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Cannot Login via Administrator Screen

The problem with Joomla administrator login screen might occur due to the several reasons. More specifically, if the login page is just refreshing without providing any error messages. This might happen after migrating to another server with slightly different configuration. If this happened for no apparent reason, it might be a good idea to check whether everything is all right with database connection, its tables, Joomla files, permissions and error logs.

Follow These Steps if You Cannot Login via Administrator Screen

If the problem with administrator login occurred after migrating to a new server, there is a big chance that issue is related to the server itself. In this case, you should check with the hosting provider customer support and find out whether their server is compatible to run a Joomla based website properly. In most cases, a server that is running Linux with Apache, PHP and MySQL preinstalled will be able to handle Joomla website. However, it is also a good idea to check if PHP and MySQL versions matches with official Joomla requirements.

Another way to troubleshoot this issue is to check the database connection. Joomla uses details defined in the configuration file named “configuration.php” to connect to the database. By checking this file we can find login details that are defined in the following directives:

public $dbtype = 'mysql';
public $host = 'localhost';
public $user = 'database_user';
public $password = database_'password';
public $db = 'database_name';
public $dbprefix = 'jos_';

To check if configuration is correct, you can simply attempt to access database through MySQL client like phpMyAdmin. Mostly it can be reached by going to www.domain.com/phpmyadmin (the link might be vary depending on server configuration). It will ask for username and password which can be taken from Joomla configuration file. If login is successful, and the database exists, we can assume Joomla is able to connect and it’s not causing any problem for administrator login.

It’s also might be worth to check the tables of the database. It might be that some tables are missing data or even exist. If that is the case, we might need to import database tables again and check if all the tables were imported successfully. This is the reason why backups should be performed regularly or at least before doing any changes in the core system.

Next thing we want to verify is permissions for Joomla files. You should be checking files in the “administrator” directory as all the files related with administrator panel are located there. Generally, permissions for the files should be set to 644 while for directories it should be set to 755. Therefore, we should check if all files and folders have right permissions. For this purpose we can use file manager over server control panel or simple FTP client like FileZilla. Please note, there should not be any file or directory with 777 permissions set. We can always consult with official document of Joomla regarding permissions.

If the above explained steps haven not solved your problem, you can try checking error logs. Specifically, we could check Apache error log which should be accessible from server control panel. In the case, there is no entries in Apache error log related to this issue, there seems to be not much to do.

The last thing we can do is to search for information over the internet. We can find most answers to Joomla issues in Joomla forums. Here is an explanation how this problem with administrator login can be fixed according to some comments in the forum.

Open configuration file “configuration.php” for editing and locate the following lines:

public $lifetime = '15';
public $session_handler = 'database';

Replace them with the lines below:

public $lifetime = '15';
public $session_handler = 'none';

You should be able to access Joomla administrator panel easily. After that, navigate to Joomla settings and change session handler back to ‘database’.

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