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How to Recover Your WordPress Password

How to Recover Your WordPress Password

Losing a password – any password – is everyone’s nightmare. Passwords are there for a reason: to protect our assets, whatever they are. Losing a password means losing access to those assets, and that’s never a good thing. In WordPress, passwords serve to make sure only the users with the right permissions can get into the admin area and modify the site content and settings. If you have lost your WordPress password or want to make sure you know what to do in case this nightmare scenario happens, read on.

We are going to go through two methods for recovering a lost WordPress password: using your email and using phpMyAdmin.

Getting a New Password via Email

Imagine the scenario – you sit down to work, open the login panel, start typing in the password only to realize you have completely forgot what it was! With so many accounts and passwords, from email to social and e-banking, it’s no wonder we get overwhelmed.

Fortunately, the password reset with WordPress is rather easy – the platform allows you to request a new password, which is a quick and easy way to get back into your admin panel and continue working with the platform. This is the easiest way and something you can do on your own, without having to phone in your web hosting company.

The login page features a handy Lost your password? option located just below the login form.

Lost your password option

Clicking on it will open a new dialog box, in which you will be prompted to enter either your WordPress username or the email you used for registration. Enter your information and click on Get New Password.

Get New Password

WordPress will now send a confirmation link to your inbox. Make sure to check your Spam or Junk folder if the email doesn’t arrive within a couple of minutes.

Check your email

Clicking on the link will take you to the panel with a new, automatically generated password. You can keep that one, or you can change it into something else. Below the field, you will see some useful tips for creating a secure password.

Click on Reset Password, and that’s it. You will now be able to log into your WordPress admin with the new password.

Reset Password

Recovering the Password Using phpMyAdmin

Most users will probably opt for the recovery method mentioned above. However, in case that method doesn’t work or if you don’t have access to your email, you will have to use phpMyAdmin to change your WordPress password directly in the database. Note that this password reset method is recommended only if you are comfortable (i.e. skillful) enough working with the database. Also, as always when modifying the database of your WordPress site directly, make sure to back up your database before proceeding with any changes.

To reset your password, log into your cPanel dashboard using credentials that your WordPress hosting provider gave you. Click on phpMyAdmin in the Databases section. Now, select your WordPress database. A list of your database tables will open. The table you’re looking for is labeled {table-prefix}_users. Once you’ve located it, click on Browse next to it.

WordPress database

This table contains rows with users. Find your username (or the name of the user you want to change the password for) and click on Edit.

Find your username

A form will open with various user information fields. Delete the current value in the user_pass field and type in your new password.

In the Function column, select MD5 from the menu and click on Go. Your new password will be encrypted under MD5 hash and stored in the database.

Select MD5 from the menu and click on Go

You should now be able to log into your WordPress account using the new password. If something goes wrong and you’re still unable to recover your password, or of you don’t have your cPanel credentials, contact your WordPress hosting company.

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Final Thoughts

And that’s it. You now have two methods for recovering your password. If you get stuck at user login page because you’ve forgotten your username or email address, the second method will get you out of trouble. Keep in mind that your WordPress needs to be strong and secure. Use a unique password, not the one you’re using across your various accounts. Make sure to use a combination of upper and lowercase letters and spice things up with some numbers and symbols, too. And, for goodness sake, don’t use the word “admin” or “1234” in your password (we’re sure you wouldn’t, anyway, but you’d be surprised how many people do it).

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