No Backend Menu in Joomla 2.5

Warning: Implementing the fix in this post will reset all your ACL modifications. Additionally, it’ll remove all the associations between your users and your groups – with the exception of the user with the first ID in the #__users table. It’ll also remove all the groups that you have created. If you have a large website with many users then most likely this is not what you want. Stop and contact us and we’ll implement a custom fix for you.

Note: The user with the first ID in the #__users table is assumed to be a Super User – which is the case in 99.99% of Joomla websites. That’s why we will re-create the association between that user and the Super Users group. Again, if this is not what you want, then please contact us.

Disclaimer: While we have tested the fix on many Joomla websites – we cannot guarantee that it’ll work on your website. Additionally, we cannot be held liable, directly or indirectly, for any mishaps caused by our script, including, but not limited to: total/partial loss of data, interruption of business activities, toxic rain (that was a joke, but you get the point), etc… If you’re not sure about this script, then don’t use it.

Final note: This script is for Joomla 2.5.x – it will not work on any other version of Joomla (such as Joomla 1.x or Joomla 3.x). Additionally, it may cause irreversible problems on your website should you implement it on other versions of Joomla. Beware!

Ever since Joomla 2.5 was launched (that was 19 months ago), we have had calls from clients telling us that they’re able to login to their Joomla website, but they just don’t see any menu. All that they see is the black stripe at the top of the page, and the Joomla copyright notice immediately after. Nothing else: no menu, no icons, no “Last 5 Logged-in Users”, nothing!

The first time we’ve seen this problem, we have to admit we were perplexed – especially because the Joomla website in question was a fresh install with just some data added. But, we later discovered that the administrator has made some wrong changes to the ACL (Access Control Lists), and that’s the heart of the problem. As we have mentioned before (see point #10 in this post), a messed up ACL can cause login issues. So, in short, if you’re having the same problem, then most likely you have done some incorrect changes to your Joomla website’s ACL.

OK – now you know what the problem is, but how to fix it? Well, unfortunately, the best and fastest way to fix the problem is to completely reset Joomla’s ACL, which means any changes you might have done to the default ACL, whether right or wrong, will be lost with the fix.

But how to reset Joomla’s ACL?

To reset Joomla’s ACL, you will need to run a series of SQL queries. Fortunately for you, we, at itoctopus, have simplified this task by adding all those queries to a PHP file. So, in order to fix the problem, all you need to do is the following:

  • Download the zipped fix here.
  • Extract the PHP file resetACL.php and upload it to the administrator folder in your Joomla website.

  • Execute the PHP script by pointing your browser to http://www.yourjoomlawebsite/administrator/resetACL.php.

  • That’s it!

When you load the page, you will be told which user you should login to as to see the backend menu.

Last reminder: As noted in the beginning of this post, this fix will make you lose all the group associations of all the other users on the website. So, again, if you have many users, then this fix is not ideal for you. Please contact us and we’ll implement a custom fix for you. Oh, and you don’t have to worry about our fees – they are very, very affordable and we are really, really friendly.

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