Have you misplaced your WordPress password or can’t get back in?
Not being able to access your site’s 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 the backend of your website or blog.
In this WordPress troubleshooting step-by-step tutorial, we’ll take you systematically through how to recover a forgotten password or username and get access to your website. 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 login recovery.
Let’s start with some WordPress password basics.
Wrong Username Or Password
If you get your username and/or password incorrect when attempting to login in WordPress, a message like the one shown below will show on your screen …
Here’s a clue: If you get the username correct but the password is wrong, WordPress will actually tell you this …
For security reasons, using 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: How To Change Your Admin Username
If you have forgotten or lost your password, but you 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 at the bottom of the login box …
Alternatively, just type the following URL into your web browser (where “domain” is your domain and “tld” is the domain extension, eg. “com”, “net”, “org”, etc.) …
Type in your username or email and click the button to get a 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 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 creating strong passwords.
You can use a free password generator tool like PasswordsGenerator.net (shown below) …
Or password management software like RoboForm, which not only lets you generate strong passwords, but also store and manage all your online passwords …
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 using your new password …
Changing Your Password Inside The 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 screen …
You can also access your “Profile” area 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.
Click Update Profile when done 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 can access your username or email address.
How can you log in if you don’t know both your username and password?
You can still access your WordPress site, but a little technical knowledge is required.
As this tutorial is mostly designed for non-technical WordPress users, we suggest that if the information above hasn’t helped you get back into your WordPress admin area, then either contact someone who can provide you with technical assistance (i.e. your webmaster, web management person or your webhost) and let them know that you need to reset your WordPress Password from phpMyAdmin, or you can try 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 … you’re just taking a look!
If you are concerned about working inside your web server or database, then please ask a knowledgeable WordPress user for assistance.
In the example below, the server is using the cPanel management tool …
cPanel management tool
Note: We provide a complete set of step-by-step tutorials on using cPanel inside the WPTrainMe PRO member’s area.
Log into your server control panel …
cPanel administration area
Scroll down to the “Databases” section and click on phpMyAdmin …
Click on your WordPress database.
Note: If you have multiple databases set up on your domain, make sure you choose the correct one …
Don’t panic when you see the complicated-looking information on your screen screen.
Click on wp_users …
This section contains 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 what you are looking for …
Note: The user password is also included in this section of the 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 security reasons, 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 assistance from a professional if you don’t know what you are doing, as you could end up causing errors.
Now that 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 this information has helped you get back into your site and you can now resume working on your website.
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