WordPress Appearance Editor Missing [100% Working Fixes]

WordPress Appearance Editor missing

If you run your WordPress blog for some time, there’s a chance you may need to access the WordPress Appearance Editor.

But the question is, “What to do if this option is missing in your WordPress dashboard?”.

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Why Is WordPress Appearance Editor Missing?


There are two reasons why WordPress Appearance Editor is missing:

  • your wp-config.php file’s configuration does not allow to edit some files using any editor,
  • you have a security plugin (probably iThemes Security) installed and activated.


WordPress Appearance Editor And WordPress Security Plugins Dependency


As you’ve just read above, WordPress security plugins can cause quite serious issues with WP Appearance Theme Editor.

Does this mean that you should stop using WP security plugins at all?

Absolutely not!

Personally, I have a few security plugins from this list installed and activated, and I still have access to WordPress Appearance Theme Editor.


How To Restore WordPress Appearance Editor


So here’s what you should do in order to restore WordPress Appearance Editor feature:

1. Change just one setting in the wp-config.php file.

1. Go to WP File Manager (you may need to install and activate it first if you haven’t done that yet).

2. Right-click wp-config.php file and choose Code Editor from the menu.

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3. Look for a line:

define(‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true);

and replace true with false:

define(‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, false);

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4. After clicking Save & Close, you can clear the cache and check whether you can access Appearance -> (Theme) Editor.

In my case, the function was still not available after clearing the cache and refreshing my WP dashboard with the F5 key.

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If this is also your case, it means that you should go to step number 2.


2. Uncheck One Option In iThemes Security Settings (If You Use This Plugin)


In the year 2020, iThemes Security got an update that allows its users to fix the issue with Appearance Editor missing without deactivating this plugin.

If you are the user of iThemes Security, your wp-config.php file should contain a block of code similar to the one shown below.

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If this is your case, you need to go to Security -> Settings -> WordPress Tweaks, and then click Configure Settings.

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By default, the option Disable File Editor is checked.

You need to uncheck it and click Save Settings in the bottom left corner!

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After these steps, the WP Appearance Theme Editor should be restored. 🙂

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If this section of the article wasn’t helpful for you, you should go now to step number 3.


3. Deactivate Your Security Plugins One By One Starting With iThemes Security


WordPress Appearance Editor is often not available because it can be blocked by some security plugins.

Usually, it’s enough to deactivate iThemes Security (if you use it),

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and the Editor goes back to the WordPress dashboard.

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If this step didn’t help you anyway, try to deactivate any other security plugin you have activated earlier in the past, clear the cache again and recheck the result.

Repeat this step with each security plugin until you fix the issue. 🙂




Personally, I do not have any reason to use this WordPress feature (which is available in Appearance -> Theme Editor).

However, I’m aware that there are many people who try to find a solution to this issue, and I hope that this article turned out to be helpful. 🙂