Have you misplaced your WordPress password?
Finding yourself unable to access your admin area because you’ve forgotten or lost 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 step-by-step tutorial, we help you understand how to recover a lost or misplaced password or username and get access to your site administration area. We’ll go as far as we can without getting into complicated technical areas, and then, if this still doesn’t help you get back in, we’ll explain to you what other options are available for recovering your login details.
Let’s start with the basics.
Incorrect WordPress Login Information
Normally, if either your username or password are wrong when trying to login in WordPress, you will get an error message like the one below …
Your first clue, is that if you get the login username right but the password is wrong, WordPress will let you know this …
For security purposes, don’t set up the username “admin”.
This is the default installation username for WordPress and one of the first areas of potential vulnerabilities hackers look for with WordPress sites.
If you need to change your username, see this tutorial:
If you have lost or forgotten your password, but you do know your username or email address, then click on the “Lost your password?” link in the error message …
You can also access the lost password area by clicking on the link below the login box …
Alternatively, just type the following URL into your browser (where “domain” is your domain name and “tld” is your domain extension, eg. “com”, “net”, “org”, etc.) …
Type in your username or registered email address 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 email containing a password reset link. Click on the 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 coming up with a strong password.
You can use a free online password generator tool like PasswordsGenerator.net (shown below) …
Or a password management program like RoboForm, which lets you store and manage all of your passwords …
Use A Password Generator Tool To Help You Create A Secure Password
To learn more about password management software, see the tutorial below:
After resetting your password, log in using your new password …
Changing Your Password
To change your password inside WP, log into your site and select Edit My Profile from the “Howdy, User” dropdown menu near the top-right hand corner of your Dashboard …
You can also access your “Profile” section 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: Avoid choosing weak passwords. Use the built-in WordPress password strength meter to help you set up a strong password.
Click Update Profile when you’re done to update your password settings.
If You Can’t Remember Your Username And Password
The above steps work if you’ve forgotten your password but you still have access to your username or email address.
How can you log in if you’ve lost both your username and password?
You can still log into your WordPress site, but here is where you will need to have some technical knowledge and be able to access your server.
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 site, then either contact someone who can provide you with technical support (i.e. your webmaster, website support person or your webhost) and let them know that you need to change your WordPress Password from phpMyAdmin, or you can try using the method below, which will simply 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 inside your server … you’re only taking a look!
If looking inside your web server or WordPress database makes you feel a little hesitant, then please ask a knowledgeable WordPress user to help you.
In this example, the server is using the cPanel management application …
cPanel management application
Note: We provide tutorials on how to use cPanel inside the WPTrainMe PRO member’s area.
Log into your server admin area …
cPanel administration area
Navigate to the “Databases” section and open 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 …
Don’t worry about the complicated screen.
Click on wp_users in the “Table” column on the left-hand side …
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 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.
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 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 help if you really 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, 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 on your website or blog.
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum
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