Archive for July, 2019

Resetting WordPress Password

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the Internet, making up 43% of all websites (up from 34% when this post was originally written in 2019).  WordPress stores all user data, including your admin username and password in a MySQL database.  For security reasons, WordPress stores passwords encrypted, making them not readable or directly writable.  You can’t just connect to the database and update the username and password in plain text.  You need to first use an online tool to encrypt new password.  Here are the steps to follow to reset your admin login:

  • Log in to manage your domain name, and go to the menu Profile > Manage Advanced Hosting to open the Plesk interface.  It will open in a new pop up window or tab.
  • On the Plesk interface, you should see Dashboard highlighted/underlined.  It it’s not, click it.
  • Click the link for Databases.
  • Click phpMyAdmin
  • You should see a list of “tables” in the left column.  They will all have a username prepended to each table name, followed by an underscore and the wordPress table name.
  • Look for the one that ends with _users and select that.
  • You will see two columns with user_login and user_pass.  The user_login will have your admin username.  The user_pass is what we’re going to be updating.
  • On a separate browser window, go to your favourite search engine and look up generate md5 hash.  This is the way to encrypt your new password.
  • On the site you choose, enter in your new password and have the site generate the md5 hash encrypted string.  It will be 32 characters long.
  • Select and copy (Control or Command C) the entire string.
  • Double click the current encrypted that is on the same line as your admin user_name.  That will select the entire string for the user_pass.
  • Paste (Control or Command V) in the new encrypted password and hit Enter.  You should see a pop-up message that says 1 row affected.
  • Close the phpMyAdmin window and go back to the login screen for your WordPress website.  You can now log in with your new password.