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 …

Learn How To Use WPHave you lost your WordPress password?

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

Fortunately, with WordPress, there is always a way to get back into your website or blog.

In this troubleshooting tutorial, we help you understand the process of retrieving a misplaced password or username and getting back into 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 other options are available for login recovery.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Wrong Login Details

Normally, if either your password or username are incorrect when attempting to login in WordPress, a message like the one below will show on your login page …

WordPress Password Retrieval

Here’s a clue: If you get the username correct but the password wrong, WordPress will actually tell you this …

Recovering A Password In WordPress

Tip

For security purposes, using the username “admin”.

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

Changing Your Password

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

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

Retrieving WordPress Passwords

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

WordPress Password Retrieval

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

WordPress Password Retrieval

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

How To Change Passwords In WordPress

Important

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.

Changing Your Login 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 …

Changing Your WordPress Password

Tip

Use a password generator tool to help you create strong passwords.

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

Free Online Password Generator

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

Roboform - Password Management Software

Use A Password Generator Tool To Help You Create Secure Passwords

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

After your password has been reset, log in as normal …

WordPress Password Recovery

Changing Your Password

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

Retrieving Login Passwords In WordPress

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

Towards the bottom part of the page, you will see the “change password” fields. Enter a new password and confirm this password here.

Note: Use the WordPress password strength meter to help you avoid using weak passwords and come up with a strong password.

WordPress Password Retrieval

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

WordPress Password Retrieval

What To Do If You Can’t Remember Your Username And Password

So far, the above steps work if you’ve forgotten 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 a little technical knowledge is required.

Important

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 site, then either contact someone who can provide you with technical support (i.e. your webmaster, website 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 inside your server … you’re just taking a look!

Warning

If you feel nervous about working inside your web server or WordPress database, then please ask a web services professional to assist you.

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

WordPress Password Retrieval

cPanel

Useful Information

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

Log into your server admin area …

Recovering Passwords

cPanel admin area

Navigate to the “Databases” section and click on phpMyAdmin

What To Do If You Have Lost The Login Password

phpMyAdmin

Click on your WP database.

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

What To Do If You Lose Passwords In WordPress

phpMyAdmin databases

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

Click on wp_users in the “Table” column on the left-hand side …

Recovering WordPress Passwords

phpMyAdmin databases

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 …

WordPress Password Recovery

Info

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

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 assistance if you really don’t know what you are doing, and want to avoid causing errors.

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

WordPress Password Recovery

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

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Originally published as How To Reset Your WordPress Password.