NOTE 2/28/2019: WordPress has changed its editor to Gutenberg, so this post is no longer applicable to modern WP installs. If you are looking to get the classic Visual Editor back, you’ll need a Super Admin to install and activate this Classic Editor plugin.
The WordPress Visual Editor is the feature that lets you edit WordPress pages and posts like a word processor, so you can avoid the hassle of HTML:
Recently I was in a client site where the Visual Editor was not working. Where it should have been, nothing appeared.
It is possible to disable the WordPress Visual Editor. I don’t know why anyone would (especially on our team) so this is personally the last place I’d think to check.
However, most of the solutions I had discovered were pretty invasive. Suggestions included editing TinyMCE, editing the wp-config PHP, and/or removing plugins. I wanted to start simple before involving our team and the client in a more complicated and time consuming solution.
Enable or Disable the WordPress Visual Editor
The setting to enable or disable the Visual Editor is in Users > Your Profile:
To be clear:
- The Visual Editor is ON when it is unchecked.
- The Visual Editor is OFF when this option is checked.
- Changing this setting will not affect anyone else (unless you share a login).
If the Visual Editor Setting Is Correct, but the Visual Editor Is Still Not Working
If “Disable the visual editor when writing” is already unchecked, and your Visual Editor is still missing, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to try a more complicated fix.
You may be familiar with the IT advice, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”. It can annoying to hear, but it’s cliche because it often works.
Because I knew the setting would not affect anyone else, I decided to go ahead and just try toggling “Disable the visual editor when writing” on and off.
Here’s what I did:
- Go to Users > Your Profile
- Check the box beside “Disable the visual editor when writing”
- Click Update Profile
- “Hard refresh” the page using Ctrl + F5
- Uncheck the box beside “Disable the visual editor when writing”
Once I did this, my Visual Editor reappeared.
NOTE: This blog post is about what worked for me in this situation, and is a safe place to start before moving on to more advanced solutions. Every WordPress install is unique, and because of that, I cannot guarantee that this will fix every instance where the Visual Editor is not working.
If this does not fix your problem, unfortunately I cannot help you any further, and recommend that you contact your website technical support.