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How to fix warning: “continue” targeting switch is equivalent to “break”

WordPress Plural Form Error

WordPress Plural Form Error

You think you did nothing on your WordPress website and suddenly you got such error?

Warning: “continue” targeting switch is equivalent to “break”. Did you mean to use “continue 2”? in /…/wp-includes/pomo/plural-forms.php on line 210

Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /…/wp-includes/pomo/plural-forms.php:210) in /…/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 1216

You are not alone. I got such error myself on blogs I didn’t touch for years.

It took me awhile to find a solution, but at last I found it and I want to share my findings. Hopefully it will be helpful for you too.

I will list other solutions I found online which didn’t help me, but may be will be useful to others.

What didn’t work

  • The first suggestion I found by googling this error message was to replace corrupted source files. I.e. download fresh WordPress setup files and replace my installation except wp-content folder and wp-config.php file. I tried it, but it didn’t help at all.
  • The second solution was to edit function.php file. I definitely didn’t want to go this way and edit WP core files. So I was looking for other solution.

What did work

After some intensive search I read one recommendation regarding downgrading PHP version on server hosting WordPress site. When I saw that comment I remembered. Last year the only thing I did for that site was upgrading PHP to the latest version 7.3. This was recommended by WordPress requirements.

I did follow these recommendations and updated PHP to 7.3 for all my websites in bulk . Because I did it in bulk I didn’t check all my sites. My bad.

So I had combination of PHP 7.3 and WP 4.9.3 which didn’t work. I needed to reverse it back with hope it will work. 7.1 was the lowest PHP version available on my web host. I didn’t have other choice but to choose it. It worked! I could login to my WP admin panel. The first thing I did – upgraded WordPress version from 4.9.3 to 5.2.3.

After WP upgrade I switched again PHP version to the latest available v7.3. Checked my website and it still was fine.

Conclusion

I can not guarantee it will work for everybody, but these are the steps I took to fix an error on my sites:

  1. Downgrade PHP version at your web hosting.
  2. Login into your WordPress admin dashboard
  3. Upgrade WordPress version to the latest available
  4. Switch PHP version to the highest available

I hope it will help to solve your problem. Please comment bellow if this solution was helpful and tell us which WP and PHP versions were causing a problem.

42 Comments

  1. Jamal

    This worked for me. Thank you so much!

  2. tobias

    it worked for me !! thank you very much

  3. Stephen

    I appreciate!

  4. John O

    Thanks, you saved my ass dude!!

  5. Worked for me. from 7.4.3 back to 7.3.15 Thanks a lot…

  6. Donato

    Worked! I had to roll back to 5.6 (7,1 was not enough)!
    Thank you

  7. Haseeb

    This doesn’t work for me 🙁

  8. ali maleki

    thanks. it works.

  9. This worked for me, thanks!

  10. Mike

    working after downgrade to PHP 7.1 ! thanks mate !

  11. Remek

    Unfortunatelly it doesn’t work…

  12. Gina

    What if your wordpress site is already running the latest version – 5.4? I tried to downgrade my php version into 7.1 but it did not work for me. Also tried version php 5.6

    • Comment by post author

      Amateur Blogger

      Which your actions caused this error? After php upgrade? After WP upgrade? It is hard to comment anything without knowing which steps made your site to crash.

  13. Thanks so much for this! I wouldn’t have known what to do otherwise! Downgrading to PHP 7.1 and upgrading to WP 5.4 worked fine, but upgrading to PHP 7.3 causes an error page to briefly show before being replaced by the actual page. Updating plugins also shows the error, but it does all appear to work.
    I’m now at WP 5.4 and PHP 7.2 and that seems to be all ok.

  14. renee

    You just saved my live lol
    thanks a lot!!

  15. Peer K

    Worked a charme, problem was with WP 4.9.x and PHP 7.3, tied first a new install and lost access to wp-admin login.
    Downgrading PHP to version 7.1 let me log into the new installed WP and upgrade to 5.4.1 then logout and upgraded to PHP 7.3 again. All good now. Thanks!

  16. Dear All
    M also faced the below error when uploading new plugin “WpDataTables” with PHP version 7.3
    “Warning: “continue” targeting switch is equivalent to “break”.”

    As per the guidance of this page I tried to change the PHP version.
    And now it is glad to tell you that it works with PHP version 7.2 and also 7.4 but when I tried to change back to version 7.3, it again shows this error.

    Conclusion: This Plugin only not compatible with PHP 7.3.

  17. Babs19

    Thank you so much!!! It worked!!! Saved my ass 😉

  18. David Claes

    that did it ! great thx !

  19. noemie

    It worked the first time, thank you so much!!!!

  20. I had wordpress 5.4.2 and downgraded from pho7.3 to php7.0 error is now gone. Thank you!

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