About a week ago, one of our sites started acting very strangely. For some reason, ExpressionEngine has started adding backslashes to all the quotes in the templates. For example:

<section id=\"main\">

        <!-- ABOUT SECTION SIDE NAV -->
        <nav id=\"sub_nav\">
                <li><a class=\"scroll ir\" href=\"#/about/overview\">Overview</a></li>
                <li><a class=\"scroll ir\" href=\"#/about/design-excellence\">Design Excellence</a></li>
                <li><a class=\"scroll ir\" href=\"#/about/rare-abilities\">Rare Abilities</a></li>
                <li><a class=\"scroll ir\" href=\"#/about/relationships\">Relationships</a></li>
                <li><a class=\"scroll ir\" href=\"#/about/testimonials\">Testimonials</a></li>
                <li><a class=\"scroll ir\" href=\"#/about/our-partners-clients\">Our Partners & Clients</a></li>
                <li><a class=\"scroll ir\" href=\"#/about/leadership\">Leadership</a></li>
                <li><a class=\"scroll ir\" href=\"#/about/community\">Community</a></li>
                <li><a class=\"scroll ir\" href=\"#/about/latest-news\">Latest News</a></li>
                <li><a class=\"scroll ir\" href=\"#/about/interested\">Interested?</a></li>

Notice all the backslashes (this sample is all static code in the template, BTW). In the actual template file... no backslashes. Also, EE won't load in embedded templates. I assume that is because it is adding the backslash to the template path as well and can't find them. I can't for the life of me figure out why.

In addition, we are not able to access the Admin through ANY of our logins. No matter what we use, it says that the login is incorrect. I have even "successfully" reset the passwords through the "forgot your password" function, but even the reset logins don't work.

Our client did have access to the admin, so my guess is that they added something somewhere that is causing the problem (they swear they didn't, of course). The site has been running fine for months until just a few days ago.

I found someone else online that had a similar issue, but it was due to the word censor going haywire (see http://ellislab.com/forums/viewthread/190206/). They were able to turn it off then back on in the Admin and the problem went away. Even though the symptoms are similar, I don't think that's the issue here. We aren't able to access the Admin to change the settings, and I commented out the word censor function in EE and it still added the slashes.

If anyone has any ideas on what is happening, I'd greatly appreciate the help. I'm at my wits end. Thanks!

  • 2
    Has there been any changes done by your hosting provider recently? i.e. server upgrades or more specifically updated to PHP? Almost feels like 'Magic Quotes' somehow got turned on, but if you're running PHP 5.4.0 or later should not be possible. You should be able to check phpinfo() to see if somehow 'magic quotes' is ON Aug 19, 2013 at 19:59
  • You expressed concern about an unintended client corruption error. Restoring the most recent back-up would quickly help establish that. Aug 19, 2013 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


Well.... You were right, Adam. Apparently the host switched on Magic Quotes. Not sure why, but they did. I disabled it in the php.ini file and the site is back to normal. NEVER thought of that. Thanks for your quick response!

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