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 TutorialCan’t log back into your WordPress site?

Not being able to access your administration area because you can’t remember your password or username can be very frustrating.

Fortunately, if you are a WordPress user, there is always a way to get back into your site.

In this WordPress troubleshooting step-by-step tutorial for non-technical WordPress users, you will learn how to recover a lost 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 login recovery are.

Let’s start with the basics.

Wrong Username Or Password

If your password or username are incorrect when you try to access your WP dashboard, you will get an error message like the one below …

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

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

What To Do If You Lose WordPress Passwords

Useful Tip

For security purposes, 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 Recovery

If you need to change your username, see this tutorial:

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If you have forgotten 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 …

WordPress Password Recovery

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

Recovering Your WordPress Password

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

What To Do If You Lose Or Forget Your Password

Enter your username or email and click the Get New Password button …

Changing Passwords

Info

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

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

Retrieving Passwords In WordPress

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 …

WordPress Password Retrieval

Tip

Use a password generator tool to help you generate secure passwords.

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

Free Online Password Generator

Or a password management program like RoboForm, which not only lets you create strong passwords, but also store and manage all your passwords …

RoboForm

Use A Password Generator Tool If You Need Help Creating A Secure Password

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

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

What To Do If You Forget Your Password

Changing Your Password Inside WordPress

To change your password inside WP, log into your backend admin section and select Edit My Profile from the “Howdy, User” dropdown menu near the top-right hand corner of your screen …

Changing Your Password

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: Use the built-in WordPress password strength meter to help you set up a strong password.

WordPress Password Retrieval

Click Update Profile after you have entered your new details to update your password settings.

Changing Your Password In WordPress

If You’ve Lost Your Username And Password

The above steps work if you’ve lost your password but you can access your username or email address.

What do you do if you’ve lost both your username and password?

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

Important

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 admin area, then either contact someone who can provide you with technical support (i.e. your webmaster, website management person or your webhost) and let them know that you need to change your WordPress Password from phpMyAdmin, or you can try 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 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 taking a look inside your server or database unnerves you, then please ask a knowledgeable WordPress user to assist you.

For the example below, the server is using the cPanel management tool …

WordPress Password Recovery

cPanel

Info

Note: For tutorials on how to use cPanel, go here: How To Use cPanel.

Log into your server control panel …

What To Do If You Have Lost Or Misplaced A Password In WordPress

cPanel administration area

Scroll down to the “Databases” section and click on phpMyAdmin

Changing Your WordPress Password

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 right one …

What To Do If You Forget Login Passwords In WordPress

phpMyAdmin databases

Don’t worry about the technical-looking nature of the information on your screen.

Click on wp_users

Recovering Your Password In WordPress

phpMyAdmin databases

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 …

Recovering Passwords In WordPress

Info

Note: The user password is also included in this section of the WordPress 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 reasons of security, 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 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 assistance if you don’t know what you are doing, and want to avoid causing errors.

Now that you know the username and email address, log out of your server, return to your login screen and request a new password …

Changing Your Password

Hopefully, you have found this tutorial useful and can now resume working on your website.

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"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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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. 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.