This tutorial is part of our FREE WordPress Management training and WordPress Troubleshooting tutorial series.
In this series of step-by-step tutorials, we show you how to troubleshoot and fix common WordPress errors.
Important: Always back up your WordPress site (files and database) before modifying any files or performing any upgrades or installations!
If you don’t want to perform manual backups, then consider getting support from a WordPress professional, or use backup plugins.
(WordPress “Are you sure you want to do this?” error)
One of the most common WordPress errors you will experience is the ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ error …
(“Are you sure you want to do this?”)
Normally, you will experience this issue when working in your admin area in one of the following areas:
As WordPress doesn’t specify what causes the error in this instance, some troubleshooting is required. In the worst case scenario, the error may display if your website is under attack or has been hacked, but more often than not, this problem is caused by one of the following:
Let’s go through a process you can use to try and solve the issue.
If you experience the ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ error after having stepped away from your computer for a while then coming back to work on your post or page and trying to save your work, the issue may just be that WordPress has logged you out.
This can happen if you are working in a location where your wi-fi or internet connection keeps going in and out of range.
Next time you get this error, just click on ‘Please try again’ and see what happens …
(Please try again)
If WordPress takes you back to where you were before (e.g. saving a post) and the process seems to resume as normal, then the issue may just be that WordPress is logging you out but also remembering and saving your work using the autosave function.
If you keep experiencing this issue but are able to access your admin area and resume working, see this tutorial:
If you experience the ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ error often when trying to save WordPress posts or pages and clicking ‘Please try again’ seems to work, then we recommend doing the following to make sure that you are saving the latest version of your content:
If you are not able to log back into WordPress after the ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ error message appears, then continue troubleshooting the problem using the methods described below.
The ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ error is sometimes triggered when you are trying to complete an action that requires having certain user access permissions but WordPress is unable to verify that you have these. In other words, WordPress doesn’t know who you are.
WordPress uses security tokens called ‘nonces‘ to validate users and verify that you are the owner of your website or that you have the correct user role and permissions to complete the action that you are trying to do on your site. If the tokens in your browser cookies don’t match the tokens assigned to your current login session, you may experience errors with session authentication.
Often, clearing your web browser cache (and history and cookies) will fix this issue. The first step when trying to resolve this issue, then, is to clear your web browser cache.
Regardless of what web browser you are using (i.e. Firefox, Safari, Chrome), look for the option that allows you to clear your web browser history and cache.
For example, in Google Chrome, you can clear your browsing data by going to Menu > Settings > Advanced > Clear Browsing Data …
(Google Chrome Browser – Clear Browsing Data)
If you need help with the above, refer to the tutorials in this training module:
See if this fixes the problem when you go back to using WordPress. If you continue to experience the ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ error after clearing your browsing data, then proceed to the method below.
Sometimes, a file or folder may have been missed when uploading plugin or theme files to your server and this can cause the ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ error.
If you suspect the error was caused after trying to upload a plugin or theme, try to upload the files again in case a file is missing or the plugin/theme did not upload properly.
If you need help with this, see these tutorials:
If this doesn’t fix the issue, try using the next method below.
If there are too many plugins or applications installed on your WordPress site or too many processes running at the same time, you may be exhausting the PHP memory limit allocated to your website. In this case, the error could be solved by increasing your PHP memory.
To learn how to increase your PHP memory limit and troubleshoot issues related to exceeding PHP memory limits, see this tutorial:
If you experience the ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ error while working on a theme (e.g. uploading a new theme or configuring theme settings), try reverting to the default WordPress theme included with your installation.
Reverting to your default WordPress theme is recommended when troubleshooting theme issues …
(Revert to your default WordPress theme when troubleshooting theme issues)
If you are working on a theme and find that you can’t log back into WordPress after getting the ‘Are you sure you want to do this’ error, you may need to delete the new theme from your server. To do this, log into your server using FTP or cPanel’s File Manager, make a backup of the new theme, and either rename the theme or delete it from your server.
If you need help with this, see this tutorial:
If you can login to your WordPress site after renaming or deleting the theme from your server, you will most likely find a ‘broken theme’ error message …
(WordPress displays a ‘broken theme’ message if your active theme is deleted)
This error also displays if you try loading themes with missing files …
(‘The active theme is broken. Reverting to the default theme.’)
When themes are broken, WordPress reverts to the default theme used in your installation.
See if this solves the issue. If not, try using the next method below:
If you experience the ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ error while working on a plugin, try removing the plugin or renaming plugin files on your server.
If you need help troubleshooting Plugins, refer to the tutorial below:
If none of the above methods fixes the issue, try resetting your WordPress security keys.
To learn how to reset your WordPress security keys, see this tutorial:
If none of the above methods work and the error persists, contact your hosting company and let them know what actions you are taking before the error occurs. They may be able to help you fix this.
In addition to the information above, check out this video on how to fix the WordPress “Are you sure you want to do this” error from the team at MyThemeShop:
(How to fix the WordPress ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ error. Video: MyThemeShop)
Refer to the tutorials in the section below if you experience additional issues with WordPress:
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