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

How To Reset Your WordPress Password

Are you locked out of your WordPress site because you’ve forgotten your password?

Finding yourself unable to access your admin area because you’ve forgotten your password or username can be really frustrating.

Fortunately, with WordPress, there is always a way to get back into your site.

In this WordPress troubleshooting tutorial for non-technical WordPress users, we help you understand how to retrieve a forgotten password or username and get back into your blog or 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 password recovery are.

Let’s start with the basics.

Wrong WordPress Login Details

Normally, if either your password or username are entered incorrectly when trying to access your WP dashboard, you will see an error message like the one below displayed on your login page …

Here’s a clue: If you get the login username correct but the password wrong, WordPress will let you know this …

For security purposes, using the username “admin”.

This is the default installation username for WordPress and one of the first vulnerable areas of website security that hackers look for with WordPress sites.

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

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

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 address and “tld” is the domain extension, eg. “com”, “net”, “biz”, etc.) …

Type in your username or email and click ”Get New Password” …

At this stage, there is no password “recovery” option. You will need to reset your password.

You will receive a system email with a password reset link. Click on the 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 generating strong passwords.

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

Or use a password management software like RoboForm, which lets you store and manage all your online passwords …

Use A Password Generator Tool To Help You Create Strong 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 Your Password Inside Your WordPress Admin Area

To change your password inside WordPress, 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 …

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

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

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

Click the Update Profile button when done to update your password settings.

If You’ve Lost Your Username And Password

The above steps work if you’ve forgotten your password but you have access to 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 here is where things start to get a little technical.

As this tutorial is really aimed 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 support person or your webhost) and let them know that you need to 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. Don’t worry, you won’t be changing anything … you’re only taking a look!

If you are worried about working inside your web server or database, then please ask a professional to help you.

In our example, we’ll be working with the cPanel management tool …

cPanel

Note: For a complete set of video tutorials on using cPanel, go here: How To Use cPanel.

Log into your server control panel …

cPanel admin area

Scroll down to the “Databases” section and open phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin

Open up your WordPress database.

Note: If you have multiple databases set up on your domain, make sure you choose the correct one …

phpMyAdmin databases

Don’t be concerned about the complicated-looking screen.

Click on wp_users in the “Table” column on the left-hand side …

mySQL database tables

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 …

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.

Due to the purpose 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 assistance from a professional if you really don’t know what you are doing, as you could end up causing errors.

Once you know the username and email address, log out of your server, go back 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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"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum