Troubleshooting with Plugin Detective

  • specifics
  • Observations
  • Advancement
  • a brief description

    The problem plugin can be quickly deactivated once the culprit has been identified. Plugin Detective assists you in quickly and easily identifying the source of a problem on your website. You can even fix your site if it has a fatal error (white screen of death). You’ll want to install Plugin Detective so that if your site crashes due to a conflict or a bad plugin update, you can quickly get it back up and running!

    You’ve searched the internet for answers and have come across the standard advice: deactivate all of your plugins and then reactivate them one at a time, checking your site for the problem after each reactivation. We’ve all been there – your website is down for some reason.


    Who has time for that, though? Yes, it is effective.

    Detective Otto Bot takes you step by step through the process of solving your case, all from a single screen.

    Simply open a case and inform Detective Otto of the problem’s location. Tell Otto if there are any plugins that are required for your site to function properly.

    Otto takes care of the rest and identifies the criminal in a matter of minutes. Answering “Yes, it’s fixed” or “No, it’s still broken” each time is all that is required. Otto will then question the suspects and keep track of the clues, checking in with you on a regular basis.

    Even if you can’t get to your login screen, see the FAQs for instructions on how to access plugin detective and log into WordPress. Best of all, Plugin Detective can work even if your site is just displaying the White Screen of Death or if all you see are PHP errors.

    You can quickly deactivate the troublesome plugin and go about your day once Otto has identified the culprit.


    • On the admin bar, there is a link to troubleshoot.
    • Screen that welcomes you
    • Observing the issue on Otto’s computer
    • Marking the key witnesses (plugins required)
    • Otto’s screen is being tested to see if the problem is still present.
    • The culprit has been discovered! Disabling the problematic plugin is an option.


    Installation Instructions

    1. In the /wp-content/plugins/ directory, copy the entire /plugin-detective directory.
    2. Activate Plugin Detective in WordPress by going to the ‘Plugins’ menu.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I get started with Plugin Detective?

    Then, from the WordPress admin, go to the Tools menu and look for Plugin Detective. Plugin Detective should be installed.

    Alternatively, a Troubleshoot link will be added to your admin bar. To troubleshoot an issue you’re seeing on a page, click this link on any page, admin or front end.

    Is it still possible to use Plugin Detective to figure out what’s wrong? All I see are errors or a blank screen.

    You can install Plugin Detective via FTP as long as you have access to your hosting account. On the Installation tab, you’ll find instructions for Manual Installation.

    You’ll be prompted to log in with your WordPress username and password to ensure you have the proper permissions, and Detective Otto Bot will walk you through troubleshooting as usual. Go to after installing Plugin Detective.

    How does Detective Otto determine which plugin is causing my site to malfunction?

    Otto will check in with you while interrogating the various suspects to see if the problem is still present on your site. Detective Otto picks up information from you. After Otto makes a change, simply respond with “Fixed” or “Broken”.

    Each of your responses gives Otto another piece of information that he can use to narrow down the list of plugins and pinpoint the exact one that’s causing the issue.

    What if identifying what’s broken is difficult?

    The clues for Otto do not have a time limit. Some problems are more difficult to solve than others. You can tell Otto either “Yes, it’s fixed” or “No, it’s still broken” once you have the answer – minutes or even hours later. You can use the embedded screen Otto provides to walk through several steps to see if the problem appears, or you can open your site in a new window and walk through whatever steps are necessary to replicate the issue.

    Is this faster than me manually troubleshooting my plugins?

    Yes, it is significantly faster. Detective Otto Bot is no exception to the rule that robots are lightning fast at solving puzzles like these. Instead of disabling your plugins one by one, Otto can disable groups of plugins and use your responses to quickly narrow the scope of his investigation using binary search (a fancy robot term for saving time).

    Why is Detective Otto still questioning suspects after I told him the problem was fixed?

    Otto was most likely questioning a group of suspects at the time. The fact that the problem has been solved narrows the suspects down to those in that group. If you give Otto a few more rounds of interrogation, he’ll be able to pinpoint the exact plugin that’s causing your issue.

    Is Plugin Detective compatible with multisite installations?

    We wanted to get Plugin Detective out there as soon as possible for people to use, but there’s still a lot of work to be done before it can support multisite. No, we don’t currently support multisite. Multisite, as you may know, can be a little tricky.

    There are network-activated plugins and site-level plugins in a multisite. It’s simple to figure out which plugins are active and manipulate them with just one installation. Plugin Detective could theoretically be used to scan the entire network or just a single site. As a result, we will have to put in some effort to support all of this. We want to see how much interest there is in supporting multisite, as well as get feedback from multisite users to figure out what would be most useful and how they would use it. There are also differences in permissions between a network admin and a site admin.

    Please send us an email ([email protected]) to let us know you’re interested and to answer a few questions so we can build it properly: If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for a way to troubleshoot multisite installations with Plugin Detective.

    Or would you prefer that only your site admins have access to it (and that they could only test their site-activated plugins, not disable any that you’ve network-activated)? Is this merely a tool for you (the network administrator)?


    I got rid of my theme’s data.

    Totally fantastic! It’s fantastic!!!

    My website was hacked.

    Very good

    I appreciate all of your efforts.

    It was deleting data!!

    Developers & Contributors

    This plugin was made possible by the contributions of the people listed below. The software “Plugin Detective – Troubleshooting” is free and open source.

    • Plugin Detective – Troubleshooting has been translated into 7 different languages. The translators are to be thanked for their efforts.

      “Plugin Detective – Troubleshooting” can be translated into your language.

      Do you want to learn more about development?

      Check out the code, the SVN repository, or the RSS feed for the development log.

      a list of changes


      • WP 5.8 compatibility has been improved.


      • WP 5.5 compatibility has been improved.

      • With WP 5.2 and some themes, a fatal error was fixed.

      • On PHP 7.3, a warning was fixed.

      • Compatibility issues with PHP versions prior to 5.5 have been resolved.

      1.1.1 is an abbreviation for

      • Fixed an issue with vs redirects or irregularities on some sites.


      • Internationalized strings have been added for future translation.

      Version 1.0.14

      • On some sites, improved support for HTTPS/HTTP issues.

      Version 1.0.13

      • Improved support for wp-config.php installations outside of the webroot.

      Version 1.12.

      • Support for sites that use wp-config-local.php has been added.
      • Support for Pantheon hosting configuration has been added.
      • Support for Pagely has been added (wp-config-hosting.php file).

      Version 1.11.

      • Multisite warnings have been added.
      • Searching for ABSPATH has been improved.


      • WP_CONTENT_URL and WP_CONTENT_DIR must be defined in wp-config.php for sites with wp-content/ in a different location.
      • For sites with wp-content/ in a new location, this has been fixed.
      • Users of iThemes Security who need to adjust settings in order to use Plugin Detective will now receive a warning.
      • Mixed content warnings and improved handling of https/http connections
      • (Because it loads before the Plugin Detective Troubleshooting app, any required constants can be defined there as well) Support for wp-content/plugin-detective-config.php has been added.


      • Improved handling of the wp-config.php file’s unusual location.


      • Issues with WordPress installations in subdirectories have been resolved.
      • In the wp-config.php file, the handling of unusual formatting has been improved.


      • After identifying the culprit, the “back to WP” button in the upper-left corner was fixed, reactivating the plugin you just deactivated in the final step.


      • In some wp-config.php files, an issue with unusual define() syntax was fixed.


      • The issue with required plugins not remaining active during all tests has been resolved.


      • Issues with older PHP environments have been resolved.

      Version 1.0.0

      • This is the first release.


        Spanish (Colombia), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), and Spanish (Venezuela) are among the languages spoken in the United States.




            In the last two months, the following issues have been resolved:

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