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Network Admin Menu missing in WordPress Multisite, how to fix it.

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS). They have gone that far where 40% of all websites actually run on WordPress and 661 new WordPress sites go live each and every day.

WordPress sounds good doesn’t it? It actually is, however nothing is perfect, lately we’ve faced a issue with a WordPress multisite installation where the network admin menu was missing.
As everyone does, when such things happen you search on google, but unfortunately, this issue was less talked about, so after we fixed it we decided to write a blog about it.

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to fix the issue.

Prior to fixing anything, we recommend taking a full backup of your site. Depending on the host and the web panel they use, there are different ways to backup the site to backup the site if you are using cPanel follow the steps listed below:

1.Login to cPanel
2.Navigate to backups.
3.Press “download a full website backup” and hit generate a new one.

(You can put an email address in, so you receive a notification when the backup is done)

Alternatively, you can ask your host to back it up on your behalf.

The reason the Network Admin menu is missing is due to incorrect permissions of the admin user.

The permissions of your admin user are defined in the file called capabilities.php.

You can find it in the following path wp-includes/capabilities.php

The code will look something similar to this:

function is_super_admin( $user_id = false ) {
if ( ! $user_id || get_current_user_id() == $user_id ) {
$user = wp_get_current_user();
} else {
$user = get_userdata( $user_id );
}

if ( ! $user || ! $user->exists() ) {
return false;
}

You need to change false to true.

Please note: you might need do the above in multiple places in that file.

Prior to doing this, backup the file capabilities.php, so if anything goes wrong, you won’t have to restore the whole site.

Unfortunately, after we fixed the issue the client came back after 2 weeks with the same issue, we did the above procedure and it fixed it again, to check what is causing it we asked the client what he did prior to the issue, he stated that he had updated a live chat plugin, he since replaced the plugin and never faced the issue again.

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