I changed the admin URL in app/etc/local.xml. Now, a 404 appears straight after logging in to this custom URL instead of dashboard (includes 'noRoute' in the URL). There is no problem with the admin section after the first page, so no need to revert to the default admin URL.

When I run select * from m_core_config_data where path like '%admin/%'; the only row returned is irrelevant (admin/dashboard/enable_charts)

The user(s) logging in have full administrator roles.

There is a function within Mage_Adminhtml_IndexController that appears to be relevant.

* Admin area entry point
* Always redirects to the startup page url
public function indexAction()
   $session = Mage::getSingleton('admin/session');
   $url = $session->getUser()->getStartupPageUrl();
   if ($session->isFirstPageAfterLogin()) {
    // retain the "first page after login" value in session (before redirect)

If you search for getStartupPageUrl, you find the function in Mage_Admin_Model_User

* Find admin start page url
* @return string
public function getStartupPageUrl()
    $startupPage = Mage::getStoreConfig(self::XML_PATH_STARTUP_PAGE);
    $aclResource = 'admin/' . $startupPage;
    if (Mage::getSingleton('admin/session')->isAllowed($aclResource)) {
        $nodePath = 'menu/' . join('/children/', explode('/', $startupPage)) . '/action';
        $url = (string)Mage::getSingleton('admin/config')->getAdminhtmlConfig()->getNode($nodePath);
        if ($url) {
        return $url;
return $this->findFirstAvailableMenu();

Could one of these functions help to show the dashboard on the first screen after log in?

  • Try this System=>Config=>Advanced=>Admin=>Admin Base URL but local.xml is proper way to change admin url you just try for this – Magento 2 Oct 23 '15 at 10:12
  • The thing is, I tried that method on a test version of the site and it messed up my admin entirely, couldn't use the backend. I couldn't even revert to default because there was no row in core_config_data regarding the %admin% – Michael Oct 23 '15 at 10:16
  • Cookies, man, cookies. (Have you checked cookies?) – benmarks Oct 23 '15 at 13:34
  • I've flushed var/session (& cache) and cleared all browser cookies – Michael Oct 23 '15 at 14:44

I used the solution here which itself referenced a magentocommerce.com post that now just redirects to that website's homepage (http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewthread/71668/).

In app/design/adminhtml/default/default/template/login.phtml

I changed

<form method="post" action="" id="loginForm">


<form method="post" action="<?php echo $this->getUrl('adminhtml') ?>" id="loginForm">

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