Visual Editor not Working on WordPress Post Add/Edit

Posted In WordPress - By NitiN Kumar Jain On Friday, December 14th, 2012 With 0 Comments

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Automatic upgrading WordPress from the WP admin is sometimes a pain as it breaks things a few times. I have experienced WP upgrade breaking couple of my sites every time there is an upgrade whereas rest sites always work okay after the upgrade. Not sure why ??

In the recent upgrade to 3.5, visual editor of add/edit post page stopped responding. The editor was left on the ‘Text’ mode before the upgrade and it stopped moving to ‘Visual’ after the upgrade. Clicking on ‘Visual’ had no impact on it. I could never see the button bar.


WYSIWYG editor had some problem but what the problem was, I had no idea. I at least knew the problem was with the TINYMCE which is responsible for displaying the Editor.

I manually downloaded the WordPress zip, re-uploaded the tinymce folder to wp-includes\js. Even that did not work.

I started Googling and tried below suggestions but none worked for me.

  • Re-upgrade automatically
  • Change the permission of tinymce folder to 777
  • Re-upload the tinemce folder
  • Disable all plugins and activate one by one
  • Switch to the default WordPress theme

Anyone, who is a bit techy, could know that if clicking on Visual is not making the button bar appear, there must be  a JavaScript error which is preventing the divs to switch. So, I went ahead to diagnose it myself using my browser.

  • I quickly added the following in my wp-config.php (You should remove this after you are done)

define(‘SCRIPT_DEBUG’, true);

  • Navigated to Add post page
  • Opened the Chrome’s JavaScript console
  • And found the problem instantly: Internal server error (500) in loading the tiny_mce.js file


  • I manually tried to load the js file in the browser and I got the same error



See this detailed post on JavaScript debugging in different browsers.

Since, I had already tried disabling all plugins and switching to default WordPress theme eliminating them from being the problem, the only thing I was left to do was re-upload wp-admin and wp-includes from the fresh WordPress download.

I did that immediately and it indeed started working. I could now move to the Visual editor and everything else too.

So, basically it seems that the automatic upgrade had not upgraded the website properly. Now, tinymce js file also opens up properly.