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How to fix Magento admin blank page problem?

White screen of death” – The name looks pretty creepy and no doubt its annoying too.

Magento website owners sometimes face this strange issue. The website or Magento admin panel shows a blank page or white screen.

Fixing a blank page is quite difficult because there is no clue on what might cause this error.

That’s why, we often receive requests from Magento website owners to resolve the “Magento admin blank page” problem as a part of our Outsourced Technical Support for web hosts.

Today, let’s discuss the top 3 reasons for this error and how we fix them.


What’s this? ‘White Screen of Death’ aka ‘blank page’

In general, White Screen of Death is a technical problem where the user receives a blank white page and the user can’t perform any actions on his website.

PHP errors, Database errors, Website configuration errors, etc. can be displayed as white screen or blank screen.

Magento website owners usually complain about this “Magento admin blank page” problem after Magento upgrades, new module installs etc.

That’s where you need a Magento expert to figure it out and fix it permanently.


Reasons for Magento admin blank page. Steps to fix it

In our experience with Magento errors, we found a number of causes that turned out to be the culprit behind this error.

For that, firstly, we need to find out where this problem originates from.

To do this, we have to force Magento to display the errors in the browser instead of white screen.

Our Hosting Engineers add/un-comment(remove # sign) the below line in the index.php file of the Magento application.

#ini_set('display_errors', 1);


This should show the exact error message instead of a blank page which will help us to narrow down the causes.

If it doesn’t show any error, we check the the logs exception.log and system.log to grab more information.

Let’s now discuss the reasons for this error and the steps we’ve to resolve it.


1) Insufficient memory limit

Sometimes, the application memory limit may not be sufficient to work if you have large number of plugins, heavy website traffic, poorly coded theme, etc.

As a result, when you access your admin panel, the PHP memory limit is used up and you get Magento admin blank page.


How we fix?

In such cases, we increase the PHP memory limit of the Magento application.

First, we analyze the server configuration and then increase this limit either in php.ini, .htaccess, or in the index.php of Magento application.

For example, we can increase the memory limit to 256 MB in the index.php file with the below command.

ini_set('memory_limit', '256M');


But, this value should not be increased blindly as this can hog server resources.

So, our Hosting Support Specialists adjust this parameter after ensuring server stability.


2) Magento Compiler

Magento Compiler feature allows you to combine separate include files from various modules into a single file.

But, before you make any changes to your Magento installation files, compilation feature should be disabled.

We’ve seen cases where Magento website owners make mistakes like:

  • Compilation was not disabled before Magento upgrade and the complied files may become out of sync with the new Magento version.
  • Website owners had enabled compiler within Magento admin which conflicts with recently installed extensions or modules.
  • They enabled the compiler but forgot to run the compiler before enabling.


How we fix?

Our Hosting Engineers disable the compiler module and flush the Magento cache.

We login to the user’s account via SSH and disable the compiler module using the below command.

php -f shell/compiler.php -- disable


Further, we clear all compiled files and ensure that the compiler is in disabled status.

Once the compiler module is disabled, we clear/flush the magento cache data by removing the contents in var/cache and var/session folders.

3) Incorrect permissions for Magento var/ directory

Magento does a lot of caching and auto-generation of classes.

These cache files and auto-generated classes are stored in the Magento’s root var/ directory.

The ideal permission for this folder should be 700 or 600 because they must be writable.

We’ve seen cases where improper permissions for var/ directory can result in Magento admin blank page which can mostly happen after website migrations.


How we fix?

Here, our Hosting Engineers audit the files and ensure that website files are assigned with proper permissions.

If we note any problems with the permissions assigned, we give proper access rights and permissions to these files.


Do you need help fixing your “Magento admin blank page” problem? click here to talk to our Magento experts. We are online 24/7.



To sum up, “Magento admin blank page” is a common problem reported by website owners after they upgrade Magento site, install new extensions or modules etc. Today, we’ve seen the top 3 causes for this error and how our Dedicated Support Engineers fix them.


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