Have you misplaced your WordPress password or can’t get back in?
Finding yourself unable to access your administration area because you’ve forgotten or lost your password or username can be very frustrating.
Fortunately, with WordPress, there is always a way to get back into the backend of your website or blog.
In this step-by-step tutorial for non-technical WordPress users, you will learn the process of retrieving a lost or forgotten 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 the information still doesn’t help you, we’ll explain to you what your other options for recovering your password details are.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Wrong Username Or Password
Normally, if you you type in your password or username incorrectly when attempting to login in WordPress, a message like the one below will display …
Here’s a clue: If you get the login username correct but the password is wrong, WordPress will actually tell you this …
For security purposes, avoid installing sites 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.
If you need to change your username, see this tutorial:
If you have lost, forgotten or misplaced 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 forgotten password section by clicking on the link at the bottom of the login box …
Alternatively, type the following URL into your browser (where “domain” is your domain address and “tld” is the domain extension, eg. “com”, “net”, “org”, etc.) …
Type in your username or email and click ”Get New Password” …
At this stage, there is no password “recovery” option. You will need to reset your password.
You will receive an email containing 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 create a secure password.
You can use a free online password generator tool like PasswordsGenerator.net (shown below) …
Or password management programs like RoboForm, which is not only great for creating strong passwords, but also for storing and managing all your online passwords …
Use A Password Generator Tool To Help You Create A Strong Password
To learn more about password management software, see the tutorial below:
After your password has been reset, log in using your new password …
How To Change Your Password Inside The WordPress Admin Area
To change your password inside WordPress, log into your backend admin section and select Edit My Profile from the “Howdy, User” dropdown menu near 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 part of the screen, 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.
Click the Update Profile button when you’re done to update your password settings.
What If I’ve Lost My Username And Password?
The above steps work if you’ve lost your password but you still remember your username or email address.
What do you do if you’ve forgotten both your username and password?
You can still access your WordPress site, but this is where things start to get a little technical.
As this tutorial is mostly designed for non-technical WordPress users, we recommend 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 support (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 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’s control panel. Don’t worry, you won’t be changing anything inside your server … you’ll just be taking a look!
If you don’t feel confident about working inside your server or WordPress database, then please ask an experienced WordPress user for assistance.
In the example below, the server uses the cPanel management tool …
Note: We provide tutorials on how to use cPanel inside the WPTrainMe PRO member’s area.
Log into your server admin area …
cPanel admin area
Scroll down to the “Databases” section and click on phpMyAdmin …
Open up your WordPress database.
Note: If you have a number of databases set up on your domain, make sure that you select the correct one …
Don’t panic when you see the complicated-looking information on your screen screen.
Click on wp_users …
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 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.
For 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 will 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, and want to avoid causing errors.
Now that you have retrieved your username and email address, log out of your server, return 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.
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