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 For BeginnersCan’t log back into your WordPress site?

Not being able 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 site.

In this tutorial for non-technical users, you will learn how to retrieve a lost password or username and get back into your website or blog. 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 recovering your login details are.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Typing In The Wrong Username Or Password

Normally, if either your password or username are entered incorrectly when trying to login in WordPress, you will see an error message like the one below …

What To Do If You Have Lost Or Forgotten Your WordPress Password

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

WordPress Password Retrieval

Tip

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

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

What To Do If You Have Forgotten Or Lost WordPress Passwords

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

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

WordPress Password Retrieval

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

WordPress Password Retrieval

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

What To Do If You Lose Or Forget Passwords

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

What To Do If You Have Lost Your Password

Important

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

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

Changing Your Password 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 …

What To Do If You Have Lost Your WordPress Password

Tip

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

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

Free Online Password Generator

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

Roboform - Password Management Software

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

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

Once your password has been reset, log in using your new password …

WordPress Password Recovery

How To Change Your Password

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

WordPress Password Retrieval

You can also access your “Profile” section 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 come up with a strong password.

How To Reset Passwords

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

What To Do If You Lose Or Forget 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 can access your username or email address.

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

You can still log into your WordPress site, but this is where you will need to have some technical knowledge and be able to access your server.

Important

As this tutorial is mostly designed for non-technical WordPress users, we suggest that if the information above hasn’t helped you get back into your WordPress site, 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 admin access to your server. Don’t worry, you won’t be changing anything inside your server … you’ll just be taking a look!

Warning

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

In the example below, the server uses the cPanel management application …

What To Do If You Have Forgotten Passwords

cPanel management application

Info

Note: For tutorials on how to use cPanel, go here: How To Use cPanel.

Log into your server administration area …

WordPress Password Retrieval

cPanel administration area

Scroll down to the “Databases” section and open phpMyAdmin

What To Do If You Forget Your Login Password

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 …

What To Do If You Lose Your WordPress Password

phpMyAdmin databases

Don’t worry about the complicated screen.

Click on wp_users in the left-hand column …

Changing Your WordPress Password

mySQL database tables

This section contains a list of all your site’s users with their usernames and emails. Typically, the first line is assigned to the 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 …

What To Do If You Forget Or Lose A Password In WordPress

Info

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

For security purposes, 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 professional help if you really don’t know what you are doing, and want to avoid causing errors.

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

Retrieving Passwords

Hopefully, this tutorial has helped you get back into your site and you can now resume working.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as How To Reset Your WordPress Password.