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How To: Fix WordPress Visual Editor Not Working

November 21, 2018

NOTE 2/28/2019: WordPress has changed its editor to Gutenberg, so this post is no longer applicable to modern WP installs.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:

Wordpress Visual Editor

Recently I was in a client site where the Visual Editor was not working. Where it should have been, nothing appeared.

Wordpress Visual Editor Missing

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:

Disable WordPress Visual Editor

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:

  1. Go to Users > Your Profile
  2. Check the box beside “Disable the visual editor when writing”
  3. Click Update Profile
  4. “Hard refresh” the page using Ctrl + F5
  5. 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.

26 Responses

  1. Musa Salisu says:

    Thank you for this it really help me.

  2. CourseNode says:

    YES! Thank you. I’m glad your post is ranking at the top for this problem because your solution worked for me.

  3. Been looking for this, thank God I finally got it. Kudos

  4. john John says:

    Awesome thanks for this it worked for me

  5. Zod says:

    Thank you Karin, this is the real answer after searching a lot. In my case i added a new admin user via database. This user was not fully configured, so i suggest anyone to open the profile in WordPress, and compile the remaining fields, and more important do what Karin say or you have problems with TinyMCE.

  6. In my case it was wp_post Auto Increment value which was unset due to heavy database import query break.

    WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA = ‘Database’
    AND TABLE_NAME = ‘wp_post’;


  7. Lucia Carr says:

    That worked! Thank you. I have tried that before but didn’t do the hard refresh!

  8. Ieva says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I don’t know how I disabled it, but this was my case, which I was trying to solve for a non-proportionally long time!

  9. Deb says:

    This absolutely worked! The db was moved to a new server and I was given a new profile. The visual editor was not disabled but when I disabled and then re-enabled it as you suggested the visual editor reappeared. Thank you!

  10. Nothing Is Working For Me, I Have try to solve by adding “define(‘CONCATENATE_SCRIPTS’, false);” This code to config php ..
    Please help me

  11. tdehan says:

    This doesn’t work for me. The edit toolbar does not appear in my posts. when I go to my profile the box is unchecked as outlined above. When I check the box and do a hard refresh it automatically removes the check from the box. The editing toolbar is not there.

    • Karin Skapski says:

      Hi there, are you clicking the “Update Profile” button and waiting for it to save before doing a hard refresh?

  12. You made my day. I have been battling with the visual editor thanks.

  13. Punit says:

    Thank you so much. You save my website

  14. Mack patel says:

    Nice post! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Gordon says:

    This absolutely worked! I had tried every other fix listed on the internet(not literally…) this did the trick! Thanks for the simple fix!

  16. Thank`s a lot for your advice. The editor is now working again,great!-:)

  17. Alexandre says:

    Dude, that was so simple but effective! You made my day! thanks

  18. Mia says:

    thank you so much. You save my ecommerce store. My visual editor went poof after I installed a plugin, and your enable, and disable solution save me. Now I can edit my products.

    Thank you so much!

    • Karin Skapski says:

      Hi Mia, so happy to hear this post saved your eCommerce store! Thank you for taking the time to let me know this helped.

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Karin Skapski

Karin Skapski

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