WordPress For Non-Techies: Free WordPress Tutorials – WPCompendium.org

How To Reset Your WordPress Password

Can’t log into your WordPress site?

Finding yourself unable to access your admin area because you can’t remember your password or username can be very frustrating.

Fortunately, with WordPress, there is always a way to get back into your website or blog.

In this troubleshooting step-by-step tutorial for non-technical WordPress users, you will learn the process of recovering a forgotten password or username and getting access to your website. We’ll go as far as we can without getting into complicated technical areas, and then, if the information still doesn’t help you, we’ll explain to you what your other options for retrieving your password details are.

Let’s start with the basics.

Entering The Wrong Username Or Password

If you you enter the incorrect username or password when you try to access your WordPress dashboard, 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 wrong, WordPress will let you know this …

For security purposes, avoid setting up 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.

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


If you have 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 found at the bottom of the login box …

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

Enter your username or email address and click ”Get 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 password reset link. Click on the 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 come up with a strong password.

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

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

Use A Password Generator Tool If You Need Help Creating Strong Passwords

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

After resetting your password, log in as normal …

Changing Your Password Inside Your Administration Area

To change your password inside your admin, log into your admin and select Edit My Profile from the “Howdy, User” dropdown menu at 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 screen, 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 set up a strong password.

Click the Update Profile button when you have entered your new details to update your password settings.

What To Do If You’ve Forgotten Your Username And Password

So far, 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 can’t remember both your username and password?

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

As this tutorial is mostly aimed 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, web support person or your webhost) and ask them to help you change your WordPress Password from phpMyAdmin, or you can try using the method below, which will 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’s control panel. Don’t worry, you won’t be changing anything … you’re only taking a look!

If working inside your server or database unnerves you, then please ask a web services professional to assist you.

In the example below, the server uses the cPanel management software …


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

Log into your server control panel …

cPanel admin area

Navigate to the “Databases” section and click on phpMyAdmin


Click on your WP database.

Note: If you have a number of databases set up on your domain, make sure that you select the right one …

phpMyAdmin databases

Don’t panic when you see the complicated-looking screen.

Click on wp_users in the left-hand column …

mySQL database tables

You will see 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 WP 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 change 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 really don’t know what you are doing, and want to avoid causing errors.

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

Hopefully, this information has helped you log back into your site and you can now resume working.


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