WordPress 2.8.3 Can’t Move Widget Bug (Don’t Upgrade Yet)

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Update: It is fixed now. The problem arises when you don’t disable plugins while updating, some plugins can interfere during upgrade. Also don’t forget to remove wp-admin and wp-includes before updating to latest version.

This is a notice to all webmasters out there. If you are thinking of upgrading to WordPress 2.8.3, then you should wait until WordPress releases a fix. The biggest problem you are going to face is Widgets.

You won’t be able to move the Widgets around and most people are having such problems, including me. As you can see on the right sidebar, all widgets have vanished. I can’t move the new widgets, nor restore the one that were lost.

Note: If you are reading from feed or email, you will need to click the link in order to visit AddictiveTips and see my sidebar.

There are two types of bugs:

  • Can’t move the Widgets at all, nor is editing possible.
  • If you change the theme, your previous widget configuration will be lost.

The second one is rather strange due to which all my sidebar content is now lost, to restore it I need to move widgets, but then I can’t move them in the first place.

Update referring to second point: The content is not lost, but rather it has been removed from the widget in the right-sidebar(which makes it technically lost). Now to restore it back, I will need to move the widget back(which is not possible).

WordPress calm to have a solution for such problem and they list the following three solutions:

  1. A number of plugins have been reported to present problems so deactivate all plugins and reactivate one-by-one to find culprit
  2. In Appearance->Widgets under Screen options, try the Enable Accessibility Mode
  3. Delete or refresh the browser cache

But all three points have failed to make any difference on my side, here is what I have say about these points.

Ans 1. I have disabled all plugins and still the widgets won’t move, heck even the widgets in the right sidebar won’t open.

Ans 2. This solution works for some people only. When I clicked Screen Options button, nothing happened at all.

Ans 3. Widgets still won’t move. I believe that it is not a javascript problem since I can move things easily in the main dashboard, but when it comes to Widgets, it fails.

You might not face the widget problem, but it is still better to wait. Like the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”.

PS…In the meantime I am trying to find more solutions to this problem, if I am successful this post will be updated accordingly. If you have any similar stories to share, please leave a comment. Enjoy!

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  • I have the same problem (point 1). As per your post, I have enabled accesibility mode and it works but it is a hard and very slow solution. Well, it´s better than nothing for the moment!.

    Thanks for your info.

  • Doug C.

    Have you got this issue fixed yet? I just encountered this myself with my new WP site. Now I have the most recent version of WP (2.8.4) and my theme is Thesis (1.5) so for me there wasn't any need for updating. Yet I still encountered this problem today while working on my site. I went through all the supposed “fixes” and none of them did anything – the widgets are still frozen.

    • Disable all plugins and reupload all wordpress files again. This will fix the problem

  • My widgets are still froze even after updating to WP 2.8.5

  • I just updated and my widgets are froze 🙁

  • Finally figured out what the problem was – my Thesis theme. It had a corrupt js file and so my host deleted it and we had to reinstall WP. Now I have a new theme (BlueLight from ThemeForest) and it works great – with no frozen widgets. So I have a $25 theme that works as opposed to a $100 theme that didn't. Lesson: don't always believe the hype.

  • Finally figured out what the problem was – my Thesis theme. It had a corrupt js file and so my host deleted it and we had to reinstall WP. Now I have a new theme (BlueLight from ThemeForest) and it works great – with no frozen widgets. So I have a $25 theme that works as opposed to a $100 theme that didn't. Lesson: don't always believe the hype.

  • Finally figured out what the problem was – my Thesis theme. It had a corrupt js file and so my host deleted it and we had to reinstall WP. Now I have a new theme (BlueLight from ThemeForest) and it works great – with no frozen widgets. So I have a $25 theme that works as opposed to a $100 theme that didn't. Lesson: don't always believe the hype.

  • Jaysn

    hey guys, its pretty old post but my solution was to check the sidebar.php it had an wp_list_bookmarks call, when i removed it (and my invalid html xD)
    the widgets worked again

  • AHHHH Thank u!! soooo much!!! im happy again with my blog!!! 😀 Easy and great! …