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Solution: How to fix a “Partial White Screen of Death” in WordPress back-end (Admin Panel)

Has this happened (or is currently happening) to you?

What I’m asking about is, when you find that the front-end of your website displays correctly (and completely), but yet, when you go into the back-end, you notice that you can only see the menu options towards the left-hand side of your screen, and nothing else to the right of that (see box highlighted red in the screen-shot below).


This happened to me a couple of times, and I realized that the reason for this is because those websites had an older version of WordPress (yes, we hadn’t updated them for a while).

Now, the problem (or should I say, the catch-22) is that you cannot simply update from within the WP back-end (since nothing displays in the middle – and/or right – portions of your admin screen), for you to be able to update from within the WordPress back-end. So what do you do?

Well, all is not lost….and as it turns out, the solution is simple enough, which is to update your installation right at the server-end…which means that you will need to use your FTP client (FileZilla, or whatever else you use) and copy over the latest version of WordPress, over-writing all of the older/previous version files.

Please note that it’s advisable for you to take a backup/copy of both, your database, as well as the wp-config.php file…before you perform the copy/overwrite step above. Should anything go wrong with your website/installation we will not be held responsible.

In the screenshot below, notice how we have copied over the latest WordPress files from our local drive to the remote server:


After you copy over the latest WordPress files, you must go back to your WP back-end and refresh the page. You will then see a screen similar to the one below. You will need to click the button that reads “Update WordPress Database”.


WordPress will do its thing, and after a few seconds the following screen will be displayed, and you will be required to click the “Continue” button.


Upon clicking the continue button you will be presented with the WP back-end login screen. Login with your admin credentials and what do you think? You’re in business! Problem solved! Get back to work now, won’t you?


If this information has helped you in some way, shape, or form, we will be pleased to know about it.

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