Are you unable to log back into your WordPress site because you’ve lost your password?
Finding yourself unable to access your admin 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 step-by-step tutorial for non-technical users, we’ll show you how to retrieve a lost, misplaced or forgotten password or username and get access to 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 recovering your password details.
Let’s start with some WordPress password basics.
Typing In The Wrong Login Details
If you you type your password or username incorrectly when attempting to access your WordPress dashboard, you will see an error message like the one below …
Here’s a clue: If you get the username correct but the password is wrong, WordPress will let you know this …
For security purposes, never set up the username “admin”.
This is the default installation username for WordPress and one of the first vulnerable areas of website security that hackers will test with WordPress sites.
If you need to change your username, see this tutorial:
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 section by clicking on the link found below the login box …
Alternatively, just type the following URL into your web browser (where “domain” is your domain address and “tld” is your domain extension, eg. “com”, “net”, “info”, etc.) …
Enter your username or email and click the button to get a new password …
At this stage, there is no password “recovery” option, only password “reset”.
You will receive an 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 if you need help generating a strong password.
You can use a free online password generator tool like PasswordsGenerator.net (shown below) …
Or use a password management program like RoboForm, which not only lets you generate strong passwords, but also store and manage all of your online passwords …
Use A Password Generator Tool If You Need Help Creating A Secure Password
To learn more about password management software, see the tutorial below:
After resetting your password, log in using your new password …
How To Change Your Password Inside Your WordPress Administration Area
To change your password inside your administration, 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” page 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: Avoid using weak passwords. Use the built-in WordPress password strength meter to help you set up a strong password.
Click the Update Profile button when you have entered your new details to update your password settings.
What If I’ve Lost My Username And Password?
The above steps work if you’ve forgotten your password but you still know your username or email address.
How can you log in if you’ve forgotten both your username and password?
You can still access your WordPress site, but a little technical intervention is required.
As this tutorial is really aimed 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 assistance (i.e. your webmaster, website management person or your webhost) and let them know that you need to 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. Don’t worry, you won’t be changing anything inside your server … you’ll just be taking a look!
If you are worried about looking inside your web server or database, then please ask an experienced WordPress user to help you.
In our example, the server uses the cPanel management software …
Note: We provide a complete set of step-by-step tutorials on how to use cPanel inside the WPTrainMe PRO member’s area.
Log into your server administration account …
cPanel admin area
Find the “Databases” section and open up phpMyAdmin …
Open up your WP database.
Note: If you have multiple databases set up on your domain, make sure you choose the right one …
Don’t panic when you see the complicated screen.
Click on wp_users …
mySQL database tables
This section contains a list of all your site’s users with their usernames and registered emails. 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 database (in the “user_pass” column”), but as you can see from the screenshot above, it is encrypted.
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 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 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, 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 site.
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)
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