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How To Reset Your WordPress Password

Have you forgotten your WordPress password or can’t get back in?

Not being able to access your site’s administration area because you can’t remember 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 site.

In this troubleshooting step-by-step tutorial, we show you the process of recovering a lost, misplaced or forgotten password or username and getting back into your website or blog. We’ll go as far as we can without getting into complicated technical areas, and then, if the information still doesn’t help you get back in, we’ll explain to you what other options are available for retrieving your login details.

Let’s start with the basics.

Incorrect Username/Password

Normally, if either your username or password are incorrect when trying to access your WordPress dashboard, a message like the one below will display …

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

For security reasons, using the username “admin”.

This is the default installation username for WordPress and one of the first things hackers look for with WordPress sites.

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

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If you have forgotten your password, but you do 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 feature by clicking on the link found at the bottom of the login box …

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

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

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

You will receive a system 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 come up with a strong password.

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

Or use password management programs 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 To Help You Create A Secure Password

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

After resetting your password, log in as normal …

Changing Your Password Inside WP

To change your password inside your administration, 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” section by selecting Users > Your Profile from your main admin menu.

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

Note: Use the WordPress password strength meter to help you come up with a strong password.

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

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

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

How can you log in if you’ve lost both your username and password?

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

As this tutorial is mostly designed for non-technical WordPress users, we suggest that if the information above hasn’t helped you get back into your WordPress backend, then either contact someone who can provide you with technical support (i.e. your webmaster, website support 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 simply 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’re only taking a look!

If you feel uncomfortable about taking a look inside your web server or WordPress database, then please ask a professional for assistance.

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

cPanel management tool

Note: For a complete set of step-by-step tutorials on how to use cPanel, go here: How To Use cPanel.

Log into your server administration area …

cPanel admin area

Navigate to the “Databases” section and click on phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin

Open up your WordPress database.

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

phpMyAdmin databases

Don’t panic when you see the technical-looking nature of the information on your screen.

Click on wp_users

mySQL database tables

You will see a list of all your site’s users with their usernames and registered emails. 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 what you are looking for …

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 security purposes, 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 really 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, go back to the login screen and request a new password …

We hope that the above information has helped you get back into your site and you can now resume working on your website.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now