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Duplicate MetaKeys for Boolean in ACF_LITE

  • I’m using ACF_LITE and a php exported acf.php in my LIVE environment. I use a TEST environment and everything works well there.

    In LIVE, though, especially with a boolean value, I am unable to change the value of the boolean field when editing the post. It acts as if it updated but the value doesn’t change.

    I am able to run a query like this and see why it seems to not update:

    select * from wp_postmeta where post_id = 136 and meta_key = 'is_auction';

    The result shows that there are multiple records for this meta_key. Why is it doing this?

  • i’ve just experimented by placing TEST into ACF_LITE mode and have it include the acf.php. the issue cannot be duplicated that way.

    then i tried pointing the database to LIVE and i WAS able to recreate the duplicate meta_key.

    so it’s got something to do with the database. but where do i start?

  • i’ve tried disabling the other plugins. the only fields that are duplicating meta_keys are those that are in the auction_ group. the other booleans and other field groups are working as expected.

    i’m running out of things to try.

  • in narrowing it down, i can recreate using just this as my acf.php:

            register_field_group(array (
                    'id' => 'acf_experience-post-fields',
                    'title' => 'Experience Post Fields',
                    'fields' => array (
                            array (
                                    'key' => 'field_52bc856a5d6b9',
                                    'label' => 'Is Auction',
                                    'name' => 'is_auction',
                                    'type' => 'true_false',
                                    'instructions' => '',
                                    'message' => '',
                                    'default_value' => 0,
                    'location' => array (
                            array (
                                    array (
                                            'param' => 'post_type',
                                            'operator' => '==',
                                            'value' => 'experience',
                                            'order_no' => 0,
                                            'group_no' => 0,
                    'options' => array (
                            'position' => 'normal',
                            'layout' => 'no_box',
                            'hide_on_screen' => array (
                    'menu_order' => 0,
  • i have backed up all the tables from LIVE. in restoring them one-by-one to TEST, i found that the problem must exist in the table:


    if i restore the TEST wp_postmeta, i cannot recreate the issue. if i restore the LIVE wp_postmeta, i CAN recreate the issue.

    i did find (probably due to the ACF_LITE) that many postmeta records exist with meta_id of 0. i tried deleting all of these, but that is not the solution. that just causes data loss.

    after restoring my backup, i’m again facing the problem neatly in a corner and completely out of my reach.

    what in wp_postmeta could cause this duplication of meta_keys?

  • my last post got me wondering why there wasn’t an auto_incrementing field. that seemed highly unusual; in fact, according to this…wp_postmeta should not have any 0’s in the meta_id field since it is supposed to be an auto-incrementing field. i lost my indexes somewhere.

    and, adding the indexes back fixes it! here are the queries i used if it helps anyone that somehow lost their indexes as well.

    alter table wp_postmeta change column meta_id id integer unsigned, add column meta_id integer unsigned primary key auto_increment first;
    update wp_postmeta set meta_id = meta_id + 9000; -- more than the number of rows in the table
    update wp_postmeta set meta_id = id where id <> 0;
    alter table wp_postmeta drop column id;
    alter table wp_postmeta add index (meta_key), add index (post_id);
  • Hi @larjohns

    That is a very strange bug, and I’, glad you have got it sorted.


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