WordPress For Non-Techies: Free WordPress Tutorials – WPCompendium.org

How To Reset Your WordPress Password

Can’t log into your WordPress site?

Finding yourself unable to access your admin area because you can’t remember your password or username can be really frustrating.

Fortunately, if you are a WordPress user, there is always a way to get back into your website or blog.

In this WordPress troubleshooting 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 site administration area. We’ll go as far as we can without getting into complicated technical areas, and then, if the information still doesn’t help you get back in, we’ll explain to you what other options are available for login recovery.

Let’s start with the basics.

Incorrect Username Or Password

If you you type your password or username incorrectly when attempting to login in WordPress, you will see an error message like the one shown below on your screen …

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

For security purposes, avoid installing a WordPress site with the username “admin”.

This is the default installation username for WordPress and one of the first things hackers will test with WordPress sites.

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


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

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

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

Enter your username or email address and click the Get New Password button …

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

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

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 …

Use a password generator tool if you need help creating secure passwords.

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

Or use password management software like RoboForm, which not only lets you generate strong passwords, but also store and manage all your online passwords …

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

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

After resetting your password, log in as normal …

Changing Your Password

To change your password inside your WordPress administration area, 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 screen …

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

Towards the bottom section of the screen, you will see the “change password” fields. 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.

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

If You Don’t Know Your Username And Password

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 knowledge is required.

As this tutorial is really aimed for non-technical WordPress users, we suggest that if the information above hasn’t helped you get back into your WordPress admin area, 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 change your WordPress Password from phpMyAdmin, or you can try the method below, which will reveal your username and email address, so you can at least get your password reset and log back in.

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

If you feel uncomfortable about taking a look inside your web server or WordPress database, then please ask a knowledgeable WordPress user to help you.

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


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 …

cPanel admin area

Scroll down to the “Databases” section and click on phpMyAdmin


Open up your WP database.

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

phpMyAdmin databases

Don’t worry about the technical-looking nature of the information on your screen.

Click on wp_users in the left-hand column …

phpMyAdmin databases

You will see a list of all your site’s users with their usernames and emails. 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 …

Note: The user password is also included in this section of your WP 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.

For security reasons, 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 assistance if you don’t know what you are doing, as you could end up causing errors.

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

We hope that you have found this tutorial useful and can now resume working on your site.


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