When it comes to error messages, your worst enemies are those that don’t provide you with a lot of information to go on. The Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again error is one such particularly annoying example that’s specific to WordPress.
Fortunately, we have a lot of experience when it comes to troubleshooting errors. The aforementioned message often pops up due to problems with your plugins or themes (among other things). If you know how to fix these issues, you should be able to make short work of it.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what causes the Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again error in WordPress. We’ll also teach you four methods for fixing it. Let’s get to work!
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What Causes the ‘Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again‘ Error
The problem with the Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again error is it doesn’t give you much information to go on. Fortunately, in our experience, you can usually narrow down its causes to:
- Plugin compatibility issues. One of your plugins might be incompatible with another or WordPress itself, causing the error to appear.
- A problem with your active theme. Just like plugins, themes can also cause problems with other parts of your WordPress website.
- Corrupted WordPress files. While rare, the files that power WordPress can become corrupted. This could occur if you make changes to them, or they could be due to issues with your server.
Three causes are still a bit vague, but it at least gives you somewhere to start. With that in mind, let’s talk about how to troubleshoot it.
4 Ways to Fix the ‘Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again‘ Error
To keep things simple, we’ve ordered the four methods below in the order you should approach them. After you follow the instructions in each section, you should test your website to see if this has fixed the error. If the error is still active, move on to the next method until the problem has been resolved.
1. Deactivate Your Current Theme
You can have several themes installed but unlike plugins, only one can be active at a time. This makes it easy to see if your theme is the cause of the error, because all you need to do is to activate another theme. There are two ways to do this, depending on whether you have access to your dashboard or not. If you can use your admin dashboard, go to the Appearance > Themes tab, pick a different theme, and hit the Activate button:
If the Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again error prevents you from using this approach, you’ll have to switch themes using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). To access your website using this method you’ll need a client and your FTP credentials. We recommend using FileZilla as your client since it’s a powerful open-source tool that’s very beginner friendly.
Most web hosts will send your FTP credentials to you via email upon signup. You should also be able to get them from your hosting control panel. For example, 000Webhost users can log into their hosting dashboard and go inside the Settings > General section. Here, you’ll find your unique FTP credentials in the section at the top of the screen:
All you have to do is type your Host, Username, and Password into the corresponding fields in the FileZilla client. Keep in mind – you won’t see your FTP password when you access your 000Webhost control panel for security reasons. However, it’s the same password you use to access your 000Webhost account. Once you’ve entered your credentials, hit the Quickconnect button within FileZilla:
FileZilla will establish a connection to your website, and two folders will pop up on the lower-right side of the screen. One of them is called public_html, and it’s where all of your WordPress files reside. What you need to do now is locate your active theme’s folder, which should be within the public_html/wp-content/themes directory:
There’s one folder for each theme you have on your website, and it should be easy to recognize which is which. Find the folder that corresponds to your active theme and right-click on it. Now, hit the Rename option and change that folder’s name to something such as disabled.yourthemename:
Once you change the folder’s name, WordPress won’t recognize it and revert to a default theme. You should now check your site to see if the error persists. If it does, go ahead and re-activate your theme by returning the folder you modified to its original name.
However, if your active theme was the source of the problem, you have two options. The first one is to revert to a previous version of your theme and wait for an update that hopefully fixes the issue. Your second option is to use a different theme, which may involve some work since you’ll probably have to rework your website’s style. We recommend that you also contact the theme’s creator to report the problem and request support.
2. Manually Test Your Active Plugins One by One
In our experience, plugins are the most likely cause behind the majority of WordPress errors. This can be due to compatibility issues, incorrectly written code, or simply that a plugin has become outdated over time. It’s also not out of the ordinary for a WordPress website to run multiple active plugins at once, making it more likely that one will cause a problem.
The good news is you can quickly test if a plugin is behind the error by testing them manually. This is done in the same way as with themes, which we just covered. This can take some time, especially if you have many plugins active on your site. This is because you’ll want to test your plugins one by one and check your site after each to find out exactly which one is causing problems. Here’s how you should approach the problem using FTP, step by step:
- Navigate to the public_html/wp-content/plugins directory.
- Start by renaming your plugins directory to something else, such as disabled.plugins. This will deactivate every plugin on your site, so you can see if a plugin is the cause of the error. If your site still isn’t working, you can be sure this is not the case, so rename the folder back to plugins and proceed to the next method. However, if this does fix the problem, you now need to find which plugin was causing it.
- Create a new folder in the wp-content directory and name it plugins, which will make it your new plugin directory.
- One by one, you should now move each of the folders from disabled.plugins into plugins. Moving a plugin into this folder will reactivate it again, enabling you to test it on your site.
- Access your website each time you reactivate a plugin and check if the Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again appears again. If it does, you have found the plugin that caused the error.
- Repeat the process with all your plugins until the error appears again.
When you find the broken plugin, we recommend that you deactivate it again. In most cases, an update should fix the problem, but you might want to look for a similar plugin to replace it. One of the best things about WordPress is you can usually find multiple plugins with the same functionality, so finding an alternative is usually not a problem. On the other hand, if none of your plugins was to blame, it’s time to bring out the big guns.
3. Restore a Recent Backup of Your Website
We always tell everyone to back up their WordPress websites often. It should only take you a few minutes to do so, and in most cases, it can fix whatever error is causing you a headache.
For this method, we’re going to assume you have a recent backup of your website before the Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again popped up. However, if you don’t, you’ll still need to create a backup before you can perform method number four below, so let’s go through the process first.
At 000Webhost, we set up the All-In-One WP Migration plugin for all our users out of the box, so you have a built-in tool to backup your site and migrate it if needed. If you’re using a different hosting provider, install the plugin now, then go to the All-In-One WP Migration > Backups tab within WordPress. You’ll find a button that reads Create Backup within, so go ahead and click on it:
In the next step, the plugin will ask you to choose where to store your backup file. You can link the plugin to several cloud storage platforms for added security but for now, go ahead and choose the File option. This will enable you to download the backup to your computer:
Finally, the plugin will get to work on creating your backup file and provide you a link to download it when it’s ready, which depends on the size of your website. Once you have the file, you can go to the All-In-One WP Migration > Restore tab at any time and use the upload feature within to return your website to that stage:
If you have a backup of your website shortly before the Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again error appeared, upload it now. If you lost your backup file, you can find it by navigating to the All-In-One WP Migration > Backups tab, which includes a list of all your recent backups:
There are multiple options next to each backup, including one to restore them. All you have to do is click on that option and wait for the plugin to work its magic. Keep in mind, though – you should only attempt to restore recent backups since you’ll lose all the work you did between then and now.
4. Replace Your WordPress Core Files
At this stage, you have ruled out plugins and themes as the causes of your problems. Likewise, you probably don’t have access to a recent backup, so restoring your site is out of the question. Your last option is to replace all the files that make WordPress work since one of them may have become corrupted.
In this scenario, finding the specific file that’s giving you problems is nearly impossible since WordPress has too many moving parts. However, we can replace all your major WordPress files, excluding the contents of the wp-content directory. That directory includes your themes, plugins, and media files, which are the hardest to replace.
To get started, create a backup of your website using the steps in the previous section, in case something goes wrong. Now, access your site via FTP again and go into the public_html folder. There’s a file called wp-config.php, which includes critical data such as your database information. You’re going to download that file to your computer separately from the backup you just created. To do it, right-click on the file and hit the Download button:
FileZilla will download a copy of wp-config.php to whichever local directory you’ve got open on the tab to the left of your website’s structure. Keep that file there for now and go to WordPress.org. Once you’re there, download the latest version of WordPress and unzip the file. Go ahead and copy the wp-config.php file you downloaded earlier to that root directory, which gets us a full WordPress installation:
All that’s left to do now is to upload it to your website via FTP and replace your existing WordPress files. The cleanest way to do this is to delete your existing WordPress website’s files and directories, except the wp-content folder, as in the example below:
This may take a while since WordPress contains a lot of files. Once FileZilla finishes deleting them, you can upload the clean WordPress installation you have on your computer. Just use FileZilla to choose all the files within the local WordPress directory you created and drag-and-drop them over to your website. You can also right-click on them and choose the Upload option since both approaches accomplish the same thing:
Hundreds of files will be uploaded, so be patient while this process runs. When FileZilla finishes uploading your WordPress files, go ahead and access your website. Everything should look just as it did before and the Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again should be gone.
The Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again error in WordPress can be annoying due to its lack of specificity. However, troubleshooting it isn’t complicated if you know what the most common causes are and how to fix them.
In most cases, one of the four approaches below should return your site to normal and erase the issue:
- Deactivate your current theme.
- Manually test your active plugins one by one.
- Restore a recent backup of your website.
- Replace your WordPress core files with brand new versions.
Do you have any questions about how to deal with the Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again error? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!