I installed a theme and after completely disabling the theme module by removing the etc/modules/.xml file. Then resetting the design back to default package and default theme in admin, the local.xml in default/default/layout doesn't load anymore.

What could the theme module change that would cause this?

2 Answers 2


Did your custom theme overwrite any of the files in the /app/design/frontend/default/default? Also, have you cleared your cache?

Also, that is NOT the way to disable a theme. Don't remove that file. Instead, open it and change true to false, then clear all caches: System > Cache Management.

  • No it doesn't overwrite anything. I cleared the cache, actually i just delete the whole cache folder. It regenerates. I have a folder inside etc/modules folder called OFF i drag a modules xml there to disable it that way it's easy and I can see which modules are disabled, plus just changing the module from true to false doesn't completely disable it.
    – Freejoy
    Feb 24, 2016 at 13:15
  • Depending on your server setup, this could be related to pagespeed or php-opcache. Are you running on a dedicated or cloud server? Also, check the permissions of your local.xml file. Feb 25, 2016 at 15:23
  • Thanks. i'm on a shared server with no cloud or cdn or opcache, my local.xml permissions is set at 644. Haven't been able to figure it out.
    – Freejoy
    Feb 29, 2016 at 7:15

I found the trouble, it was a mismatched tag :)
I forgot to add a </reference> closing tag. Apparently this is enough to cause the local.xml to not load because when i added the tag everything worked. I checked my local here: xmlgrid.net/validator.html

  • please edit your answer to add your comment so everyone knows how you fixed it Mar 17, 2016 at 19:19

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