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How to fix missing items in Joomla Components menu

446 hits Updated: 26 June 2023 Blog

“Missing” items in the Components menu; what causes this to happen and how to fix the problem

In this article we will investigate a common problem with Joomla website administration, the case of “missing” items in the Components menu.  Here is a typical question we see posted on various technical discussion forums

[I am] trying to update Joomla 3.8.7 to latest using the link that [my] site sent to me ... [but] I don't seem to have a Joomla! Update [item] in the Components list.forum user, Joomla Forum, 20-Nov-2020

There are several reasons why this problem occurs.  The most common reason is because of “corrupted” entries in the _menu table.  There may be other causes but it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss them here.

The wrong menutype used with records in the _menu table

The most common reason why items seem to disappear from the Component menu in the J! backend is because the menutype associated with the item is incorrect.  In order for items to appear in the Component menu they must use menutype = main.

The images below show what a normal “out-of-the-box”, vanilla-flavoured J! 3.x{footonote}; it’s a similar deal with J! 4.x.  The screenshots in this article were made from a J! 3.10.10 website because it was convenient at the time. website looks like with all the items displayed and what it can look like if one or more of those items goes missing because the menutype is wrongThere may, however, be other reasons why your website stops working.  For example, your webhosting provider may decide that your website poses a potential risk to the SLA you’ve agreed to.:

What you should not do

Updating your version of J! (or “refreshing” the files on the server) will have no effect on this problem.  There is no mechanism to re-install the “missing" components (unless you have completely wrecked things and you need to start over with a new J! website and assemble it from what you can salvage like a jigsaw puzzle).  The solution is usually much easier:  repair the problem entries in the _menu table in the database using a tool like phpMyAdmin.

Fixing the “corrupted”_menu table

This problem has been discussed many times at the Joomla forumExamples include https://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?t=996747, https://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=710&t=953083 and https://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=708&t=950841..  Using phpMyAdmin, run the following query on your database:

SELECT id, menutype, title, component_id, published FROM xxxxx_menu WHERE title LIKE 'com_%';

replacing xxxxx with the table prefix used by your website.  This should display the table rows something like in the following screenshot:

Look at the two arrowed columns (menutype and published).  Make sure these records have published = 1.

The most common cause of the “missing” components problem is when the menutype is wrong.  Here is an example of the _menu table with wrongly set menu items:

j menuTable wrong1

In the above example there are records with menutype = menu (instead of menutype = main).  If you change the menutype to “main”, your menu items should now appear.  You can run the following query on your database to fix these records:

UPDATE xxxxx_menu SET menutype = 'main' WHERE menutype = 'menu';

replacing xxxxx with the table prefix used by your website.  This should fix the majority of these “missing” components problems.  Although there we do not know why this happens, its cause seems to be historical, starting with websites created before J! 3.5.  These things happen.

About the author:

has worked in the information technology industry since 1971 and, since retiring from the workforce in 2007, is a website hobbyist specialising in Joomla, a former member of the Kunena project for more than 8 years, and contributor on The Joomla Forum™. The opinions expressed in this article are entirely those of the author. View his profile here.

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