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.

Learn WPAre you locked out of your WordPress site because you’ve lost your password?

Finding yourself unable to access your 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 step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to recover a lost, misplaced or 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, we’ll explain to you what your other options for retrieving your password details are.

Let’s start with some WordPress password basics.

Typing In The Wrong Username Or Password

Normally, if you you enter your username or password incorrectly when attempting to access your WordPress dashboard, you will get an error message like the one below …

WordPress Password Recovery

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

How To Reset Your Password

Tip

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 and security threats on WordPress sites.

What To Do If You Lose Or Forget WordPress Passwords

If you want to learn how to change your username, see this tutorial:

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If you have forgotten or lost your password, but you know your username or email address, then click on the “Lost your password?” link in the error message …

WordPress Password Retrieval

You can also access the lost password feature by clicking on the link found below the login box …

What To Do If You Forget Passwords

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

WordPress Password Retrieval

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

Recovering Your Password In WordPress

Important

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

You will receive a system notification via email containing a password reset link. Click on the link to reset your password.

Recovering 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 …

WordPress Password Retrieval

Useful Tip

Use a password generator tool if you need help coming up with secure passwords.

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

Free Online Password Generator

Or a password management program like RoboForm, which is not only great for creating strong passwords, but also for storing and managing all your online passwords …

RoboForm - Online Password Management Tool

Use A Password Generator Tool To Help You Create Secure Passwords

To learn more about password management software, see the tutorial below:

After resetting your password, log in using your new password …

How To Change Login Passwords In WordPress

How To Change Your Password

To change your password inside your admin, 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 …

WordPress Password Retrieval

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

Towards the bottom part of the page, you will see the “change password” section. Enter a new password and confirm this password here.

Note: Avoid choosing weak passwords. Use the WordPress password strength meter to help you set up a strong password.

Recovering Your WordPress Password

Click Update Profile when done to update your password settings.

Recovering Your Login Password

What To Do If You Don’t Know Your Username And Password

So far, the above steps work if you’ve lost 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.

Important

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 site, then either contact someone who can provide you with technical support (i.e. your webmaster, website management person or your webhost) and ask them to help you reset 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 inside your server … you’ll just be taking a look!

Warning

If you don’t feel confident about looking inside your server or WordPress database, then please ask a knowledgeable WordPress user for assistance.

In the example below, we’ll be working with cPanel …

WordPress Password Recovery

cPanel management application

Important Info

Note: We provide tutorials on how to use cPanel inside the WPTrainMe PRO member’s area.

Log into your server control panel …

What To Do If You Have Forgotten Or Lost The Login Password

cPanel admin area

Find the “Databases” section and open up phpMyAdmin

WordPress Password Retrieval

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 right one …

What To Do If You Have Lost Or Forgotten WordPress Passwords

phpMyAdmin databases

Don’t worry about the complicated-looking screen.

Click on wp_users

How To Reset A Password In WordPress

phpMyAdmin databases

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

Recovering The Login Password

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.

For reasons 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 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 professional help if you don’t know what you are doing, and want to avoid causing errors.

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

What To Do If You Lose Your Login Password

We hope that you have found this tutorial useful and can now resume working on your site.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as How To Reset Your WordPress Password.