[SOLVED]Cannot login to Joomla backend as admin

February 11th, 2009 by Andrea Matesi 92500 Views
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Recently, I've experienced a whole load of problems related to Joomla.

To vent some frustration, I'm gonna post some general info and experiences, useful to troubleshoot possible joomla problems, especially when it comes to issues affecting your ability to login to your administrator's backend (I know how it feels, just free your mind: computers are just numbers and circuits).

This post wouldn't exist without the suggestions and feedback received from the official joomla! forum and the official joomla! italian community (thanks - you know who you are).

See http://forum.joomla.it/index.php/topic,56790.0.html and http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=431&t=262426 for my sources of inspiration.


The first thing I feel to suggest you is to open and check the content of your configuration.php and .htaccess files on your site's root.

  • It is important for configuration.php not to contain any blank lines.
  • Also - Check configuration.php in respect to the Linux/UNIX text file conventions.

On Windows, text file "lines" are terminated with a "CRLF" while on Linux/UNIX, those text file lines are terminated with just a "LF" (for a tutorial on what that means, check here: http://usertools.plus.net/tutorials/id/22).

  • The .htaccess file may contain blank lines.
    Just make sure that, if any blank lines are found within the .htaccess file, they follow the 'foretold Linux/UNIX text file conventions (as said, Linux lines have to be ended by LFs), so please ensure there are no hidden CRLF (ie. after the rules declarations).
  • (Once you're on the .htaccess file): check and make sure the .htaccess file rules are correct (re-read them and search until they "start making sense").
    In case of doubt, you may restore the original htaccess.txt from a vanilla (original, untouched) Joomla! build.

From my personal experience, those checks helped me solve my "admin loop, cannot login problem".

An obvious way to avoid this messy "CRLF vs LF" kind of problems is to become a "Linux power user" - If you were working on your Joomla! site while on Ubuntu, the above problems wouldn't have occurred in the first place (admittedly, I was mucking around my Joomla! site with my "powerful" Vista64(!) gaming rig).

But I am digressing - you might as well just use a nerdy text editor such as gVIM on your Windows PC.

Uhm..not fixed yet?!

Another useful thing to check is to make sure you have the right PHP version, so:

  • Ensure your host is serving you at least PHP 5 (since Joomla! was created with PHP 5).

How do you find out if you have PHP5 (if you can't even access the admin backend)?


  1. One way could be to upload to your site's root the uncompressed file JTSPOST (obtainable from: http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/jts/frs/), [UPDATE-2017] "fpa-en.php" (aka "Forum Post Assistant" - get it from https://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=432&t=586336).
    1. Download, uncompress & upload "fpa-en.php" to your site's root.
    2. Browse to the corresponding address of the uploaded file's name (ie. www.yoursite.com/fpa-en.php).
      Once you browse to "fpa-en.php", you'll get some useful info about Joomla! and your hosting web server features, including what PHP version your web server is running.
    3. If you happen to fix your issue, please remember to remove JTSPOST "fpa-en.php" (the Forum Post Assistant) from your www server's root - if you forget it there, you may disclose potential security information.
  2. Another way to find out what PHP version your host is running is through cPanel or some other web hosting console - just login to your hosting console and I guess you'll be able to find your PHP version there.
  3. Ultimately, you may ask to your hosting provider - find a way to get in touch with them and ask!

Once you've clarified what stuff is running on your web server, you may then check the Joomla! official forums, and possibly refer to them for other specific problems and related suggestions.

A personal experience.

For the sake of completeness, I will now report my forum experiences below (note that I edited some parts for additional clarity):

Suggestion n.1)

  1. edited the file administrator/components/com_login/admin.login.php to comment out line 69 (//LoginController::display() )
  2. browsed to the login page.
  3. [tried to login] and got an 'Invalid token' message.
  4. Reedited the [administrator/components/com_login/]admin.login.php file to remove my comment at line 69.
  5. Refreshed the login page in my browser and got the normal login form.
  6. Logged in [successfully].

Try this and if it doesn't work, then:

Suggestion n.2) [user inoxfire]

  1. edit file administrator/components/com_login/admin.login.php [to comment out line 57, // JRequest::checkToken('request') or jexit( 'Invalid Token' );]
  2. browsed to the login page.
  3. [tried to login] and got an 'Invalid token' message.
  4. Reedited the [administrator/components/com_login/]admin.login.php file to remove my comment at line 57.
  5. Refreshed the login page in my browser and got the normal login form.

Try this and if it doesn't work, then:

Suggestion n.3)

  1. Log into phpMyAdmin and navigate to the jos_plugins table.
  2. Look for the "User - Joomla!".
  3. Ensure that it is published as mine was not (set published to 1 just in case).
  4. [Look for] in row "Authentication - Joomla"
  5. Ensure that it is published as mine was not (set published to 1 just in case).

Try this and if it doesn't work, then:

Suggestion n.4)
  1. first check your Super Admin status:
    [Open PHPmyAdmin] in the "jos_users" table set SuperAdmin to:
    - field "id" - value "62"
    - field "gid" - value "25" or "26".
  2. in the "jos_core_acl_aro" table find row for "62":
    - field "id" - write this down (should be 10 normally) - this is the "aro_id".
  3. in the "jos_core_acl_groups_aro_map" table find row for "aro_id" = 10
    - "group_id" should be "25" or "26".
[UPDATE-2016] Above Suggestions applicable to 1.5.X releases of Joomla, untested on Newer 2.5.X+ or 3.X releases of Joomla.


If for some reason you now need to reset your Joomla! admin password straight from the database, you may do so by proceeding as follows:

  1. Open PHPmyAdmin.
  2. Access your joomla DB and goto table jos_users (or "_users" more recently).
  3. Modify the "admin"-row and set its password code to this string of numbers: 21232f297a57a5a743894a0e4a801fc3 (copy-paste as-is, this string of numbers is the equivalent "hashed" version of password = 'admin').
    (On Newer 2.5.X+ or 3.X Joomla, the new "password = admin" string is 433903e0a9d6a712e00251e44d29bf87:UJ0b9J5fufL3FKfCc0TLsYJBh2PFULvT).
  4. After successfully logging-in, make sure you change (update) your "admin" password (otherwise if you leave your password as "admin", your site might get hacked!).

(for further explanations of the above hack, please also refer to this post over here: http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?t=10985 and, more recently, also here: https://docs.joomla.org/How_do_you_recover_or_reset_your_admin_password%3F).

Hope above info is useful to everyone, and wish you enjoy your "adrenaline kick" after fixing this issue.

[UPDATE 2012] Now that comments are closed, if the above info helped you in any way, please support this website's hosting costs by clicking on the ads.

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[SOLVED]Cannot login to Joomla backend as admin
5 (100%) 1 vote

Posted in Joomla, WEB | 123 Comments »

123 responses to “[SOLVED]Cannot login to Joomla backend as admin”

  1. kiwiblueNo Gravatar says:

    If you are on Joomla 1.7 then here's my research and solution:
    1. The admin doesn't works when you accidently disables the plugins related to user authentication or login.
    2. Joomla 1.7 doesn't have jos_users table, and instead it stores all plugins in jos_extensions table
    1. Go to jos_extensions table and look for plugins like plg_authentication_joomla, plg_authentication_ldap, com_login and com_users.
    2. Once you find them then make sure they are enabled in jos_extensions table.
    3. Update the enabled column from '0' to '1' for all above columns (plugins) in jos_extensions table, and make sure you hit the 'Go' button to save the updates to database.
    4. Voila, and you are now back to the login admin form.
    The post was helpful to me since it gave me enough pointers to find the exact root cause. However the original solution of this post was for Joomla 1.5 and I had to dig in for Jooma1.7 and managed to fix my problem.

    Thanks everyone for sharing and good luck!

  2. LukeNo Gravatar says:

    KiwiBlue, how do I find jos_extensions - where???  I realised I accidently disabled authentication (i think it was that one) so now I can't log in...... :(

  3. GeneNo Gravatar says:

    KiwiBlue, You saved me.... thanks for this little powerfull tutorial ! worked for me!

  4. kiwiblueNo Gravatar says:

    @Luke - you can find jos_extensions table by going through phpAdmin. Depending on what you have setup in your database, the table prefix may be different than 'jos_'. For example if you've setup as 'xyz' as your DB prefix then you should look into xyz_extensions table.

  5. ErikNo Gravatar says:

    I have tried all the very nice suggestions, but I still have the refreshing log in page every time I try to log in :-(
    Any suggestions?

  6. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    We're suddenly finding problems logging in to Admin using Firefox 6 . . . no Joomla installation will login correctly now in Admin.
    Works fine in all other browsers so it's not a Joomla problem.

    Any thoughts?

  7. LanaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi there, I am urgently in need of your assistance please. I can't access my admin page as in when i type<sitename>/administrator i am just getting a blank page the same thing happens when I use administrator/index.php.  Can anyone help me please. I am also unable to access the cpanel

  8. AjithNo Gravatar says:

    We've tried all the steps described above and stlll gettting the refreshed login page everytime. Please help!!

  9. VemethNo Gravatar says:

    look to your config ... public $cookie_domain = ''; 

  10. galtconNo Gravatar says:

    thank you
    It has worked for me. I have disabled the plugins accidentally while trying to remove unwanted joomla contents. I enabled the most important log in and i can now log in in the admin page. after almost 24 hours search
    very usefull

  11. @kiwiblue: everything you posted is dead on, but you forgot to include one more flag to check at phpMyadmin. 

    the flag is plg_user_joomla and should be 1 on enabled as well.

    Easiest thing to do, is go jos_extensions on the left menu, select search from the top, and type in the search for all enabled = 0 

    check to see that you either don't see them in your search result, or if you do change enabled to 1 on these records:
    plg_authentication_joomla, plg_user_joomla, plg_authentication_ldap, com_login and com_users
    Voila, you should be able to log in now!

  12. JmarckNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks a lot.. suggestion n.3 worked for me..It really save my time..

  13. AnilNo Gravatar says:

    Super good one, Thank You

  14. JosephNo Gravatar says:

    thanks so much for updating this for joomla 1.7!!! I was just able to login after following your instructions.

  15. chapstoutNo Gravatar says:

    All these need to be enabled
    Thank you all for your help...

  16. AjayNo Gravatar says:

    i'm also not able to access my joomla 1.7 administration, niether from Front end nor from Backend, my colleague just did some changes in php.ini file in WINSCP and after that i'm not able to logging in...i undo the changes done in php.ini file but its of no use....and the administrator page get refresh without showing any login error after i put the login id and password in my joomla Administration page...!! KINDLY HELP!!!!

  17. Tashi WNo Gravatar says:

    I am having the same issue. This is what i get when i go to administrator page. I don't even get to insert user and password. I have noticed that my php file has 'eval(base64_decode("DQplcnJvcl9yZXBvcn........
    Joomla! Administration Login
    Use a valid username and password to gain access to the Administrator Back-end.

  18. AhmadNo Gravatar says:

    It solved my problem ::)

  19. MattNo Gravatar says:

    For what it's worth - Joomla 2.5.1, started experiencing the dreaded Administrator login loop completely out of the blue. Tried all suggestions related to plugins, sessions, domain cookies, etc to no avail. Finally modified configuration.php "public $force_ssl = '1';" and changed it to "public $force_ssl = '0';". That did the trick and I am able to login again via http://mysite.com/administrator (not https). Something gone haywire with the SSL session data, perhaps?

    Thanks for the tips!

    Matt, Traverse CIty, Michigan

  20. amolNo Gravatar says:

    kiwiblue Thank you so much..

  21. SimonNo Gravatar says:

    Suggestion # 4 worked for me.
    Thanks a lot !!!!

  22. Dave TeuNo Gravatar says:

    I have to enable plg_user_profile as well on top of the above mentioned;