How to Fix Elementor Data Updater Bug

I had a client experiencing a long standing issue with Elementor and Elementor Pro where they would always show an update notification in the top of their site, which could never be cleared.

Specifically, they’d see a notification which read:

Elementor Data Updater

Database update process is running in the background. Taking a while?

Click here to run it now

WordPress Admin Notification

More specifically, that message, looked like this:

Elementor Data Updater Message – which stays forever unless you fix it!

How to Fix This

Several long, long online threads suggested rolling back to previous versions will resolve this. This doesn’t work in many cases, and, let’s be honest, rolling back is not a solution to the underlying issue.

What is the underlying issue?

A plugin (or theme or other element) conflict. This issue doesn’t exist in a clean install, where you have only Elementor and WordPress installed. Something else in your site is causing a conflict, and this conflict is breaking the update script.

There is a way to find this out, using a little trick called WP_DEBUG and the clue is in the name here!

1) Work in Staging!

Firstly, you should ideally be working in a staging or test copy of your site, not the live version… unless you really don’t mind things breaking in production.

2) Add Debug to wp-config.php

Now, you should edit the wp-config.php file of your site to include the following lines:

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );

This does the following three things:

  1. Turned on WP_DEBUG which means WordPress will print errors which occur (when you get your fatal issue)
  2. Turned on WP_DEBUG_LOG – to log this debug information to file
  3. Turned off debug messages from displaying in screen (in case this happens on the front end of website, a visitor would see the weird message… not so important in test or staging, but live site its a must!)

3) Recreate Error & Open debug.log

You will now need to click the “Click here to run it now” button which will of course BREAK!

This time, however, your error will write a little log into a file called debug.log, which you will be able to find via SFTP in /wp-content/ directory.

Download this file and open it in a text editor.

You should see several lines about some error or another – the “backtrace” should usually contain a reference to the specific plugin or element which is causing your problem. Note which plugin this was.

4) Deactivate the relevant plugin

Go to wp-admin/plugins and deactivate the plugin which was causing your issue.

Then run the “Click here to run it now” again… you should now see a Success! message. If not, repeat step 3 and see if ANOTHER plugin is now in conflict. Do this until you get success.

5) Undo your workings

Now you completed this database update, you should be able to:

  1. Reactivate any plugins deactivated to get this update done;
  2. Remove lines 2 and 3 from the wp-config.php changes – and set WP_DEBUG to “false” (where it was “true”)
  3. Delete debug.log from wp-config directory – this is a good practice (as is renaming the file, but that’s for another more advanced tutorial!).

What if you still have issues?!

If you have any troubles, please leave a comment below, or, if this seems like too much for you, you should be able to pay a high quality WordPress developer under 1 hours work to get this done for you.

I recommend clicking here to add a task to Codeable to find someone to get this done.

Please feel free to link to this blog post when you do, then they’ll know the steps to take!

Did this work for you?

Please leave a cheerful comment below if this helped you out. A virtual high-five is more than enough thanks!

By Robin Scott

I'm Robin Scott, a WordPress and WooCommerce expert who, along with three other people, runs a business called Silicon Dales Ltd remotely, from a base in the North West of the UK (kind of near Manchester!). I enjoy using my talents for programming to track and interpret sporting, political or retail data - and therefore you'll see me posting some content in these spaces in this, my personal website. If you're interested to talk about leveraging this for your business (in sport, entertainment, retail, etc) please contact me.

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