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How to Fix the “Are You Sure You Want to Do This” Error in WordPress

Have you encountered the “Are you sure you want to do this” error in WordPress? This is one of the many common WordPress errors you will run into while running a website. Unlike the other error messages, this one is not specific. There are multiple sources that can cause the message and not having any useful information does not make it easier to fix.

Many of the common WordPress errors are a result of installing a new plugin or theme on your website. This one is no exception and a fix for many of these errors can be found by keeping an up to date backup of your website. Today, I will demonstrate how to resolve the “Are you sure you want to do this” error in WordPress.

What Causes the “Are You Sure You Want to Do This” Error in WordPress

All common WordPress errors have known solutions and to figure out the solution, knowing what causes the error is very important. In this case, the error is usually the result of a Nonce check failure. Nonces are verification codes for plugins and themes. If WordPress cannot correctly read the Nonce of a plugin or theme this error will appear. Unfortunately, this error message does not tell you which theme or plugin are the issue. It is likely the plugin or theme that you recently installed or updated.

One of the most common solutions is to revert your website to an older backup before the error occurred. If you update your backup regularly, it is one of the most powerful tools to use against errors. If you do not update regularly, the backup is close to worthless because it is missing your regular content updates and website changes.

How to Resolve the “Are You Sure You Want to Do This” Error in WordPress

Today, I will demonstrate how to resolve the “Are you sure you want to do this” error in WordPress. You will not need any additional plugins to solve this issue and in fact, a plugin is likely causing the issue. The error is very simple to track but can become quite tedious if you have a lot of plugins and themes installed. The process includes disabling your themes and plugins while checking to see if the error is fixed. If you have a lot of plugins, this process may take a while.

Before you begin I would recommend creating a backup before determining the problem. While disabling plugins you may have a difficult time getting them back to the way they were. If you run into this problem reverting back after you find the problem will make it so you only have to disable one plugin or theme.

Odds are that a plugin is causing the problem. If you only have a handful of plugins use the following method to manually uninstall a plugin, but if you have a lot and are not certain if a plugin is causing the issue skip ahead. On the left-hand admin panel, click on Plugins and select the Installed Plugins option.

Click on Plugins and select the Installed Plugins option.

Here you can see every plugin installed on your website. Deactivating the plugins will not be enough because they can still cause a problem. This is why it is recommended to uninstall a plugin if you are not using it.

Go down the list and deactivate and uninstall each plugin one by one. Check your website to see if the error has disappeared after each uninstall. If it has, that plugin is the issue. To deactivate a plugin, click on the deactivate option underneath the plugin name. Once it is deactivated, you will be able to delete it.

Delete each plugin one by one.

If you have a lot of plugins the first method of plugin removal will take a while with no guarantee that a plugin is a problem. Instead, you can simply rename the plugins folder to deactivate and uninstall all plugins. The issue with doing this is that you will only know if a plugin is causing the problem or not. This does not help determine which plugin is the issue.

To use this method you will need access to your cPanel, which is provided by your web host when you create an account. Log into the cPanel and click on the File Manager. Click on the public-html directory and locate the wp-content folder. This folder contains all of the content on your website. Locate the plugins folder and right-click it. Select the Rename option and rename it to “plugins off” or something similar.

Select the Rename option.

Make sure to rename your folder back to “plugins” because WordPress will only recognize that name. The other likely issue is your themes. Odds are you do not have a lot of themes installed on your website. If you do have a lot, repeat this process, but rename the theme folder instead. This will force WordPress to activate the default theme as your current theme. If the error message is fixed then it was one of your themes.

Change the folder back to “themes” and it is time to find the theme causing the problem. On the left-hand admin panel, click on Appearance and select the Themes option. Reinstall each theme until you find which theme was causing the error.

Click on Appearance and select the Themes option.

Congratulations, you have successfully learned how to resolve this error if a plugin or theme is causing the problem. These will cause the problem 99% of the time so make sure you are thorough. If you are sure that none of your plugins or themes are causing the problem, then the issue got even harder to fix. You will need to delete every WordPress file that is not located in the wp-content folder and do a fresh WordPress install. Make sure you make a backup before performing this.

Errors Happen to Everyone

Error messages can be extremely frustrating when you are just starting out. They happen to everyone and are hard to avoid sometimes. What’s most important when they occur is being able to respond quickly. Error messages generally cause your website to stop working, which is a huge inconvenience to both the visitors and you, the web developer.

It cannot be stated enough how valuable a backup of your website is in these situations. You can generally fix almost all problems by reverting if your website is backed up regularly. Using a backup becomes less reasonable when it is more than a week old. A good policy to follow is always backup your website when you add new content and after you are sure a new plugin works correctly.

How many different common WordPress errors have you encountered? Was it a plugin or theme that was causing the problem?

Author: Chris Racicot

Chris is the Support Manager at GreenGeeks and has been with the company since 2010. He has a passion for gaming, scripting and WordPress. When he’s not enjoying his sleep, he’s working on his guitar skills and fiddling with 3d printing.

Updated on May 6, 2018

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