8 Ways: How to Fix White Text and Missing Buttons in WordPress Visual Editor


Recently one of our regular visitors reported a very unusual issue with their wordpress editor. The issue was that all the text inside the editor has turned white and more importantly the visual buttons and icons has disappeared and the ability to switch between Visual Editor and text editor was also disabled. So in this article I will show you how you can fix the white text and missing buttons in WordPress Visual Editor.

Some facts and hints of the issue:

  • Editor does not load
  • You cant switch from the Visual Editor to Text Editor
  • You can highlight the text and see it (it is white)
  • All javascript files are in the wp-admin folder
  • google libraries has been installed and didnt fix the problem

Note for Beginners: If you are looking for hidden buttons that you might see in screenshots of other sites, then you are probably looking for the Kitchen sink. You would have to click on the Kitchen sink icon to see these other options such as Underline, copy from word etc.

How to Fix White Text and Missing Buttons in WordPress Visual Editor

Reasons and Fixes for White text and Missing Buttons

Note:Clicking on the below links will take you directly on that topic/section.

Due to TinyMCE script

The script located at tinymcs folder is responsible for the buttons and text in the editor. Every time you update the wordpress, the wordpress runs a few checks and then deflates and zips the files to install the new update. While doing this, it has been seen that some server doesn’t fully supports deflating and zipping and it messes the files. If for some reason your tinymce file is corrupted then try replacing /wp-includes/js/tinymce/ folder with a fresh copy.

Due to WordPress database

As I said earlier, the wordpress runs the deflatecan_compress_scripts checks while updating the wordpress. If your server doesn’t supports can_compress_scripts, but wordpress thinks your server supports, then it will change the value from 0 (zero) to 1. This can conflict with the editor, so  use PHPMyAdmin to search and edit inside your WordPress database in “wp_options” table for the record called “can_compress_scripts”.

If it has a value of “1” for the “option_value”, change this to “0” and save the change. You will find your editor working again!

(Note: Sometimes this record won’t even exist, so in that case you need to add it. Look for a WordPress database that does have it in order to see what you need to add.)

Fix with wp-config.php script

WordPress loads all the js files separately to ensure you have a faster loading site and responsive site. But since you are facing issues with the editor, you need to add a line of code or edit the code. Normally if the code is present, it looks like

So all you need to do is either change the code or paste the code, after the define(‘WP_DEBUG’, false); define code, most probably at the line 81.

Clearing the Cache.

I have faced this problem several times, but for me hard reloading the wp-admin worked. You need to either clear the cache or use another browser, or either hard reload the site. To hard reload the site, you need to right-click on the site > inspect > and then right-click on the reload icon, choose empty cache and hard-reload and you are done.


If this does not fix your issue, maybe the issue is with your install?

Fixing via updating WordPress.

When you update your WordPress to a new version, it does a one time only test of your server environment to see if it supports compressing using the “deflate” method, if it thinks that your server supports this, then it will set “can_compress_scripts” “option_value” to have a value of “1”. But it OFTEN gets this wrong! (or it just doesn’t do “deflate” correctly etc.).

So you can manually update the wordpress or try updating the wordpress through the wordpress admin dashboard.

Fixing by Plugins

Most of the wordpress errors are due to the plugins and in half of the cases, deactivating wordpress has fixed the error. Try deactivating all plugins from your wp-admin > plugins. If that resolves the issue, reactivate each one individually until you find the cause.

If you can’t deactivate the plugins for some reason, then you can manually deactivate the plugin via ftp by renaming the plugins folder to backup-plugins and then creating an empty plugins folder.

If that does not resolve the issue, try switching to the Twenty Sixteen theme to rule-out a theme-specific issue (theme functions can interfere like plugins).

Fixing via Google Libraries.

This plugin allows the site to use common javascript libraries from Google’s AJAX Libraries CDN, rather than from WordPress’s own copies. WordPress loads js files from its own directory and for any reason if the js files are corrupt or missing the editor will stop responding.

Google Libraries plugin is available for wordpress in repository.

Fixing via .htaccess

In rare cases, the htaccess files play any role. If the above solutions didn’t work for you then you should better give this a chance. Edit your .htaccess file through FTP and remove these lines from .htaccess file.

When the wordpress will load, it will rectify the .htaccess to its correct values.

Using TinyMCA Advanced Plugin

This plugin enables the advanced features of TinyMCE, the WordPress WYSIWYG editor. Since wordpress is regularly wpdated, some plugins may turn outdated quickly and turn incompatible with the latest version of wordpress.

Also some JS files from TinyMCE may become corrupted. As TinyMCE is responsible for the editor buttons, this problem may arise. This can be overcome by replacing it with a fresh copy.

Final Thoughts

These are the possible set of solutions to Fix White Text and Missing Buttons in WordPress Visual Editor. For each website there can be a different solution.

These were some of the solutions which we tried and got our issue fixed. If you have some other easy way to Fix White Text and Missing Buttons in WordPress Visual Editor, let us know in the comment section.

Also if you want to edit the post and add your own methods, check our Guest Author page.


Editorial Staff at SmartActiveBlogger is a team of WordPress experts led by Niraj Kashyap. Page maintained by Niraj Kashyap.