Joomla 3.9.11

Working on localhost, today I decided to rename my database from dbtest to dbnew. I did this using HeidiSQL > rename db

When I visit my site I now see the following error;

Warning: session_start(): Failed to read session data: user (path: C:\xampp\tmp) in C:\xampp\htdocs\mysite\libraries\joomla\session\handler\native.php on line 260 Error: Failed to start application: Failed to start the session

I opened configuration.php and replaced all instances of dbtest with 'dbnew' but same thing.

I've also emptied the db sessions table, tried a different browser and restarted apache / mysql.

If I revert the name back to dbtest and change my configuration.php accordingly all works as expected. SO, what am I doing wrong, how can I change my db name correctly?

Any advice?

2 Answers 2


Found the answer.

When I renamed the database I also had to re-assign the database user to this database.


First check your session handler in configuration.php and try to set it to 'none'.

$session_handler = 'none';

That should work in most cases and you might get some information on the true causes of the failure.

In my case, the $session_handler was set to 'database' and I had an error in my database setup. If this applies to you as well, check your database setup carefully again (host, db, user & password).

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