Reset your WordPress admin password (using phpMyAdmin)

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Forgetting passwords can be a nightmare. Lucky for us, most services offer a ‘reset password’ function, WordPress included. But what happens if the email never makes it to your inbox or you just can’t access that email account anymore? Lucky for us, there’s another way to reset your WordPress password if you’ve forgotten it. If you’d prefer to see video tutorial on how to reset your WordPress password with PHPMyAdmin, then scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Before Attempting To Reset Your WordPress Password In This Way

Before you try resetting your WordPress password following this method, there are some prerequisite that you should be aware of.

  1. You’ll need access to a tool called phpMyAdmin. This can usually be found in your hosting control panel (cPanel for this example).
  2. You should either know what you’re doing with phpMyAdmin (in which case, why are you here?), or you should be good at following instructions.

What is phpMyAdmin?

In short, phpMyAdmin is a database management tool for MySQL databases. It’s open an open source tool and usually comes preinstalled with your web hosting. You can use phpMyAdmin to do all sorts of things from importing and exporting databases, dropping tables (or entire databases) and changing site data. If you’re using WordPress, your entire websites content is stored in a MySQL database, which can be accessed with this tool.

Is it safe to use? Absolutely. So long as you either know what you’re doing, or you follow clear instructions. If we compare a WordPress website to bricks and mortar, the bricks are the individual files and folders (images, template files etc). The mortar is all the other stuff that holds the bricks together (the written content, the user information etc). All that mortar is stored in a MySQL database, so you can see how important it is.

Step 1 to Resetting Your WordPress Password

Step 1 is simple, and should never be overlooked. Back up your website’s database. There are a number of ways you can do this, many hosts have backup features built in. A quick and simple method:

First, log in to your hosting control panel and locate phpMyAdmin

Next, locate the database on the right hand side of phpMyAdmin. You’ll need to double check that you’ve got the right database. Once you’re sure you’ve got the right one, click it.

From here, select the ‘Check all’ box down the bottom, then from the drop down to the right, select export. You’ll be taken to the export page, all you need to do here is click the ‘Go’ button and your SQL Database will be downloaded. We’ll talk about restoring another time.

Step 2

Now you’ve backed up your database, click your database name again on the left hand menu. You’ll be taken back to the main database view. From here, you’re looking for a specific table entry. In the screenshot below, it’s wpjb_users. Click this.

You’ll now see what is basically a list of all your sites users. You can use the search field at the top of the page if you have a lot of users. Otherwise, click the edit button to the left of the user whos password you need to reset.

Step 3 – the final step to resetting your WordPress password

The final step is to enter a new password. Your page should look similar to the screenshot below. Here you’re looking for the field ‘user_pass’. In the drop down to the right, select ‘MD5’ (this is the encryption type and ensures your password is encrypted in a way WordPress understands. Then in the empty field next to that, type your new password in plane text.

Leave everything else here exactly as you see it. The only thing left to do is click the ‘Go’ button at the bottom.

All Done

That’s it, if you’ve followed these steps, you’ll have successfully reset your WordPress password using phpMyAdmin. To confirm, try logging in with the new password.

Quick Recap on How to Reset Your WordPress Password with phpMyAdmin

  1. Log in to your hosting control panel and select phpMyAdmin
  2. On the left menu, select the database for your WordPress site
  3. Find the ‘_users’ row of your database and select it
  4. Find the user you need to reset the password for and click ‘edit’
  5. Locate the ‘user_pass’ field
  6. Change the function to ‘MD5’, type a new password using plane text in the ‘Value’ field and click go

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