I have a customer who asked me to upgrade his site to the latest version of Joomla 3.9.18 being that he is on 3.9.16.

Why do I worry? Well, I have the site set to remind me every day if the site has not been updated.

He told me that he could not update any components, so I investigated and found that the screen turns white when trying to update.

I then tested one of the components by just using manage/install and it updated fine.

This client has nearly every component known to man loaded so I am surprised that nothing was broken before this. (For instance, he has three form creation components, RS Forms Pro, Breezing Forms and one other.)

I suspect that one of the components or plugins has created the problem, but just putting it out there if anyone has encountered a white screen in the update area, but everything else including manual updating is working fine?

I read all references to white screens, and they seem to be related to a component or plugin, but the white screen was occurring elsewhere in the backend or frontend.

1 Answer 1


I first came across white screen when updating php from 5.6 to 7.0+. Pre 3.0 installations usually triggered the white screen but some later versions can trigger it too.

Definitely uninstall any components, modules, templates or plugins that are no longer in use. This is just good practice anyhow but saves time updating them when they are no longer necessary.

In my experience, white screen is mostly caused by out of date templates. If the installation is using an 'off the shelf' template, check with the template developer to see if they have released an update. Installing the updated template is usually as simple as an extension install but watch out for any custom css overrides to ensure they are not lost during the update. Custom css may sometimes have been performed on the template default global css files which will get overwritten.

These template updates do not get highlighted in the Joomla maintenance updates so need to be looked for manually. Some template developers provide a plugin to check for template updates.

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