How to Reset Joomla If You’re Having File or Database Problems

| Joomla
joomla reinstall extensions

"Have you tried restarting it?" is the age-old wisdom of the IT world.

In this troubleshooting guide, I'll show you some simple steps to reset the Joomla core files and database. Our team has used these steps to resolve hundreds of issues that have come up in support.

Let's get started...

Understanding the problem

The below steps won't fix all issues. They are only for issues that are likely to be Joomla core related glitches.

These types of issues usually show up after a Joomla core update. If for some reason (e.g. server resource exhaustion or a bug) only some files get updated, it often results in fatal errors or strange usability issues.

For example, if the admin drop-downs stop working or if you're not able to create new items, but it works fine on another site, you might have stumbled onto a glitch.

1) Create a backup

Create and download a backup of your site, just in case something goes wrong.

2) Fix your file permissions

3) Reset your files

Go to Joomla's Version History page and go to your respective version. Be sure to get your exact version and not a different version.

For example, if my site is Joomla 3.4.8, I'd click on:

How to Reset Joomla If You’re Having File or Database Problems

Then click on "Packages" for your Joomla version.

On this page, you'll look for a package that ends in "". For example, "".

Download it.

Next, simply install it as you would a normal extension. This will reset all the core files, and also run the database checks.

Pro tip: If Joomla's installer isn't working, simply unzip the package (or FTPs the package's content) into the Joomla root.

4) Fix your database

Finally, let's make sure the database schema is OK. Go to:

  • Extensions > Manage (top menu)
  • Database (left menu)
  • Fix (button)


Now your Joomla core files and database should be reset.

If you're still experiencing the issue, then it's likely a bug in the Joomla core or a bug in an extension, but you're one step closer to narrowing it down. Sign up for one of our support plans if you need extra help and we'll be glad to provide assistance.

About the author

Nick is the Director of Support at OSTraining and you can find him in almost every area of the site, from answering support requests and account questions to creating tutorials and software.