordPress 3.1 Admin Bar

Posted by: Jennifer In: WordPress|WordPress: Lessons Learned

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I've run into this problem a few times now and it always takes me a minute or two to remember what caused it and how to fix it. So first of all, if you have NEVER seen the admin bar, make sure you:
1) have it activated in your profile to show where you want it to (ie. viewing the site, the WordPress admin, or both).
2) Make sure both wp_head(); is in your header.php and wp_footer(); is in your footer.php

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Another possibility is that a plugin is misbehaving – so you can try disabling plugins – but before you do that – (if you have a lot of plugins certainly) try this next step first!

In my case the problem usually stems from the fact that I like to keep my WordPress files in their own directory, and then run the site itself in the root directory. However, if you view your site before you move it to the root diretory… the cookie that determines whether or not the admin bar should be displayed may have already been set – and it will be set to your WordPress directory – not the directory (or root) that your site is now living. The fix is simple: clear your cookies for your site, (which will effectively log you out too if you haven't logged out already) – log back in – and then it should be fixed.

4 Responses to "The mysteriously disappearing WordPress 3.1 Admin Bar"

1 | Polaraul

November 28th, 2011 at 5:08 am


Many thanks Jennifer.

I lost my admin bar when I placed my WP install in a subdirectory, and this very useful post was the fix.

2 | Silvio

February 15th, 2012 at 9:02 am


The wp_footer() was it!!!!!!! :D Thanks a lot!

3 | meeshking

March 29th, 2012 at 12:10 pm


I found a fix to this very problem… It seems that WordPress 3.3.1 has some kind of caching issue which I discovered when I researched what I thought was completely different issue. In addition to my toolbar disappearing, my passwords were also being lost every time I logged back into my admin, and was being forced to re-set my password each time. Once I fixed the password problem (by doing the following instructions), it resolved my other (toolbar visibility) issues too.

***I went to admin 'general settings' and added the www. to the WordPress Address (URL) and it fixed the problem in all three of my sites with all the same issues.*** Yay!

4 | Scott

October 18th, 2012 at 7:44 am


Just moved changed the site URL as WP's installed in a subfolder. Cookie clearance worked for me. Thanks!

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  • Scott: Just moved changed the site URL as WP's installed in a subfolder. Cookie clearance worked for me. Thanks!
  • Stephen Lareau: Hi great blog thanks. Just thought I would add that it helps to put target = like this:1-800-555-1212 and
  • Cord Blomquist: Jennifer, you may want to check out, a new service my company just launched that converts TypePad and Movable Type export files into WordPre