Local UI Showing Websites in a "Start" State Incorrectly - macOS

Thanks but I don"t have a sites.json file.
Where is it supposed to be located?

Hi @webworx -

For Mac, sites.json can be found here:

~/Library/Application Support/Local/sites.json


Thanks for the path, @sambrockway.

@webworx Be very careful editing that file. Shut down the Local app before editing it, and make sure to take a backup copy beforehand. Once you have made the change to remove the errant data (which can only really be determined by looking at the sites.json file for something out of place), then restart the Local app and try again.

One question, to possibly help developers get this fixed: Were the sites in question created by cloning another site?

Good luck!

Came to the Community to post this same issue that started happening to me recently.

The site showing as ‘started’ has been in my Local app for years now.

Hi @scottbuscemi -

Thanks for sharing that this is happening to you, too.

I am curious about @burt’s response - do you happen to know if the sites you’re experiencing that behavior with were cloned sites? Or cloned from a blueprint?

There’s this thread that could be related if that’s the case:


@sambrockway This issue surfaced on Windows a couple of years ago and was resolved by changes made in 6.3.0 – cloned sites had extraneous data in the sites.json file that caused them to appear as running when they weren’t. Obviously I don’t have access to any source here, but I suspect that there is something specific to Mac that may need a similar patch applied to address that platform.

This is the earlier Windows-related thread:


Thanks everyone,
For what it’s worth, I did not experience this problem (I’m on macOS Catalina) until after cloning a few sites, not “Blueprints” but actual clones.

In my case, I just exported the errant sites then deleted them, then imported the exported sites back into Local and I’m good-to-go so far.

Key takeaway here is that I will refrain from cloning and blueprinting new sites until this bug (or undocumented “feature”) has been fixed.

Thanks again all for very helpful feedback and suggestions, much appreciated.


Thank you @burt for your continued help in bubbling this up and assisting other users. I’ll check with the team on this for a potential future resolution.


Yes, a big shoutout and thank you to @burt for being so helpful in tracking this down and helping others resolve it.

We’re still trying to chase down consistent reproduction steps, but we’ve moved these reports into a larger bug report here in the forums and created a ticket for the engineering team to look into. For now, it seems like the issue is contained to macOS and somehow related to cloning and blueprints… I’ll be trying to nail down something consistent. If anyone has leads on steps you can take to make this happen repeatedly, please let us know!


Issue Summary

Local shows site(s) as running when they are not. Attached screen shot shows one site with green dot, but sometimes the site below the top one also shows a green dot so that it appears 2 sites are running. But in fact, there are no sites running. Confuses things.

Troubleshooting Questions

  • Does this happen for all sites in Local, or just one in particular?
    Uncertain, but definitely more than a couple.

  • Are you able to create a new, plain WordPress site in Local and access it in a Browser?


Describe the steps that others can take to replicate this issue. If you have screenshots that can help clarify what is happening, please include them!
See Screen shot.

System Details

  • Which version of Local is being used?
    Local 6.7.2+6375

  • What Operating System (OS) and OS version is being used?
    MacOS 12.6.6 (Monterey)

  • Attach the Local Log. See this Help Doc for instructions on how to do so:

Security Reminder

Local does a pretty good job of scrubbing private info from the logs and the errors it produces, however there’s always the possibility that something private can come through. Because these are public forums, always review the screenshots you are sharing to make sure there isn’t private info like passwords being displayed.
local-logs.zip (233.1 KB)

Hi @NdnaJnz

It seems like you’re running into a similar issue as some other users. There is a thread with some more detail here most recently for context. I’m checking with the team on this now to get this looked into further:

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This is not a new issue, as I’ve been seen it for at least 6 months. A search here found only older posts, but I did not find one with a resolution.

I’ve attached a bit more info: screen shot showing 2 sites supposedly running, but neither of them are. I have also seen up to 3 sites in this mode/status.

Hi @NdnaJnz - Apologies, I wasn’t trying to insinuate this was a “new” issue but merely linking the latest post related. I’ve shared all the related posts with the team and they are going to look into this further. We may end up merging all of the posts into one large “Bug” thread. Stay tuned!

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Hi @NdnaJnz - there is a known fix; the bug is due to erroneous data in your sites.json file. You can follow along in this thread on how to fix it. It involves opening that file, and deleting the “status: running” line for the sites affected.

I’m going to merge this to a bigger bugs post and I’ve created a ticket for the engineering team to look in to.

Hah! No insinuation taken, Nick! I understand merging only helps us all when searching for a topic.


I can’t find my sites.json file where you supposedly can fix this. Where is this supposed to be located (on MacOS)?

You can find sites.json here on macOS:
~/Library/Application Support/Local/sites.json. <=== This is an invisible directory

NOTE: On my system, there is both a visible and an invisible directory. It’s the invisible one that contains the path shown above.

Once you’ve located the file, you can open it in Visual Studio Code or similar editor. If you’re using VSC then you’ll need to use the ⇧⌥F command to format the json document in a way that’s suitable for editing.

Then, do a search in the sites.json document on the word “status”. This will likely reveal the following attributes:

    "__typename": "Site",
    "status": "running",

You’ll want to delete both of these attributes per @austinwendt advice above.

Also, you’ll probably find a set of these attributes corresponding to every site that you have in Local that is exhibiting the unwanted behavior, i.e. always showing a “Started” stated in the Local UI.

In my case I had (3) such sites. Once these (6) attributes were removed, Local was launched and is now functioning normally, i.e. no more sites showing as started in the UI.


  1. Be sure to backup your sites.json file prior to making any edits
  2. Be sure to close down Local prior to making any edits to sites.json
  3. Kudos to @austinwendt …thank you!..your solution is working as far as I can tell
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@webworx thank you so much for the detailed instructions, that was exactly what I needed and it works like a charm now! So glad to be finally rid of this annoying issue. I appreciate it!

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No problem and glad to hear that you got things working properly…really it’s kudos to @austinwendt whose tip was the trick. :+1:


Hi @webworx - thanks for helping @abroes out!

As an update to everyone,

A fix for this issue is merged and is waiting for release as the Local engineering does some internal testing.

It should be out to users next week! :crossed_fingers:

In the meantime, it is expected that sites can still get into this state so please use the steps mentioned above.

Thank you,


1 Like