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How To Reset Your WordPress Password

Are you locked out of your WordPress site because you’ve misplaced your password?

Not being able to access your administration 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 the backend of your website or blog.

In this troubleshooting tutorial, we help you understand the process of recovering a forgotten password or username and getting access to your blog or website. We’ll go as far as we can without getting into complicated technical areas, and then, if this still doesn’t help you, we’ll explain to you what your other options for password recovery are.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Wrong Username Or Password

Normally, if your password or username are wrong when you try to login in WordPress, a message like the one below will display …

Here’s a clue: If you get the login username right but the password is wrong, WordPress will let you know 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 want to learn how 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 the email address you have registered with, then click on the “Lost your password?” link in the error message …

You can also access the lost password function by clicking on the link found below the login box …

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

Type in your username or email and click the Get New Password button …

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.

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 …

Use a password generator tool if you need help coming up with secure passwords.

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

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

Use A Password Generator Tool To Help You Create Strong Passwords

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

After resetting your password, log in as normal …

Changing Your Password Inside The WP Administration Area

To change your password inside WP, log into your admin 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” area by selecting Users > Your Profile from your main admin menu.

Towards the bottom section of the screen, 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 come up with a strong password.

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

What If I Can’t Remember My Username And Password?

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

How can you log in if you don’t know both your username and password?

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

As this tutorial is mostly 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 assistance (i.e. your webmaster, web 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 access to your server. Don’t worry, you won’t be changing anything … you’re just taking a look!

If you are not confident about looking inside your server or database, then please ask a professional to help you.

For our example, we’ll be working with cPanel …

cPanel

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

Log into your server control panel …

cPanel administration area

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

phpMyAdmin

Open up your WP database.

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

phpMyAdmin databases

Don’t panic when you see the technical-looking nature of the information on your screen.

Click on wp_users in the left-hand column …

phpMyAdmin databases

This section contains a list of all your site’s users with their usernames and registered 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 the details you are looking for …

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.

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 replace this password you would need 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 don’t know what you are doing, as you could end up causing errors.

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

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

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum