My scans aren't starting. What would cause that?

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Try enabling the option at the bottom of the Diagnostics tab on the Wordfence Tools page titled "Start all scans remotely". Check the box, save and then try another scan. If it does not fix the problem, keep reading:

Make sure you don't have an "Under Construction" plugin running that is blocking access to your site's AJAX handler which is located at /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php. If you do, disable the under construction plugin and try another scan.

Make sure you have not set up a secondary password to protect access to /wp-admin/. This is a bad idea and will break Wordfence scanning along with any public AJAX functionality in WordPress. Read more about this on this blog entry.

Make sure you haven’t blocked Wordfence’s scanning server’s IP address range from accessing your site. Our servers are from 69.46.36.0 to 69.46.36.32. If your site is unable to connect to itself to start a scan, we get our scanning servers to connect to you to kick the scan off. If you’ve blocked our servers, your scans won’t start.

The newest version of Wordfence has code that prevents you from blocking individual addresses in our range but you can still block our entire network, so make sure you haven’t done that.

We've seen some customers who are experiencing table corruption where (for example) the table ending in 'wfStatus' is corrupted and marked as 'crashed' by mysql. What happens in that case is that the scan will run, but every time Wordfence tries to write to the log (the yellow box that shows scan status) nothing gets written and an error is written to your web server error log. To diagnose this, check your web server error log and it will contain a lot of errors that look like this:
WordPress database error Table './blah_abc/xyz_01wfStatus' is marked as crashed and should be repaired for query.....

If you see this, you need to launch phpmyadmin and repair the crashed tables. Or log a support call with your hosting provider and they can do this manually.

A common problem is that your site’s WordPress AJAX handler is not working. You may have accidentally blocked access to it or a theme you’re using may have broken it. Test that you can access the following URL: www.example.com/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php Replace www.example.com with your site URL. You should see a blank page with a “0″ at the top left. If you don’t see this, then you need to fix your site’s AJAX handler or Wordfence and many other WordPress features won’t work.

Here are a few tips:

  • If you see a 500 Internal Server Error, then check your web server’s error log for the reason. If you don’t know how to do this ask your site administrator or hosting company.
  • If you see a FORBIDDEN message, then you've probably set up an .htaccess file that blocks access to your wp-admin area and you need to add an exclusion for your AJAX handler.
  • If you see a page that looks like your site home page or some other page on your site, then your designer or theme creator has broken the way your site works and you need to tell them to fix access to the WordPress AJAX handler.