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 …

WordPress TutorialHave you forgotten your WordPress password or can’t get back in?

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

Fortunately, if you are a WordPress user, there is always a way to get back into the backend of your site.

In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll take you systematically through how to recover a lost password or username and get access to your website. We’ll go as far as we can without getting into complicated technical areas, and then, if the information still doesn’t help you, we’ll explain to you what your other options for retrieving your password details are.

Let’s start with some WP password basics.

Entering The Wrong Username/Password

If you get your username and/or password incorrect when you try to access your WordPress dashboard, a message like the one shown below will display on your screen …

What To Do If You Lose Your Password

Your first clue, is that if you get the username correct but the password wrong, WordPress will let you know this …

What To Do If You Forget Your Password

Tip

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

This is the default installation username for WordPress and one of the leading causes of brute force attacks on WordPress sites.

Retrieving Your Password

If you want to learn how to change your username, see this tutorial:

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

WordPress Password Recovery

You can also access the forgotten password section by clicking on the link found at the bottom of the login box …

What To Do If You Have Forgotten Passwords

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

Recovering Your Password

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

WordPress Password Retrieval

Important

At this stage, there is no password “recovery” option, only password “reset”.

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

What To Do If You Have Lost Or Forgotten Passwords

Enter your 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 generate secure passwords.

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

Free Online Password Generator

Or a password management program like RoboForm, which is not only great for creating secure passwords, but also for storing and managing all of your online passwords …

RoboForm - Online Password Management Tool

Use A Password Generator Tool If You Need Help Creating A Secure Password

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

After resetting your password, log in as normal …

WordPress Password Retrieval

How To Change Your Password Inside WordPress

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

Retrieving Passwords

You can also access your “Profile” page 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 built-in WordPress password strength meter to help you avoid using weak passwords and set up a strong password.

What To Do If You Lose The Login Password

Click the Update Profile button when you’re done to update your password settings.

Retrieving Your WordPress Password

What If I’ve Lost My Username And Password?

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

What do you do if you don’t know both your username and password?

You can still log into your WordPress site, but a little technical knowledge is required.

Info

As this tutorial is really intended for non-technical WordPress users, we suggest 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 support (i.e. your webmaster, website management 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 are not confident about looking inside your server or WordPress database, then please ask a professional to assist you.

For the example below, we’ll be working with the cPanel management tool …

Retrieving Your Password In WordPress

cPanel management software

Important

Note: For a complete set of step-by-step tutorials on how to use cPanel, go here: How To Use cPanel.

Log into your server control panel …

WordPress Password Retrieval

cPanel admin area

Navigate to the “Databases” section and open up phpMyAdmin

WordPress Password Recovery

phpMyAdmin

Click on your WP database.

Note: If you have multiple databases set up on your domain, make sure you select the correct one …

WordPress Password Recovery

phpMyAdmin databases

Don’t panic when you see the complicated-looking information on your screen screen.

Click on wp_users

What To Do If You Have Lost Or Misplaced 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 …

How To Change Your Password

Important

Note: The user password is also included in this section of your WordPress database (in the “user_pass” column”), but as you can see from the screenshot above, it is encrypted.

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

To replace 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 help from a professional if you don’t know what you are doing, as you could end up causing errors.

Once you have retrieved your username and email address, log out of your server, return to the login screen and request a new password …

WordPress Password Retrieval

Hopefully, the above tutorial has helped you log back into your site and you can now resume working on your website or blog.

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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

Originally published as How To Reset Your WordPress Password.