Have you misplaced your WordPress password?
Not being able to access your admin area because you have forgotten 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 website or blog.
In this troubleshooting tutorial for non-technical WordPress users, we help you understand the process of retrieving a lost password or username and getting 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 login recovery.
Let’s start with the basics.
Incorrect Login Information
If either your username or password are entered incorrectly when trying to access your WP dashboard, you will get an error message like the one below displayed on your login page …
Here’s a clue: If you get the username right but the password wrong, WordPress will actually tell you this …
For security reasons, you should never install 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 forgotten your password, but you know your username or email address, then click on the “Lost your password?” link in the login box …
You can also access the forgotten password section by clicking on the link below the login box …
Alternatively, type the URL below into your web browser (where “domain” is your domain and “tld” is your domain extension, eg. “com”, “net”, “info”, etc.) …
Type in your username or email address and click ”Get 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 to help you create secure passwords.
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 Strong 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 admin, 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 section 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 Update Profile when you’re done to update your password settings.
If You Don’t Know Your Username And Password
The above steps work if you’ve lost your password but you still know your username or email address.
What can you do if you’ve lost both your username and password?
You can still access your WordPress site, but here 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 admin area, then either contact someone who can provide you with technical assistance (i.e. your webmaster, web management 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 simply 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. Don’t worry, you won’t be changing anything inside your server … you’re only taking a look!
If working inside your web server or database unnerves you, then please ask a knowledgeable WordPress user to assist you.
In the example below, the server uses cPanel …
Note: We provide a complete set of video tutorials on using cPanel inside the WPTrainMe PRO member’s area.
Log into your server control panel …
cPanel administration area
Find the “Databases” section and open up phpMyAdmin …
Click on 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 worry about the technical-looking nature of the information on your screen.
Click on wp_users in the left-hand column …
mySQL database tables
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 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 WordPress database (in the “user_pass” column”), but as you can see from the screenshot above, it is encrypted.
For 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 replace 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 really 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, return to the login screen and request a new password …
We hope that the above information has helped you log back into your site and you can now resume working.
"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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