“Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page” displaying in WP Admin

After a site migration or after certain types of maintenance, you may see this warning when attempting to access wp-admin.

If you attempt to access the /wp-admin side of a WordPress site and are met with a message stating, “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page”, then you may need to review the roles information of your wp_options database table.

This can happen after a site migration where the table prefix of your wp-config.php file has been updated. For example, if you were to change your table prefix from ab_ back to the default wp_, you may think that renaming the tables would be enough. However, WordPress uses the table prefix within its wp_options table to store information about user roles on the site.

Navigate to your wp_options table in your database editor and look for a record with an option_name ending in user_roles. You should find a record called something like wp_user_roles, though the wp_ underscore is subject to change based upon the table prefix you were previously using.

In our example, the wp_user_roles record may have originally been called abc_user_roles. Since you changed the table prefix to wp_, however, WordPress is now looking for an option called wp_user_roles which does not exist. This means it cannot load the appropriate permissions for user roles on your site which leads to the permissions issue seen within the CMS.

Changing the option_name to match your table prefix will resolve this. For example, change the option name from abc_user_roles to wp_user_roles and you should be able to access the wp-admin side of your site once again.

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