How to Remove the PHP End of Life Warning in Joomla 3

We are getting calls from Joomla administrators telling us that they are seeing a bizarre warning in the backend of their Joomla sites after updating their sites to 3.7.x. Here is a sample warning:

Your PHP version, 5.6.30, is only receiving security fixes at this time from the PHP project. This means your PHP version will soon no longer be supported. We recommend planning to upgrade to a newer PHP version before it reaches end of support on 2018-12-31. Joomla will be faster and more secure if you upgrade to a newer PHP version (PHP 7.x is recommended). Please contact your host for upgrade instructions.

Most of the Joomla administrators contacting us are using the words bizarre or weird because they just don’t understand why they are seeing a warning for something that will happen at the end of 2018 (today is May 30th, 2017). Naturally, they ask us for an explanation, and, as always, we oblige:

Joomla versions 3.7.0 and higher have a quickicon plugin that gets the version of the PHP instance running on the server that the Joomla website is running on and then compares it to a hardcoded database of PHP versions, with their Security Fixes Only and End of Life (or EOL) dates. If the current date (e.g. today) is higher the Security Fixes Only date, but lower then the EOL date for the PHP instance, then this means that the PHP version is longer in Active Support, and is in the Security Fixes Only phase. When this happens, Joomla displays something like the above warning.

If the current date is even higher than the Security Fixes Only date for the PHP instance, then this means that the PHP version used has reached its End of Life, and Joomla will display something like the below warning:

We have detected that your server is using PHP 5.5.38 which is obsolete and no longer receives official security updates by its developers. The Joomla! Project recommends upgrading your site to PHP 5.6 or later which will receive security updates at least until 2018-12-31. Please ask your host to make PHP 5.6 or a later version the default version for your site. If your host is already PHP 5.6 ready please enable PHP 5.6 on your site’s root and ‘administrator’ directories – typically you can do this yourself through a tool in your hosting control panel, but it’s best to ask your host if you are unsure.

As you can see in the second scenario, the Joomla website will display a warning asking the administrator to update to a PHP version that will also display a warning – this is because the algorithm works as follows:

  • If the Joomla website is using a PHP version that is still supported, then do not display any message.
  • If the Joomla website is using a PHP version that is only supported through security patches, then display the first message.

  • If the Joomla website is using a PHP version that is no longer supported, then search for the first PHP version that is supported (even with security patches), and display the second message.

Obviously, the algorithm of the last step should be modified to return the PHP version that is still in Active Support.

In any case, most, if not all Joomla administrators feel uncomfortable when they see any of the above messages, and many of them do not have the time to update the PHP version on their server. Luckily, there is a way to get rid of these annoying messages. Here’s how:

  • Login to the backend of your Joomla website.
  • Go to on Extensions -> Plugins.

  • Search for the plugin titled Quick Icon – PHP Version Check and disable it by clicking on the green checkmark next to it.

  • That’s it!

As you can see, it is easy to get rid of the warning, but Joomla’s advice is sound, and you should update to a supported PHP version whenever is possible for the sake of both the security and the stability of your website.

Now if you’re wondering which PHP versions are the ones that do not display these messages, then they are, at the time of writing this post, all the PHP 7.x versions (including PHP 7.0).

We hope that you found this post useful. If you want to update your PHP version to the latest one but you are afraid that this may break something on your website, then please contact us. We’ll do the work for you, we won’t charge you much, and you will sleep better at night!

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