Theme features can break, but why they break is not always clear.
App integrations, theme bugs, platform changes—there are many reasons for a feature to stop working. Use this troubleshooting guide to help identify the error source and explore possible solutions.
Step 1: Check release notes of the theme
When bugs are found in a theme, they are logged and fixed as soon as possible. Fixes for identified bugs are included in new releases of a theme. To see the most recent release and what it includes, go to the release notes for the theme:
- Empire release notes
- Atlantic release notes
- Grid release notes
- Pacific release notes
- Superstore release notes
- Startup release notes
- Launch release notes
- Reach release notes
- Handy release notes
- Vogue release notes
- Editions release notes
For example, there have been instances of Instagram changing their API, so certain versions of Atlantic would have had broken Instagram feeds.
If the broken feature is described in the release notes
It's a good sign if you find a bug listed in the release notes that sounds like your broken theme feature. This means that (a) it wasn't caused by any changes made on your end and (b) there is a fix available for it.
Solution: Update your theme to the latest version
If the broken theme feature doesn't resemble what is described in the release notes, proceed to Step 2.
Step 2: Look back on recent activity
Shopify store's main admin page can display the recent activity for the store. To view this, simply add the word 'activity' to the end of the URL.
For instance, for the Empire Supply demo, 'activity' is added to the end of the URL:
If you know when the theme feature stopped working, this information can be especially useful. Significant changes to the theme are listed here with date- and timestamps, so if the theme feature stopped working at a particular point, this information can be used to identify potential causes.
The keywords to look out for here are "...changed [your published theme]" or similar language.
Apps often will add their own code automatically to a theme, which may conflict with the theme code.
If an activity item and error are within the same timeframe
When the activity of an app and the beginning of theme feature malfunction match up, this is a sign that the app is behind the broken theme feature. If this is the case for your store, contact the app's developers to find out (a) what theme files their app had adjusted and (b) what solutions they can provide.
Pixel Union Theme Support will refer merchants to the app developers if the app is identified as the source of the issue. Save time by contacting the app developers first.
Removing an app from the Apps dashboard is not a complete solution, as injected code changes are often left behind when an app is uninstalled. Contacting the app's developers is the best approach to get solutions for the app conflict, whether this means adjusting the integration or removing the app integration altogether.
Solution: Contact the app's support team.
If an activity item and error are not within the same timeframe, proceed to Step 3.
Step 3: Check for backups in your store
It is common for merchants to create duplicates before making changes to a theme. Copies of the theme provide a sort of backup in case errors are encountered. They can also be used as a reference for troubleshooting broken theme features.
Check if the same error is present in the backup
Preview the backup(s) to test the error in these previous duplicates. If the same error is present in these duplicates, it most likely a bug in the theme.
Solution: Update to the latest version (if using an older version) and contact theme support to confirm this is a known or unreported bug.
If the same error is not present in backup, proceed to Step 4. If there is little difference between the backup and the live theme, it may be worthwhile to publish this duplicate until the broken theme feature is fixed.
Step 4: Compare to blank theme
Another way to determine if a theme has malfunctioned from individual changes or outside factors is to compare the theme to a blank (not customized) theme.
If you bought the theme from the Shopify Theme store, return to the theme store page for the theme and select Add latest theme version.
If theme feature works in the blank theme
The blank theme may not have the same error, which would indicate that the source of the issue is local to your store's changes.
Solution: Transfer content from broken theme to operational theme.
If the theme feature is also broken in the blank theme, proceed to Step 5.
Step 5: Contact theme support
Get in touch with PXU's dedicated theme support team. Since you have completed steps 1-4, share this information with the agents to save reply time and arrive at a solution more quickly.