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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,56790.0.html and 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:

  • 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:, [UPDATE-2017] "fpa-en.php" (aka "Forum Post Assistant" - get it from
    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.
      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: and, more recently, also here:

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.

[SOLVED]Cannot login to Joomla backend as admin
4.5 (90%) 2 votes
Senior Professional Network and Computer Systems Engineer during work hours and father when home. Andrea strives to deliver outstanding customer service and heaps of love towards his family. In this Ad-sponsored space, Andrea shares his quest for "ultimate" IT knowledge, meticulously brought to you in an easy to read format.

123 comments on “[SOLVED]Cannot login to Joomla backend as admin

  • Hi mate,
    Tried everything suggested. Nothing worked.
    I even did 777 on all files and dirs. Nothing. Still same admin login loop... pls heeeelllp.

  • I have one last tip that may or may not help those who are stuck with the login problem.  For years, I've had to log in twice to one of my Joomla sites.  I tried from time to time to figure out why, but failed to do so.  I always had two versions of myself logged in to the back end.  Other people started having trouble with IE (I use Firefox).  While searching about their problems, I came across a post that said something about the config livesite variable in configuration.php.  It was set to ""  But something else in the system or in Joomla was returning URLs without the "www."  When I set the livesite variable to "", things started working better.
    var $live_site = '';
    I no longer have to log in twice.  What was happening was that I was getting a cookie for "," but then the system was generating URLs for the back end without the "www."  When my browser was checked for an "" cookie, it was not found--even though one had been issued for ""  When I logged in the second time, I got the cookie for "" and it started to work with the shorter URLs. 
    I don't know why I never noticed the change from the long version to the short version in the address bar.  It feels great to have gotten it straightened out. 

  • a. karelsky,

    I have the same problem installing Joomla 1.5.21 over Apache 1.3, PHP 5.0.5, MySQL 5.0.15. I Solved it going back to Joomla 1.5.15, but I'm still analizing why 1.5.21 failed.

  • Although you published this in Feb 2009 it still helped me. Thank you for taking the time I really appreciate it.
    My solution was found in suggestion 3.

  • I have try all possible fixes and Still not login in!!!!
    could it be because I'm working on a subdomain??
    Please somebody help... I can't login!!!!
    Regards...... OddO

  • As suggested, I've added  a live site ( in configuration file like this  
    var $live_site = '';
    Was like this before
     var $live_site = ' ';

    And WORKED!!!
    Last time I had the same problem and solved changing my admin password in the database bat it worked only for couple days. Hopefully this solution will last.
    Thanks a lot

  • I had a similar problem but mine was resolved when I set the session handler back to database (had it set to memory) in the configuration.php file
        var $session_handler = 'database';

  • Pingback: Anonymous
  • Hey there, i've tried ALL of the above and MORE i still cannot login to backend...some important data: I've installed VirtueMart component so i was able to add custom registration fields ... and i switched login to vm_login_module -> now i cannot login to admin backend and i as admin cannot log into frontend and any other users cann' login also...i've managed to publish OLD-ORIGINAL login module from phpMyAdmin..but still no luck...any suggestions as i really wouldn't wanna do all work from scratch :( ...

    warm regards,

  • Hi;
    I followed all your 1-4 steps including BONUS but i am still not been able to login on joomla administration panel. I spend many days for this. I wonder if you have any more solution for this.

    Looking forward to hear from you.

    Thank You

  • Thanks a lot. I spent many many hours trying to get back my password again to access back end... unsuccessfully but.... You gave me tha KEY: Just turning the password to ADMIN !!!!!!  And I solved it !!!! Thanks very much.. I would like to invite yo to drink and taste these wines I am working on .. T h a n k s

  • I tried every single solution, but still couldn't get to work. Apparently Joomla logs me in, but after the redirect to index.php it somehow forgets my previous session and creates a new one, sees that i'm not logged in and prompts me for username/password again. You can confirm that by looking into table jos_session (if your session management is set to "Database") and crosscheck the session_id with your browser cookies. After each login you see your previous session logged in as administrator, however there is no matching cookie in your browser anymore.
    Here is an ugly hack that fixes the problem:
    - open administrator/components/com_login/admin.login.php
    - find $mainframe->redirect('index.php'); (around line 69), and replace it with /* $mainframe->redirect('index.php'); */ to comment it out
    - insert the following line above the previous $mainframe->redirect():
    die('<html><head><meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL="></head><body></body></html>');

    (replace with your domainname)
    Save the file and try to login again.
    Hope this helps...

  • I tried everying and struggling with this for many days now and still not able to login my backend.

    The consecuences are the same but seems the cause is different as I can't check any jos_plugins table in my DB! It has been deleted somehow. Thus I can't modify any 'Users - Joomla' nor ' Users - Authentication' entries, or whatsoever.

    Modifying the administrator/components/com_login/admin.login.php





    /* Style Definitions */
    {mso-style-name:"Tabla normal";
    mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
    font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";

    is also not an option this file does not exist in my configuration. Instead I have login.php only. Something to do with version 1.6 maybe???
    Please any ideas of how I can restore jos_plugins table? or other workaround that could let me into my backend again.
    Any help is welcomed.

  • Big Up to Kevin
    I had a similar problem but mine was resolved when I set the session handler back to database (had it set to memory) in the configuration.php file
        var $session_handler = 'database';

    You is the man

  • New version of the problem today.
    Upgraded Joomla 1.15.18 to 1.15.23 using the patch.
    I was already logged into the back end at the time.  I just refreshed the page and the version number changed.  Everything looked good to me.
    Couldn't log in today.
    Tried all of the fixes above.
    Tried many other approaches.  Hint: jos_core_acl_aro_map apparently has been replaced by jos_core_acl_groups_aro_map, so the fact that jos_core_acl_aro_map is empty is irrelevant.  Don't waste time like I did trying to figure out how to repopulate it!
    What seems to have worked is changing var $force_ssl = '1'; to var $force_ssl = '0'; in configuration.php.

  • I had whole evening to debug the site. I can't login to backend system sometime. If I put incorrect password, an error message will be show. But if I put correct password, nothing show, and the page just postback. After whole evening debug, I found it causes by incorrectly passes user data after logged in. This problem occurs on my hosting, but never on my localhost using xampp, I don't know why.
    To make sure if this fixes your case, try open file: /libraries/joomla/plugin/helper.php, insert follow line to line 176 (above the line 177 below if you can't find):


    Back to admin login page, try login with correct username and password. If the follow page show that no username or userid, so we have same problem.
    Delete the above line (176) then change the line 177:

    if (isset($user))

    To following line:

    if (isset($user) && $user->username)

    Then save, upload and try login again.
    Hope this will help somebody has same problem with me.
    This fix is not perfect, it might causes some security problem with plugins.

  • Btw, in my case, I tried all above solution without luck. And my jos_session table won't have any records contain userid or username... just session time, session id and the last field. So, if you have the same problem, and no solutions works, hope the above post (comment) would bring you luck :P

  • Following steps for tip #4 :
    in the "jos_core_acl_groups_aro_map" table find row for "aro_id" = 10
    – "group_id" should be "25" or "26".
    I have no "aro_id" = 10
    and all the group id's that are there are all "18"? Could this be my issue and if so how do I fix this table...? TY

  • I had this problem and delete and create the table and joomla works… but, i could n’t login on back and front end…
    Review a lots of forums and post… and i could n’t login…
    Then i check the table jos_session and 2 fields were in UPPERCASE, i mean, TIME and DATA fields from this table must be on lowercase…
    i change this two fields to lower (time, data) and i could login on all my joomla…
    thats was my solution.

  • Listen up, after about a week and a half I finally was able to log into my admin page to the back-end. I am so happy that I thought I would let others know what I finally did, that it just might help.
    The problem I realized was that Joomla was not authenticating the username and password. Most sites took us through all types of coding, etc.
    Here was my method finally:
    1. In your browser point your browser to
    2. This is a listing of the default structure of Joomla. I used it on my 1.5.23 version.
    3. Log into your cpanel and fo to your mysql and select the database having the problem with admin login.
    4. Scroll down the beginning of the acl's.
    5. Print out the Joomla structure. it will help if you can double-side print.
    6. Once the printing is done, find the section that has the core_acl_aro.
    7. In your mysql select to show the browse of the core_acl_aro, or to select structure, if you have these capabilities, which you should.
    8. Begin comparing the default values on the structure you printed out with the actual structure in your core_acl_aro and make changes where necessary to get the default values.
    9. Do this with each of the core_acl_aro_groups, and the core_acl_aro_map.
    10. Once you are certain you now have your acl's setup with defaults, close the browser. Assuming you are certain that your admin username and password are correct, open your browser and attempt to login.
    I hope this works for you as it worked for me.

  • Additional information.
    I had Joomla generate a new admin password for me by going to the Front-End and logging in as a new user.
    Then I went into mysql and selected my database and scrolled down to xxx_users. XXX is whatever precedes your '_users'.
    I searched for the new user and copied the newly generated password into my Super Administrator password field, and then deleted the new user.
    Now you will have a password you know will work.
    What I have found out after doing a lot of searching on the Internet on how to generate the MD5+salt ':' salt, I searched through every file in my database (new to Joomla), and I found that Joomla has a preset $Salt value, and this is why most of these other generators out there won't work. There salted values are different than the preset salted value in your Joomla, so generating the password on in your Joomla through the Front-end will ensure the password will be correct.

  • I forgot something that is very important.
    When you are down to checking the core_acl_aro_map you finally see the values: 25 '' 10. That is: 25 blank 10.
    Scroll down the core_acl_aro_map list until you get to the Administrator row. The values that  should be there are: 25 blank 10.
    Blank stands for skipping a column before inserting the value 10.

  • Thank you so much for your detailed efforts in solving this problem. I've been reading for 3 hours trying to find a suggestion that worked and finally got one from your page. Suggestion #3 ! Had a 0 instead of 1 on published for user - joomla! Thanks again. :)

Comments are closed.