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Undefined index notice in Joomla – How to remove it

by | Apr 21, 2021

Webmasters often observe an “Undefined index” notice while working in Joomla.

As a part of our Server Management Services, our Support techs help customers to fix errors with Joomla websites regularly.

Let us today discuss the common reasons for this error and how they tackle it.

Undefined index notice in Joomla

The undefined index message is a notice that appears in Joomla sites randomly while performing certain tasks like installing new templates.

Though it does not make the websites or functions down by itself, it may be an indication of a serious problem. It may be an indication of certain features on the site not working as expected.

Let us now discuss some of the top reasons and fixes that our Support Techs use for the “undefined index” notice”.

How to remove the Undefined index notice in Joomla

Before diving into the steps to remove the notice, let us look at some top reasons that contribute to this warning.

Directory Permission

Often when the undefined index warning may be an indication of incorrect directory permissions. While installing templates, it would require permission to be writeable. Our Support Engineers cross-check the permissions from Joomla admin >>>> Help >>> System info and ensure that it is set to writable.

Poorly written plugins

At times, poorly written plugins trigger the undefined index notice. Our Support Engineers have seen quite a few cases where such plugins were the actual culprits. It would be a better idea to drop such plugins to fix the notice.

Error with code

Most of the time, the undefined index warning may be related to some errors with the code. Often, it will require a detailed analysis of the code to find the exact line that triggers the warning.

To just remove the warning from a production site, we could opt for an option to turn off the error display. There are essentially two methods to turn off this warning.

  • Method #1: Change the Error Reporting in the Global Configuration to “None”.Error reporting can be turned off from the backend of the Joomla website. It can be done from Site->Global Configuration, and then click on Server, and change the value next to Error Reporting to “None”.Choosing “None” will ensure that notices, along with errors and warnings, will not be displayed on your website. We can also do this in the configuration.php file by setting the value of $error_reporting to “None”
  • Method #2: Change PHP’s error reporting in the .htaccess file to hide all errors.Our Support engineers often disable the PHP error reporting by adding the following code to .htaccess file:php_flag display_startup_errors on
    php_flag display_errors on
    php_flag html_errors on

    The above code will ensure that no error whatsoever will be displayed on your website.

[Need any further assistance in fixing Joomla errors? – We’re available 24*7]


In short, the undefined index warning mainly happens due to code-related errors. Today, we saw how our Support Engineers fix it.


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