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 site’s administration area because you have forgotten or lost 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 WordPress troubleshooting tutorial, we help you understand the process of recovering a misplaced password or username and getting access to your 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 password recovery are.

Let’s start with the basics.

Incorrect Login Details

If your password or username are entered incorrectly when you try to access your WordPress dashboard, an error message like the one shown below will display …

WordPress Password Retrieval

Your first clue, is that if you get the login username right but the password is wrong, WordPress will let you know this …

WordPress Password Retrieval

Tip

For security reasons, 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.

WordPress Password Retrieval

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 login box …

Changing WordPress Passwords

You can also access the forgotten password section by clicking on the link found below the login box …

WordPress Password Retrieval

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

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

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

What To Do If You Lose WordPress Passwords

Important

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

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

Retrieving A Password In WordPress

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 Passwords In WordPress

Tip

Use a password generator tool if you need help creating a strong password.

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

Free Online Password Generator

Or password management programs like RoboForm, which is not only great for creating strong passwords, but also for storing and managing all of your online 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:

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

WordPress Password Retrieval

Changing Your Password Inside Your WP Administration Area

To change your password inside WP, 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 …

What To Do If You Have Lost Your Password

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

Towards the bottom section 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.

Changing Your Password

Click the Update Profile button when done to update your password settings.

What To Do If You Forget Your Password

What To Do If You’ve Forgotten Your Username And Password

The above steps work if you’ve forgotten your password but you still know your username or email address.

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

You can still access your WordPress site, but a little technical knowledge is required.

Info

As this tutorial is mostly intended 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 management person or your webhost) and ask them to help you 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 can at least get your password reset and log back in.

All you need is admin access to your server’s control panel. Don’t worry, you won’t be changing anything … you’ll just be taking a look!

Warning

If you are not comfortable looking inside your web server or database, then please ask a knowledgeable WordPress user for assistance.

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

Changing WordPress Passwords

cPanel management software

Important

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

Log into your server administration account …

What To Do If You Lose Your WordPress Password

cPanel admin area

Navigate to the “Databases” section and open up phpMyAdmin

What To Do If You Lose Or Forget WordPress Passwords

phpMyAdmin

Open up your WordPress database.

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

WordPress Password Recovery

phpMyAdmin databases

Don’t be concerned about the complicated screen.

Click on wp_users

Retrieving The Login Password

phpMyAdmin databases

You will see a list of all your site’s users with their usernames and registered 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 …

Changing Passwords

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 security reasons, 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 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 assistance from a professional if you don’t know what you are doing, as you could end up causing errors.

Once you have retrieved your username and email address, log out of your server, return to your login screen and request a new password …

What To Do If You Forget Or Lose Your Password

We hope that the above information has helped you log back into your site and you can now resume working.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

Originally published as How To Reset Your WordPress Password.