Joomla cannot connect to MySQL – How we nailed it

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Many times, errors can pop up when setting up a database on the Joomla website.

One such error is,

"Database Error: Unable to connect to the database:Could not connect to MySQL".

This can happen due to incorrect database settings or because of the wrong database username or password.

At 1 onlyhost, we often get requests from our customers to fix Joomla cannot connect to MySQL errors as part of our Server Management Services.

Today, we’ll see the top reasons and how our Support Engineers fix Joomla MySQL connection errors.



How we fixed MySQL errors in Joomla

By default, Joomla uses a database to store all the contents. And, for the website to work properly, the database connection should be proper. Basically, Joomla has a configuration file that holds the database details of the website.

For example, the following variables decide on the database in use.

public $user = ‘Database User‘;
public $password = ‘Password‘;
public $db = ‘Database Name‘;

From our experience in managing servers, we’ve seen customers facing problems while handing the Joomla database. Usually, the error page appears as:

Now let’s see how our Support Engineers fixed the top errors.


1. Incorrect username and password

Recently, one of our customers contacted us with a MySQL problem after the site migration. He was getting an error message like:

Database Error: Unable to connect to the database:Could not connect to MySQL.

Then, our Support Engineers found that the problem was due to incorrect username and password used for the database.

So, we created a new additional username with a different password, assigned it to the database, then changed the configuration.php with the new username and password details.

That’s worked successfully and the website started showing the correct page.

Similarly, a password reset of the existing database user also helps to solve such errors.


2. Wrong file permissions

Often customers have to face errors such as Joomla cannot connect to MySQL while managing databases. Also, it can happen after a server migration or when adding a new database to an existing website.

Similarly, another customer had a MySQL problem when adding new databases to a website. He got an error like,

Database connection error (2): Could not connect to MySQL.

On checking our Support Engineers found that the permission of configuration.php file was set up incorrectly.

Therefore, we corrected the file permission to 644. By default, the file permission should be set to 644.


3. Wrong database server

Similarly, the error"Database connection error (3): Could not connect to database" can happen while trying to connect to the wrong database server.

If the Joomla and the database on the same server it uses localhost as the database server. If it is set up incorrectly in the configuration.php, Mysql errors can occur on the website.

In such cases, our Support Engineers solve the problem by checking the configuration.php file and ensure that the database host is set to “localhost”.


[Having trouble while managing a database on the Joomla server? We’ll fix it for you.] 



In short, the error Joomla cannot connect to MySQL can often due to incorrect database settings or because of the wrong database username or password. Today, we saw how our Support Engineers fixed Joomla Mysql errors.

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