Can’t Login to Joomla’s Backend when SSL Is Enabled

A new client emailed us yesterday and told us that every time he tries to login to the backend of his Joomla website, he’s redirected to the login page with no errors (our client called this issue “the admin login loop”). So the first thing that we asked him is whether he checked our post about the same problem. He said that he already did, but he still wasn’t able to resolve the problem.

So we tried fixing the problem using the guide in our post above, but we were unsuccessful. But then we thought, that website uses SSL in the backend, so what if we disable SSL and try to login again? And so we did: we disabled SSL by editing the configuration.php file (which is located under the root directory of the Joomla website) and changed the line:

public $force_ssl = '1';


public $force_ssl = '0';

We then tried to login and (surprise, surprise) it worked! Aha! So the problem was related to the SSL setting in Joomla’s configuration… Maybe it’s a bug in the version of Joomla used by our client? Or maybe it’s a rogue extension causing this mess? We weren’t sure, but we just didn’t have the time to investigate further since our client was on a very tight budget. So we fixed the problem in a clean way using the power of the .htaccess file… Here’s what we did:

  • We opened the .htaccess file which is located under the root directory of our client’s website.
  • We added the following lines immediately after RewriteEngine On:

    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
    RewriteRule ^(administrator/.*)$$1 [R=301,L]

  • We saved the file and we uploaded it back.

  • That fixed the problem while ensuring that the backend still works in SSL mode!

If you have the same problem, then all you need to do is to disable SSL (by setting the $force_ssl variable to 0 in the configuration.php file) and follow the above guide. That’s it!

If, however, you want to solve it from within Joomla (and know what’s really causing this problem), or if you don’t feel at ease editing the configuration.php and the .htaccess files, then please contact us. We are always eager for new work, we are experts in Joomla, our clients love us, and we don’t charge much!

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