How To Reset Your WordPress Password

Learn how to retrieve a lost, misplaced or forgotten password or username in order to regain access to your website or blog …

Learn WPAre you unable to get back into your WordPress site because you’ve misplaced your password?

Not being able to access your administration area because you’ve forgotten or lost your password or username can be very frustrating.

Fortunately, with WordPress, there is always a way to get back into your website or blog.

In this step-by-step tutorial for non-technical users, you will learn the process of retrieving a lost, misplaced or forgotten password or username and getting access to your website. We’ll go as far as we can without getting into complicated technical areas, and then, if this still doesn’t help you get back in, we’ll explain to you what other options are available for recovering your login details.

Let’s start with the basics.

Entering The Wrong Username Or Password

Normally, if you get your password and/or username incorrect when you try to access your WP dashboard, a message like the one below will show on your login page …

WordPress Password Recovery

Here’s a clue: If you get the login username right but the password wrong, WordPress will actually tell you this …

Recovering Your Password In WordPress

Useful Tip

For security purposes, don’t set up the username “admin”.

This is the default installation username for WordPress and one of the first areas of potential vulnerabilities that hackers look for with WordPress sites.

What To Do If You Lose Or Forget WordPress Passwords

If you need to change your username, see this tutorial:

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If you have lost or forgotten your password, but you do know your username or email address, then click on the “Lost your password?” link in the login box …

Changing WordPress Passwords

You can also access the forgotten password area by clicking on the link below the login box …

What To Do If You Lose Your WordPress Password

Alternatively, type the URL below into your web browser (where “domain” is your domain and “tld” is the domain extension, eg. “com”, “net”, “info”, etc.) …

What To Do If You Forget WordPress Passwords

Type in your username or registered email address and click the button to get a new password …

WordPress Password Recovery

Important

At this stage, there is no password “recovery” option. You will need to reset your password.

You will receive a system notification via email with a link to reset your password.

What To Do If You Have Lost Or Misplaced Login Passwords In WordPress

Enter a new password into the “Password reset” field. Make sure to choose a strong password containing upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, like “$, ^, @, &” etc …

WordPress Password Retrieval

Tip

Use a password generator tool to help you come up with a strong password.

You can use a free password generator tool like PasswordsGenerator.net (shown below) …

Free Online Password Generator

Or use password management programs like RoboForm, which lets you store and manage all your passwords …

Roboform - Password Management Software

Use A Password Generator Tool If You Need Help Creating Strong Passwords

To learn more about password management software, see the tutorial below:

Once your password has been reset, log in as normal …

WordPress Password Recovery

How To Change Your Password Inside Your WP Administration Area

To change your password inside WordPress, log into your backend admin section and select Edit My Profile from the “Howdy, User” dropdown menu at the top-right hand corner of your Dashboard …

WordPress Password Recovery

You can also access your “Profile” area by selecting Users > Your Profile from your main admin menu.

Towards the bottom section of the page, you will see the “change password” section. Enter a new password and confirm this password here.

Note: Use the WordPress password strength meter to help you avoid using weak passwords and set up a strong password.

What To Do If You Lose A Password In WordPress

Click the Update Profile button when you have entered your new details to update your password settings.

What To Do If You Have Forgotten Or Lost Your Password

What If I Don’t Know My Username And Password?

So far, the above steps work if you’ve forgotten your password but you still remember your username or email address.

What do you do if you’ve lost both your username and password?

You can still access your WordPress site, but a little technical intervention is required.

Info

As this tutorial is mostly designed for non-technical WordPress users, we recommend that if the information above hasn’t helped you get back into your WordPress backend, then either contact someone who can provide you with technical assistance (i.e. your webmaster, website support person or your webhost) and ask them to help you reset your WordPress Password from phpMyAdmin, or you can try the method below, which will simply reveal your username and email address, so you can at least get your password reset and log back in.

All you need is admin access to your server’s control panel. Don’t worry, you won’t be changing anything inside your server … you’re only taking a look!

Warning

If you feel nervous about working inside your web server or WordPress database, then please ask a knowledgeable WordPress user for assistance.

In the example below, we’ll be working with the cPanel management software …

What To Do If You Have Forgotten Or Lost A Password In WordPress

cPanel

Important Info

Note: For tutorials on using cPanel, go here: How To Use cPanel.

Log into your server admin area …

WordPress Password Retrieval

cPanel administration area

Navigate to the “Databases” section and click on phpMyAdmin

What To Do If You Lose Or Forget Passwords In WordPress

phpMyAdmin

Click on your WP database.

Note: If you have a number of databases set up on your domain, make sure you choose the right one …

How To Reset Passwords

phpMyAdmin databases

Don’t worry about the complicated-looking information on your screen screen.

Click on wp_users

What To Do If You Have Forgotten WordPress Passwords

mySQL database tables

You will see a list of all your site’s users with their usernames and email addresses. Typically, the first line is assigned to the site administrator, but if you have more users and need to locate their username or email, then scroll down the list until you find what you are looking for …

WordPress Password Recovery

Info

Note: The user password is also included in this section of the database (in the “user_pass” column”), but as you can see from the screenshot above, it is encrypted and displays only random-looking characters in the field.

Due to the purpose of security, WordPress stores all passwords as a cryptographic hash function (MD5 Hash) instead of plain text. This prevents even the site administrator from knowing a user’s password.

To change this password requires using an encryption tool that lets you generate an MD5 hash, which you would then copy and paste into the password field. You can search for “free MD5 generators online” if you want to change the password yourself, but as suggested earlier, ask for professional help if you really don’t know what you are doing, as you could end up causing errors.

Now that you have retrieved your username and email address, log out of your server, go back to your login screen and request a new password …

WordPress Password Retrieval

We hope that this information has helped you get back into your site and you can now resume working on your site.

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"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya

Originally published as How To Reset Your WordPress Password.