This is a bug in my WP install that has crept up unknowingly; I can't say for sure when it began.

To describe it: there were menus created in the Appearance -> Menus page early in the site's history, and they work perfectly, as in:

  • They have menu items
  • They can be assigned to menu locations
  • They can be renamed

As of recently, as new menus need to be created, I've noticed the following problems when creating a new menu:

New menus can be created, but after clicking "Create Menu", the sidebar with Posts and Pages to use as menu items, is still grayed out The menu cannot be renamed:

  1. The menu name does not show up in the "Menu Name" text field, and subsequent clicks to "Create Menu" simply duplicates these new-yet-unusable menus each again per new click (ex: I create Test1, then create Test2.. now there are 2 Test1 entries, and 2 Test2 entries... creating Test3 repeats the effect, creating 3 of each)
  2. Clicking "Manage in Customizer" next to the "Menus" heading results in the following error:
    Fatal error: Uncaught exception 'Exception' with message 'Illegal widget setting ID: nav_menu_item[]' in /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/discoverlongisland/wp-includes/customize/class-wp-customize-nav-menu-item-setting.php:179 
    Stack trace: #0 /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/discoverlongisland/wp-includes/class-wp-customize-nav-menus.php(551): WP_Customize_Nav_Menu_Item_Setting->__construct(Object(WP_Customize_Manager), 'nav_menu_item[]', Array) 
    #1 [internal function]: WP_Customize_Nav_Menus->customize_register(Object(WP_Customize_Manager)) 
    #2 /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/discoverlongisland/wp-includes/plugin.php(525): call_user_func_array(Array, Array) 
    #3 /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/discoverlongisland/wp-includes/class-wp-customize-manager.php(583): do_action('customize_regis...', Object(WP_Customize_Manager)) 
    #4 [internal function]: WP_Customize_Manager->wp_loaded('') 
    #5 /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/discoverlongisland/wp-includes/plugin.php(525): call_user_func_array(Array, Array) 
    #6 /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/discoverlongisland/wp-settings. in /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/discoverlongisland/wp-includes/customize/class-wp-customize-nav-menu-item-setting.php on line 179

I've disabled all plugins and the problem persists.

Has anyone run into this before?

1 Answer 1


I had the same problem. I did not have pre-existing menus, but newly created ones had the same symptoms as you described.

In my case, the problem was a ill-defined table wp_terms. It was missing the AUTO_INCREMENT flag on the column term_id as well as all indexes and the primary key.

I can only assume that the update process messed up at some point in the past. I run a pretty ancient installation which was originally set up in 2005.

The following change fixed the problem for me:

ALTER TABLE `wp_terms`
ADD PRIMARY KEY (`term_id`),
ADD INDEX `name` (`name`),
ADD INDEX `slug` (`slug`);

I would recommend comparing your schema against a current schema though. wp_term_taxonomy might be involved as well (wasn't in my case).

  • I haven't touched this project in months, but I believe this is the most helpful case.
    – lintuxvi
    Oct 7, 2016 at 5:29
  • Not working with error "Multiple primary keys defined"
    – Pan Zeleny
    Jul 29, 2019 at 14:06
  • thanks you more, finally solved. Jan 15, 2022 at 10:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.