Recover WordPress Lost Password

Table of Contents

A lost password is always irritating. In today’s rapidly changing times, there are many instances when we tend to forget simple things like passwords. When you are suddenly unable to log in to your WordPress account, already being aware of the various recovery methods is very beneficial.

WordPress has done a great job of providing its users with multiple options to recover lost passwords or change the existing ones with ease. It has developed numerous methods for password recovery, adding more convenience to the end-user. So, here are five proven methods that can be used to recover a lost WordPress password.

Ask for help from the Admin User

Asking for a small help from the Admin can solve the problem within minutes. The Admin user for WordPress websites has access to the dashboard. If a separate admin user is assigned to the site, he can edit your profile to change the password.

Here’s how this process works:

  • Reach out to any one of the admin users of the WordPress website, and ask for their support in resetting your password.
  • After the admin logins to the account, he will need to move to users and all users’ pages. Then amongst all the users registered, he will need to select your profile.
  • Next, he will have to move to the Account Management section, click on the Set New Password button, and enter the new password.
  • After securely receiving the new password from the Admin, immediately log in to your WordPress account, and change the password to something solid and unique.

Provided that you have an admin user and his support, this is probably the easiest way to recover your password. Though the Admin has to move some stones, he won’t mind the effort as the process is relatively quick and straightforward.


Password Reset Link through Email Password Recovery

This is undoubtedly one of the most versatile and quickest methods to recover your password. Following this method, you can generate a password reset link, which will be sent to your WordPress-linked email.

Following are the steps to carry out this method:

  • Go to your WordPress login page, and find the “Lost your password?” option below the login dialogue box.
  • After clicking on the “Lost your password?” link, WordPress will automatically navigate you to WordPress’s password reset page.
  • You will need one of your usernames and email addresses to move further. WordPress will prompt you to enter your email address or username to generate a new password.
  • Enter the required credentials and click on the “Get New Password” button.
  • If the information entered is accurate, WordPress will send a password reset link to your email address. Acknowledging all the accompanying instructions, you can go to that link and reset your password within no time.

While this looks simple and easy to implement the method, things can get complicated in the following aspects:


  1. You did not receive the reset email.
  2. You can’t remember the actual username or email address.
  3. You can no longer access your email account.

If you find yourself in any of these situations, it is recommended to try out the other methods to recover your password.


Reset WordPress Password through phpMyAdmin

You will need to have admin access to your website’s hosting cPanel or web hosting control panel through your WordPress hosting provider to apply this method. phpMyAdmin through cPanel will allow you to reset your WordPress password.

This method is effective because of the MySQL database. WordPress uses a MySQL database to store crucial information required for the smooth running of the website. This database also has access to the login credentials to retrieve the necessary information.

One of the major concerns here can be the security of your database, but you need not worry as all WordPress passwords are encrypted. Moreover, only the person having the actual admin privileges can access the database.

Follow the following steps to get going:

  • The first step is to log in to your admin account and then access cPanel. After you are in, navigate to the Database section and click phpMyAdmin.
  • Now, you will have to log in to your phpMyAdmin account. Once you are in, you will be exposed to several databases. Click on the WordPress database for your website.
  • The next task is to find the wp_users row and then move to the browse icon on the right.
  • After you click on the browse icon, you will be redirected to a page that will contain the list of all the registered users on your WordPress website. Username, user email, and encrypted password are the details that you will be able to access.
  • Now, find and select the user for whom you want to change the password, and click on Edit.
  • Moving to the next page, you will be given an option to change the password under the user_pass section.
  • Now, it gets a bit complicated, so please be careful. Along the line of user_pass, you will have a long list of letters and numbers under the value column. You will need to select and delete this long string.
  • Now, in the same box, type in the password you want to use.
  • Next, to encrypt your password, select MD5 from the drop-down menu and double-check for the correct password and selection of MD5.

To apply the changes, click on Save, Update, or Go button at the bottom of the page, and this way, your password will have been changed.


Reset through FTP Using Functions.php File

All the WordPress themes are accompanied by a PHP file that contains crucial information. It contains all the information required for the perfect functioning of your WordPress website. Also, remember that WordPress has two or three php files in total.

For resetting the password, we need to work with the functions.php file, which can be found in the WordPress theme directory. Before moving forward, you will need to download a copy of the functions.php file from the WordPress hosting server. The hosting server can be accessed through FTP or cPanel. Make sure to identify the WordPress theme currently active on your site. After you are aware of all such prerequisites, follow these steps:

  • The first step is to find the functions.php file within your active theme’s directory (folder). If you use a child theme, move to the functions.php file in the child theme’s folder.
  • You need to either add or edit the “edit the wp_set_password” in the line of code of the functions.php file.
  • “wp_set_password (‘abcdef, 1’)” This is the line of code that you will fill in. In the following code, ‘abcdef’ represents the new password you want to set. You can change it according to your choice (remember to use a strong password), and the ‘1’ represents the user id of the particular WordPress user.
  • Now, save the edits you made to the functions.php file, and using FTP, upload the edited file back to your website.
  • After uploading the file, you should be able to log in to your account successfully. At this particular step, you have managed to recover your password.
  • There are some after responsibilities for this method. You will need to undo the changes made to the functions file.

Now, re-download the WordPress functions file, and remove the line of code. After completing, upload the updated version of the file that you have modified back to your WordPress site, and you are done.


Reset using PHP Script

This is the least suggested method to recover your password. If every technique leads to zero, you can finally give a try to this approach. This method is complicated enough and requires you to create a PHP file from a pre-written script and add it to your website’s core.

To apply this method, follow these steps:

  • At first, we will need to retrieve the PHP script. You will need to copy it from this page in the WordPress codex.
  • You need to create a new file called “emergency.php” in the text editor and paste the entire script from the WordPress Codex link into the new file.
  • To ensure that the file contains the Admin’s information, update the values and save it.
  • Next, you will have to log in to a web hosting account and control panel, and then moving to the file manager tool, go to the root of your WordPress website.
  • Now, add the new file to the root directory and go to HTTPS://[yourdomainname].com/emergency.php.
  • Then you will be asked to enter the Admin’s username. Following this, create a new password. Click on “Update Options” when you’re done.
  • Remember that once the Admin has retrieved access, delete the emergency.php file from your server, so it does not create a security risk.

These were the top five methods to consider for recovering your lost WordPress password. When in a jam, you can follow these steps and try each method chronologically. If one is unsuccessful, move to another until something works 😀.

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