My Popup Won't Work - How Can I Fix It?

DEPRECATED: See Troubleshooting Your First Popup


Fixing a popup that won’t display, or no longer displays can be complicated. It requires helpful tools, and a systematic approach to evaluate and eliminate possible root causes.  

This article introduces users to several debugging tools and a progressive approach to problem-solving.

Overwhelmed? Try our beginner-friendly Troubleshooting Your First Popup guide. It goes over the top problems our support team sees.

Article Contents

Recommended Debugging Tools

We recommend two tools to assess popup performance and settings:

  1. The Popup Maker Admin Toolbar
  2. The Popup Maker Debug Mode

Popup Maker Admin Toolbar

This tool is accessible from the WordPress Admin toolbar located on the front end of a site. Users must be logged in as a site Admin to view and use the toolbar.  The toolbar lists popups that are set to 'published' and targeted to activate when a page loads in the browser. 

See the related article below on how to access and use this tool.

Related article:  Popup Maker Admin Toolbar

See the related article below to learn about popup targeting and activation.

Related article:  'Targeting' option settings

Popup Maker Debug Mode

Popup Maker includes a set of debug tools that can be activated either from the plugin settings admin or directly in the browser.  The tools provide a detailed set of information about popup settings for each published popup. The debug information is displayed on the Console tab of a browser's inspection tools.  

See the related articles below on how to activate the debug tools for Popup Maker and your browser, and open the browser Console tab. 

Related article:  How to Enable and Use Popup Maker Debug Tools

Related article:  How to Open Browser Inspection Tools on Your Site

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Check #1 -- Inspect the Popup Publication Status and Targeting Conditions

Use the Popup Maker Admin Toolbar to perform this step.

Select the Popup Maker icon in the admin toolbar, then select Popups from the drop-down menu. A side menu will display all popups set to 'published' status, and activated to appear on the page loaded in the browser. 

Make sure that your browser is open to a page on which a popup is targeted to display. A popup can be set to Publish, yet not appear in the toolbar popup list.  If popup targeting is set to not load a popup on a specific page, the popup will not be listed on the toolbar.

Confirm the publication status of a popup on the All Popups admin page. 

  • Popup Maker (menu) >>
  • All Popups (submenu) >>
  • Name (primary column) >>
  • {name-of-popup}

Hover over the name of the popup to display the Quick Edit menu option. Select 'Quick Edit' and inspect the 'Status' field. 

If a popup is published and does not appear in the Toolbar list, open the popup editor and go to the Popup Settings (box) >> Targeting (option tab) to inspect the popup targeting.  

The easiest way to resolve targeting conditions that may interfere with the display of a popup is to  remove all conditions (restore plugin default). Then add back one set of conditions at a time, and use the toolbar to check that the popup is listed (activated) on a given page or post. 

Once a popup is listed on the Admin Toolbar, it can be previewed using the toolbar menu options.

Related article:  'Targeting' option settings

Related article:  Conditions Introduction

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Check #2 -- Inspect the Popup Trigger 

Once the popup is set to 'published' and set to activate in the browser on page load, check the popup trigger.  Visit the front of the site, and select the 'Popup Maker' option in the Admin toolbar. Go to:

'Popup Maker' >> 'Popups' >> {name-of-popup} >> 'Open Popup'. 

If the popup can be opened from the Admin Toolbar menu, but otherwise does not open as expected, check the popup trigger settings in the Popup Editor.  

The popup does not display as expected either because: 

  • no trigger was set on the popup, OR
  • the trigger was not correctly set.   

Consult the related article links below for guidance on how to set a trigger. By default, the free version of Popup Maker includes 2 triggers; Auto Open / Time Delay, and w. All other triggers require the purchase of a premium license to extend the Popup Maker plugin. 

Related article:  'Triggers' option settings

Related article:  Trigger: Auto Open / Time Delay

Related article:  Trigger: Click Open -- Overview & Methods

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Check #3 -- Inspect the Site Theme to Ensure That 'wp_footer()' is Loading

Open your browser inspection and web development tools.  View the Elements tab to perform this step.

Related article:  How to Open Browser Inspection Tools on Your Site

Screenshot of the browser inspection tools 'Elements' box. Item (1) refers to the JS scripts loaded to display the WP Admin Toolbar. Item (2) refers to the Popup Maker JS scripts loaded in the page footer.

The WordPress function `wp_footer()` fires the action hook do_action( 'wp_footer' ) to which Popup Maker registers its JS scripts. These scripts are essential to display the Popup Admin Toolbar, load popup HTML, and activate popups in the browser.  

If wp_footer() is missing from a theme page or page template, Popup Maker cannot load it's JS scripts. The Popup Admin toolbar disappears, and a popup will not activate on a page, even when the popup status is set to 'published'.  Restoring the template or template component that contains wp_footer() should restore popups on a site.

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Check #4 -- Inspect for Possible Plugin or Theme Conflicts

Popup Maker is maintained to perform well with WordPress Core and it's ecosystem of plugins and themes. Not every plugin or theme performs as expected with Popup Maker. 

To evaluate a possible conflict between Popup Maker and another plugin or theme, please consult the related article link below. We recommend a problem-solving approach to isolate and identify possible conflicts with a minimum of disruption to an ongoing site. 

Related article:  Test if a Plugin or Theme Interferes with Popup Maker

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Check #5 -- Inspect for JavaScript Errors

If the troubleshooting checklist above does not help to identify and resolve the problem, AND the popup is not listed in the browser Console with debug mode activated, then a JavaScript (JS) error could be the source of the problem

Consult the related article below for guidance. 

Related article:  Checking for JavaScript Errors

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