Fatal error: Unknown: Cannot use output buffering in output buffering display handlers in Unknown on line 0

Well this error is no fun:

Fatal error: Unknown: Cannot use output buffering in output buffering display handlers in Unknown on line 0

The error is accompanied by the dreaded WSOD (White Screen of Death).

But it may not be as scary as you think.

I started getting this message on my newest WordPress site when trying to view posts with a lot of comments on them.  I only get the error if trying to view the page while logged-in to the site as the WordPress admin account.  If I log out and view as an anonymous viewer, all is fine.

I’ve narrowed down the issue to two things:

1) using the WP Super Cache plugin

2) the post has over 180 comments

There are a few ways to cope, but I don’t have an actual fix:

1) Disable (temporarily) WP Super Cache – everything works fine with the cache disabled

2) While Super Cache is disabled, or by going through the Dashboard Comments page, delete some old comments from that page so that there are 179 or fewer comments

So no need to panic as these work arounds will get you through the day.  But if you know a real/permanent fix, please leave a comment and fill me in on the secret.

3 thoughts on “Fatal error: Unknown: Cannot use output buffering in output buffering display handlers in Unknown on line 0

  1. Thanks, Randy for this web page:

    This same error message comes up for my moralmatters.org website when I type in, moralmatters.org in the browser search box. Last night I asked one of my out-of-state friends to put moralmatters.org in his URL browser search – and, he ended up with the same error message:

    Fatal error: Unknown: Cannot use output buffering in output buffering display handlers in Unknown on line 0

    For me, I don’t think it is a question of too many comments; although one of my moralmatters.org articles has well over 180 comments. That article was written some time ago. I do receive allot of spam because of the nature of my website and its far reach. People figure it is a means to advertise by hoping that I allow their comments with their links.

    I’ll attempt to further communicate to you if and when I find more about this problem. It bothers me that someone on another computer in another state cannot access the site by typing in the name. It further is frustrating that the same problem must exist for anyone attempting to place moralmatters.org into his or her URL search facility.

    Having stated the above; the moralmatters.org site is being accessed through links. So, the situation is not at all like what happened to Birtherreport last week with Google temporarily suspending it. I authored a MM article on that, entitled:

    Can it be that aka Obama is in apparent panic mode? Is he now terrified of the carnival barkers?

    Finally:

    I tend to think that the Moralmatters.org site is not particularly liked by certain “powers that be,” and that their “web” of nefarious propagandists and hackers, is the reason for the disruption.

  2. This did it for me all my pages were loading great and just one had this error, sure enough a ton of spam comments! I had to go into the sql database and manually delete them. Disqus still kept them, if you know how to have disqus correct it self that would be great

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