How to Reset WordPress Administrator’s Password

You installed WordPress and you forgot the administrator’s password. You’ll need it back for a lot of reasons.

  • you need to perform certain administrative operations, from time to time. You must be logged as an administrator do do that.
  • if you are the sole author, usually you’ll publish as an administrator
  • if you posted as an administrator and you got a reply, you have to get inside the adminstrative panel in order to approve it or to delete it.

The password is stored in the WordPress MySQL database, in the encrypted form. In order to reset it, you have several choices.

1. You can use the link “I forgot the password” to receive a reset link by eMail. The problem is that, sometimes, you don’t receive that eMail.

Possible reasons for not getting the eMail:

  • you set a wrong eMail address when you created the blog
  • the eMail is filtered by the ISP’s SPAM filter and you don’t have access to it
  • the hosting server is simply not sending the eMail.

2. You can access the database, using PHP MyAdmin. This method is very hard to do because:

  • you might not have PHP MyAdmin available and your hosting company will not allow you to install it
  • you need to know MySQL well enough to be able to write an encrypted password in the database
  • the name of the table that contains the password can change from version to version. WordPress made quite some changes to the table names over the years.

3. You can use only FTP and simple search to reset WordPress administrator’s password

Try to think as the program. What the program does is simple:

  • it compares the password you enter with the password from the WordPress database
  • if they are identical, it will let you access the administrative panel
  • otherwise, it will ask you to enter another password.

The above behaviour can be changed. There is only one character, from one file, that needs to be changed. After changing it, the system will allow you to login using any WRONG password. Once inside, you can reset the password, by using the WordPress’ interface. Guess what? WordPress will not ask you for the current password.

Method 3 has some exceptional advantages:

  • it works with ANY version of WordPress, because it’s not influenced by the changes of the tables from the WordPress’ database.
  • it’s by far the most safer, because you’re not playing with the database, but with some plain text files.
  • it does not need PHP MyAdmin to work. You only need FTP access to transfer back and forth one file from the server to your computer.
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