We are unable to access our website after we some changes to the core file. It shows parse error syntax error unexpected end of file in WordPress error log. Could you please fix it?

This is a common support request that we receive as a part of our WordPress Management Services.

This WordPress error is usually caused by a bug in the WordPress plugin, theme, or core file, usually due to custom editing by the website owner.

Let us look at the possible fixes for this error message today.


Causes of parse error syntax error unexpected end of file in WordPress

At times WordPress loads with a critical error, a white screen of death or a 500 error. There won’t be any other clues about this error on the screen.

The support request that we recently received stated that the website is loading with a critical error as given below:

parse error syntax error unexpected end of file in wordpressOur Support Engineers turned on the debug mode to true by setting the WP_DEBUG value to true.

They noticed parse error syntax error unexpected end of file in the error log for WordPress.

[Fri Jan 03 19:12:45.040405 2020][php7:error][pid 30138][client xx.xxx.xxx.xx:xxxxx]PHP Parse error: syntax error,unexpected end of file in /home/tech/public_html/wp-content/themes/twentyninteen/functions.php on line 324


This error normally indicates a coding error. If you have recently edited any of the files of the WordPress particularly core files, it probably is the cause for this error.


How to fix the parse error syntax error unexpected end of file in WordPress

The possible ways to fix the parse error syntax error unexpected end of file in WordPress include:

1.Fixing the code

2.Backup restore

3.Wordpress core files Replacement

4. Reinstalling /Deactivating plugins

Let us look at each of them in detail now.


Fixing the code

As this error is most probably triggered by bad code, the obvious fix for it would be to fix the code. The details of the exact line of code that trigger this error can be obtained from the error log.

For instance, in the error message that we showed earlier, the error is on file /home/tech/public_html/wp-content/themes/twentyninteen/functions.php on line 324. This in most cases is related to a missing opening or closing PHP tag. For the most part, adding the missing tag will solve the issue.


Backup restore

At times when the fix on code does not work, a backup restore may be required to bring the websites back. Procedure to restore from backup vary based on the backup tools used. However, a restore would certainly help to overwrite the changes made to the files and can help to resolve the error completely.

In most cases, a file restore would be enough rather than a whole account restore. The error log will provide details of the file to restore.


WordPress Core File Replacement

At times, the corruption of the WordPress core file can also trigger similar errors. Replacing the core files of WordPress will help to fix it.

You can download the exact version that you use from here or the latest version from here.

Always note to take a backup of the existing core files as you may lose any of the customizations that you have already done. to core files. A backup would help if you may need to roll back to the original state.

The steps to take backup also varies based on the control panel/server that each user uses. However, if it is a cPanel based website, the copy operation can be easily performed from the File Manager.

To replace the core file, replace everything other than wp-config, .htaccess, and wp-content. Replacing any of the contents in wp-config, .htaccess, or wp-content will affect the details/ lead to data loss. This is primarily because, WordPress store configuration and other related content in these files and folders.


Reinstalling /Deactivating plugins

Apart from all the above points, at times this error may be merely an issue with a single plugin/theme installed on the website.

The error message provides the details of the plugin/theme. For instance, the error message above “twentyninteen” theme is triggering the error. Therefore replacing the theme with another one or deactivating the offending plugin in certain situations will fix the issue. These actions can be easily done from the WordPress dashboard.

If the WordPress dashboard is not accessible, renaming the corresponding plugin folder at the backend will perform the same task.

[Need help to fix parse error syntax error unexpected end of file in WordPress? We are available 24×7]



In short, a bad code generally triggers the parse error syntax error unexpected end of file in WordPress. Today we discussed how our Support Engineers fix the issue. Fixing the code can easily resolve the issue. However, if that does not work restoration or WordPress core file replacement can resolve the error.


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