Have you forgotten your WordPress password?
Finding yourself unable to access your site’s administration area because you have 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 your website or blog.
In this WordPress troubleshooting step-by-step tutorial for non-technical users, you will learn how to retrieve a misplaced 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 retrieving your login details are.
Let’s start with some WordPress password basics.
Typing In An Incorrect Username/Password
Normally, if either your username or password are entered incorrectly when you try to login in WordPress, you will get an error message like the one below …
Here’s a clue: If you get the login username correct but the password wrong, WordPress will actually tell you this …
For security reasons, don’t install the username “admin”.
This is the default installation username for WordPress and one of the first areas of potential vulnerabilities that hackers will test with WordPress sites.
If you want to learn how to change your username, see this tutorial: How To Change Your WP Admin Username
If you have lost 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 login box …
You can also access the lost password function by clicking on the link below the login box …
Alternatively, just type the URL below into your browser (where “domain” is your domain name and “tld” is the domain extension, eg. “com”, “net”, “biz”, etc.) …
Enter your username or email address and click ”Get New Password” …
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 to help you come up with secure passwords.
You can use a free online password generator tool like PasswordsGenerator.net (shown below) …
Or a password management software like RoboForm, which is not only great for generating secure passwords, but also for storing and managing all of your passwords …
Use A Password Generator Tool If You Need Help Creating Strong Passwords
To learn more about password management software, see the tutorial below:
After resetting your password, log in as normal …
How To Change Your Password Inside WP
To change your password inside your administration, 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” 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: Avoid choosing weak passwords. Use the built-in WordPress password strength meter to help you come up with a strong password.
Click the Update Profile button when done to update your password settings.
If You Don’t Know Your Username And Password
So far, the above steps work if you’ve forgotten your password but you have access to your username or email address.
What can you do if you can’t remember both your username and password?
You can still log into your WordPress site, but a little technical intervention is required.
As this tutorial is really designed for non-technical WordPress users, we recommend 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 management person or your webhost) and ask them to help you reset your WordPress Password from phpMyAdmin, or you can try using the method below, which will reveal your username and email address, so you at least you can 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 … you’ll just be taking a look!
If you are worried about looking inside your server or WordPress database, then please ask a web services professional for assistance.
For the example below, we’ll be working with cPanel …
Note: We provide tutorials on using cPanel inside the WPTrainMe PRO member’s area.
Log into your server control panel …
cPanel admin area
Navigate to the “Databases” section and click on phpMyAdmin …
Click on your WordPress database.
Note: If you have multiple databases set up on your domain, make sure you choose the correct one …
Don’t worry about the technical-looking nature of the information on your screen.
Click on wp_users …
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 the details you are looking for …
Note: The user password is also included in this section of the WordPress 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 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 assistance if you don’t know what you are doing, and want to avoid causing errors.
Once you know the username and email address, log out of your server, return to your 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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