How to Fix Error Too Many Redirects Issue in WordPress

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No WordPress site owner wants to see the ERR_TO_MANY_REDIRECTS error, but it’s common. It looks serious and permanent too. Don’t worry; it’s neither of those things with a little knowhow. This guide explains how to fix the error reporting too many redirects in WordPress.

The Cause of too Many Redirects

There’s no single reason for websites to get stuck in an infinite redirection loop. There are quick fixes for the 4 most common causes of this error message. These relate to:

  1. Browser data
  2. Misconfigured URLs in WordPress
  3. Conflicting WP plugins
  4. Problems with the .htaccess file

#1 Clear Your Browser Data

Sometimes, a web browser may be the cause of redirection issues. It could be storing outdated redirect information in its browser cache or even a cookie. The way to check for this is to clear the browser’s cache and delete all cookies. This section covers the 3 most popular browsers.

Clear cache & delete cookies in Google Chrome

Open the Google Chrome web browser.

Click the 3-dots (top right) and select More tools => Clear browsing data.

You’re now at the Chrome Settings screen.

Choose a time range or select All Time (recommended).

Tick (check) the boxes next to Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files.

Click Clear Data.

Clear cache & cookies in Mozilla Firefox

Click the Open Menu icon (three stripes) and select Options from the dropdown.

Click the Privacy & Security link from the General menu.

Click Clear Data in the Cookies and Site Data section.

Click the Clear button in the Clear Data pop-up.

Firefox displays a ‘Clear all cookies and site data’ confirmation message.

Click Clear Now to complete the process.

Clear cache & cookies in Apple Safari

Click the Safari link on the menu bar (top left), followed by Preferences.

From the Preferences screen, click the Privacy tab followed by Manage Website Data.

Click Remove All in the first pop-up and Remove Now in the second.

Close and reopen Safari to save the changes.

Search for the correct procedure online if you use a different browser to the three above.

Move to the next fix if clearing browser cache and cookies haven’t worked.

#2 Misconfigured URLs in WordPress

You might not have access to your WP Admin Area if your site is in an indefinite redirect loop. If you can, log in with admin-level access and follow these steps, otherwise go to the next section.

Click Settings => General from the Dashboard side menu.

What we’re checking for here are the URLs in the following two fields:

  1. WordPress Address (URL)
  2. Site Address (URL)

Let’s assume you set up the website with your WordPress hosting service provider to display the domain name without the www. prefix. It’s an option offered by most web hosts.

That means your website opens in the browser like so.

http://mysite.com

The problem occurs if you’ve changed the URL in WP General settings to include the www. It’s the same problem in reverse, i.e. WordPress has no www., but the web host setting does.

In this example, the server wants to display http://mysite.com (no www). But WordPress wants to display http://www.mysite.com (with www).

This conflict causes the indefinite redirection between the two variants.

The solution is to make sure your WordPress URLs match your web host (no trailing slash (/).

Can’t access the WordPress admin area

The redirection might stop you from accessing your WP admin area. Don’t worry; there are other ways to change the WordPress Address, and Site Address URLs. You need to access your wp-config.php file for this. That means using an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) application, or the File Manager in your website’s cPanel (control panel) account.

We’re going to use cPanel for this tutorial, but the fix is the same either way. Please read the short ‘What Is cPanel’ guide first if you’re new to this.

Changing URLs from Your File Manager

Log in to your website’s cPanel account.

Click the File Manager icon from the Files section (usually the first option in cPanel).

File Manager opens in a new browser tab and has three parts to it.

  1. Toolbar (top)
  2. Directory listing column (left)
  3. File listing column (right)

Click the public_html directory (folder) in the directory listing column.

Now find the wp-config.php file in the file listing column.

Right-click on the wp-config.php file and select Edit from the pop-up menu.

Scroll to the end of the wp_config file and add the following two lines of code.

Remember to replace example.com with your own domain.

define(‘WP_HOME','http://example.com');
define(‘WP_SITEURL','http://example.com');)

Click Save Changes (top right) when you’re done.

Try to log into your WordPress Dashboard. If the problem persists, repeat the above steps, but this time add the www. prefix to the domain.

Move to the next solution if changing the URLs didn’t work.

#3 WP plugin issues

WordPress plugins that use redirects can sometimes cause redirection issues. SEO, Cache, or Secure Socket Layer (SSL) type plugins are the main culprits. The misconfigured plugin redirects users back to the redirecting URL, and so the loop continues.

Try to remember if you added a new or updated any active plugins before the issue. If yes, it’s worth trying those first, rather than deactivating all your plugins at once.

Deleting WP plugins from File Manager

Open File Manager from your website cPanel account.

Locate and click public_html in the directory listing column (left).

Locate the wp_content directory and click the + sign.

Locate and click the plugins subfolder.

All your plugins are now visible and editable in the file listing column (right)

Right-click on the potentially problematic plugin and select delete from the pop-up menu.

Return to your WP login screen and press CTRL + F5 to refresh the page.

If you still can’t log in, repeat the above process with other recently added/updated plugins.

If you’re not sure, then it’s best to deactivate all plugins and reactivate them one at a time. You can find the step-by-step process for this in the simple guide below.

How to Deactivate All Plugins When Not Able to Access the Dashboard.

#4 Disabling .htaccess file

PLEASE MAKE A BACKUP OF YOUR .HTACCESS FILE BEFORE CONTINUING.

Incorrect syntax or a misconfigured rule in your .htaccess file may be causing a redirection loop. The way to check this is to disable the file and then try to re-access WordPress. We’ll do this from the File Manager in cPanel, or you can use FTP if you prefer.

Open File Manager from your website cPanel account (see #2 above if you need guidance)

Locate and click public_html in the directory listing column (left).

Right-click on the .htaccess file in the right-side column and select rename from the menu.    

Change the file name to .htaccess-old, then click Rename File.

Now check to see if your WordPress login screen loads without redirecting.

If it doesn’t, right-click on the renamed file and select Edit from the pop-up menu.

It should look like the default rules below:

 # BEGIN WordPress

 

 <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

 RewriteEngine On

 RewriteBase /

 RewriteRule ^index.php$ – [L]

 RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f

 RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

 RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

 </IfModule>

 

 # END WordPress

Delete the current content if it doesn’t replicate these default rules.

Now paste the rules above into the .htaccess-old file.

Rename the file back to .htaccess

Your site should now load properly.

If nothing works, seek an expert’s help so they can troubleshoot at a deeper level.

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