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How to Add an Admin User to the WordPress Database via MySQL

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How to Add an Admin User to the WordPress Database via MySQL

Few days ago, we ran into an issue where a user’s site got hacked and their admin account was deleted from the database. This locked them out of their site without any other entry. We went in to the phpMyAdmin and created a new admin user to grant them access. In this article, we will show you a step by step guide on how to create an admin user in WordPress Database via MySQL.

Note: You should always make a backup of your database before performing any MySQL edits. This tutorial requires basic understanding of how phpMyAdmin works.

First, you need to login to phpMyAdmin and locate your WordPress database. (Below is a screenshot of a HostGator cPanel)

cPanel phpMyAdmin

Once you are in, we will be making changes to the wp_users and wp_usermeta tables. Lets go ahead and click on wp_users table.

phpMyAdmin wp_users table

We need to insert our new admin user’s information, so click on the Insert tab like it shows in the image above. In the insert form, add the following:

  • ID – pick a number (in our example, we will use the number 4).
  • user_login – insert the username you want to use to access the WordPress Dashboard.
  • user_pass – add a password for this username. Make sure to select MD5 in the functions menu (Refer to the screenshot below).
  • user_nicename – put a nickname or something else that you would like to refer yourself as.
  • user_email – add the email you want to associate with this account.
  • user_url – this would be the url to your website.
  • user_registered – select the date/time for when this user is registered.
  • user_status – set this to 0.
  • display_name – put the name you like to display for this user on the site (it can be your user_nicename value as well).
  • Click on the Go Button

phpMyAdmin Insert values in wp_users table

Next we are going to have to add the values to wp_usermeta table. Click on the wp_usermeta table and then click on the Insert tab just like the previous step. Then add the following information to the insert form:

  • unmeta_id – leave this blank (it will be auto-generated)
  • user_id – this will be the id of the user you created in the previous step. Remember we picked 4.
  • meta_key – this should be wp_capabilities
  • meta_value – insert this: a:1:{s:13:"administrator";s:1:"1";}

Insert another row with the following information:

  • unmeta_id – leave this blank (it will be auto-generated)
  • user_id – this will be the id of the user you created in the previous step. Remember we picked 4.
  • meta_key – this should be wp_user_level
  • meta_value – 10

Then click on the Go button, and you have created yourself a new username. Now you should be able to login to your wp-admin with the username and password you specified for this user. Once logged in, click on Users and edit the username you just created. Go down and click on the Save button (you don’t have to change anything). This will allow WordPress to go through and add some more information and clean-up the user we just added.

SQL query

For developers who want to speed this process up, you can simply drop this SQL query in your database.

INSERT INTO `databasename`.`wp_users` (`ID`, `user_login`, `user_pass`, `user_nicename`, `user_email`, `user_url`, `user_registered`, `user_activation_key`, `user_status`, `display_name`) VALUES ('4', 'demo', MD5('demo'), 'Syed Balkhi', 'test@yourdomain.com', 'http://www.wpbeginner.com/', '2011-06-07 00:00:00', '', '0', 'Syed Balkhi');


INSERT INTO `databasename`.`wp_usermeta` (`umeta_id`, `user_id`, `meta_key`, `meta_value`) VALUES (NULL, '4', 'wp_capabilities', 'a:1:{s:13:"administrator";s:1:"1";}');


INSERT INTO `databasename`.`wp_usermeta` (`umeta_id`, `user_id`, `meta_key`, `meta_value`) VALUES (NULL, '4', 'wp_user_level', '10');

Remember to change the databasename to the database you are working with. Also don’t forget to change the appropriate values.


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress lovers led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  • Erik

    You’ve got a small bug. you’ll need to update the wp_capabilities meta_key value to ‘a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;b:1;}’ for this to work correctly, otherwise great article

  • Juan

    After finding your sollution i tweaked it a bit you can actually do everything in 2 queries without having to remember the id you create.

    Both queries have to be executed in the same action (so the same SQL input box).

    INSERT INTO `wp_users` (`ID`, `user_login`, `user_pass`, `user_nicename`, `user_email`, `user_url`, `user_registered`, `user_activation_key`, `user_status`, `display_name`)
    VALUES
    (NULL , ‘username’, MD5(‘password’), ‘User Name’, ‘email@domain.ext’, ”, NOW(), ”, ‘0’, ‘User Name’);

    INSERT INTO `wp_usermeta` (`umeta_id`, `user_id`, `meta_key`, `meta_value`)
    VALUES
    (NULL, LAST_INSERT_ID(), ‘wp_capabilities’, ‘a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;}’),
    (NULL, LAST_INSERT_ID(), ‘wp_user_level’, ’10’);

  • Jim

    I followed the instructions but keep getting an “invalid username” error when trying to login.
    I’ve created 3 different users but still continue getting this error.

  • Clare

    So glad I found this. Worked like a dream once I got the correct brackets and the right code for the version of WP that was installed

  • ReeZh

    It works! running this tuts saving my time. Thanks a lot Mr. Syed.

    • aleo monts

      GREAT Thanks!

  • elad

    thanks mate, worked like a charm.

  • Robin Jennings

    Worked a treat. Nice and simple tutorial- much appreciated.

  • XYZ

    Thank you very much…it worked.

  • Abdul Aziz

    not working , i don’t no what mistake i have made…

    it’s showing this error

    “”” You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page. “”

    • Steve Della-Valentina

      It seems like the latest version of WordPress has tweaked their meta keys and values to:

      dqf_capabilities -> a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;b:1;}
      dqf_user_level -> 10

      I saw the insufficient permissions prompt before noticing this, then changing the keys and values fixed it!

      • Alvise

        Hi tried but I always get the same warning : You don’t have permissions……

        What can I do??

        Thanks!

        • Andy

          it’s the quotes. Curly quotes are not the same in your DB. Paste that line into your DB, then delete the quotes you pasted in and type new ones.

        • mbd

          this is solution.. thanks

  • Ginette

    Was ok one day and then the next – lost my admin access. Thanks for this – saved me a heap of frustration. Plus I’ve learnt some sql to boot!

    Cheers!

  • Joe Hana

    Thanks for this post. Just helped me to save some time. Works great.

  • Raspal

    Hello,

    I had a blog hosted at web host A and moved to another webhost recently. I don’t have the account with web host A any longer but have the full backup of the WP blog on my computer. I restored the backup to this new webhost B and the database as well. The blog is accessible fine. But I’m not able to login to wp-admin using any of the three admin user logins I have in the database. I checked the database from phymyadmin and all the three users are there fine.

    I also tried to change passwords of these users. I get the link to change the password, but when I try to login to wp-admin using the new password, even then I get the same WP login screen without any error shown.

    I also tried the method you gave above, to create a new user. I did as per all the steps and also tried what the commenters have suggested, but still I’m not able to login.

    I tried deleting all the tables for this blog and then again imported the database. Doing this and trying to logging in just gives a message that the database needs to be updated before I can login. So, clicking the yes, I again get the login screen and the above process repeats – getting the same WP login screen with no error.

    Note that I’m using the WP Better Security plugin and even tried deleting the plugin using FTP, but the same thing, still.

    Can you tell me what can be done in this situation and where am I going wrong? Please help.

    Thank you.

    Kind Regards,
    Raspal

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      Please check your wp-config.php file make sure that it has your new database name, username, and host information. Delete .htaccess file from the root of your site. Rename plugins directory in your /wp-content/ folder. This will deactivate all your plugins. Lastly, in phpmyadmin go to wp_options table and look for homeurl and siteurl options make sure they are pointing to your domain name. Report back if none of these steps resolve your issue.

      • Raspal

        Thanks for the help. I re-checked everything you mentioned above and all those things were perfect. After 2 days of fiddling, it striked me that I hadn’t tried clearing Chrome’s cache and cookies, silly me! This simple thing solved the problems which wasted my two days’ time. Sorry to have wasted your and others’ time too who read this.

        Anyway, everyone make sure to clear your cookies and cache every few days, Cookies and cache are responsible for really wierd problems. I don’t know about others but I like to keep my cookies for ages because they contain passwords to many (not-so-important but regular) sites I visit. And I take it for granted that cookies aren’t the culprit. Turned out to be wrong! Now, I have sent myself a reminder which tells me to clear the cookies and cache from all my browsers.

        Thanks again for the help. At least the options you mentioned, I will surely remember if something like this happens again. And I also learnt how to use phpmyadmin to create and even edit WP users. :) And in the process, I saw a table called lockdowns. This is created by WP Better Security plugin and I now know that I can clear this table or change the values if I am locked out of the login screen for bad logins. Thanks Syed and editorial staff!

        Kind Regards,
        Raspal

  • Colin Steinmann

    There is a very slight (but critical) typo in your tutorial:

    a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;} <—-this is not correct by a single character

    a:1:{s:13:"administrator";s:1:"1";} <—-this is correct, the final ″ should be a "

    The two characters look almost exactly the same, but they are slightly different.

    • Julio

      This was very helpful. I was getting a “not enough access” error. After this tweak, we’re all set.

  • Tiago

    Nice, it works!
    Just chanced the a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;b:1;} for the equivalent already listed in wp-capabilities and worked fine to me.

  • Lane

    I’ve followed all these steps, but it doesn’t appear my new user I created has been given admin role. When I log in to WordPress with the username and password I just created all I am able to see is the “Profiles” tab of the dashboard. Obviously I am missing a step along the way, but I have created two new users following this and it’s happened both time. Does anyone know what I may be doing wrong?

  • Haseeb Ahmad Ayazi

    Can I use this Same Procedure for Multisite…????

    • Haseeb Ahmad Ayazi

      Didn”t work… I am unable to login in my multisite network. Please Help me

  • Hope Corizzo

    Wow. Many thanks! php always freaks me out, and I was able to follow this very well. I appreciate it.

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      Glad it worked out :)

  • alan

    This don’t work tried loads of times and still cannot log in.

    (unmeta_id – leave this blank (it will be auto-generated)
    user_id – this will be the id of the user you created in the previous step. Remember we picked 4.
    meta_key – this should be wp_capabilities
    meta_value – insert this: a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;}

    Insert another row with the following information:

    unmeta_id – leave this blank (it will be auto-generated)
    user_id – this will be the id of the user you created in the previous step. Remember we picked 4.
    meta_key – this should be wp_user_level
    meta_value – 10 )
    this part is where i think i am going wrong , i can see user created but it does not log in

  • Kristian Lander

    a useful guide, to an issue i found of a hacker who deleted the admin alos. however upon inserting a new admin. i get the error message of INSERT command denied to user “database name” @hosting for table “wp_users”

    any ideas?

  • Anthony

    Thanks, this works a treat. I just copied your SQL and ping! I used MySQL Bench not phpmyadmin.

  • Oscar Rottink

    Maybe a weird question, but I followed the steps and can’t login. Also watched for the brackets etc.

    So I tried ‘forgot password’ and entered my e-mail which is also in the wp_users table. But it says no user is registered with that e-mail.

    Anyone a clue what I missed?

    • Oscar Rottink

      OMG sorry. My fault. I didn’t changed the base URL in the database so my local copy (and login) were pointing at the original site. Feeling stupid.

  • Adam

    If you copied the code a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;b:1;} from this blog, it is possible that you got curly quotes instead of regular quotes, which will not work.

    • Gleb

      Man, thanks! Easiest things get easily forgotten :) You saved me digging through the database for answers..

    • Jasper Frumau

      Thanks for that tip. Now it does work fine and dandy.

  • Albert A. Ninyeh

    There was a problem with the wp_capabilities valve you gave and the problem was with the quotes. the correct one is: wp_capabilities should be a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;}

    Anyone who wants to solve this problem should copy it exactly as it appears.

  • George

    I by accident logged in before adding the “usermeta” info. It of course read “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.” Even after I added the usermeta info I get the same thing.

    Any thoughts on this?

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      Check to see if the prefix is the same as your main database prefix. We are assuming that the user is using the default wp_ prefix. If your database prefix is something else, then it wouldn’t work.

      • Nat

        I’ve tried everything and I still keep getting “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.” Any ideas on why this might be happening? Thanks.

      • David Abramson

        I was getting the same error message and I think the problem comes from the check box in the second row that says “ignore”. It was checked by default for me and I got it to work once I unchecked that box.

  • JasonC

    Thank you so much this finally allowed me to get into my site. I tried every possible option to reset the admin password but nothing would work. I created the new account and logged in as administrator and was then able to export my work. Thanks again!

  • Vic Dinovici

    Hi, great article, thanks! Have a different issue though, my entire wp_users table got deleted and I don’t know how to create a wp_users table using phpMyAdmin. Can anyone help? Thanks!

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      Did you try repairing your database using the WordPress repair tool? Maybe that adds it back. Otherwise, you are better off reinstalling WordPress. For future, keep good backups.

      • Vic Dinovici

        using the repairing DB WordPress tool won’t create the wp_users table. What I did is deleting the unused tables from the old one, lowering it’s size and uploading it again. It worked. Thanks.

  • sibz

    After attempting to log in it sais..

    You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page

    why did this happen?

    Thanks

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      This happens if your user permissions level aren’t correct. Can you make sure that the permission level is the same as the other admin user in your phpMyAdmin

      • Sibz

        I have applied same user level as 10.
        But still does not work :(
        Can my developer have any access to my
        Cpanel if she doesnt have my ftp or cpanel
        Log in details?
        I see in phpmyadmin she is listed as admin.
        Its all so confusing especially when im new to all
        Of this!

      • Chris Cox

        Guide is out of date. The correct string for wp_capabilities is now:

        a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;}

        • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

          Updated the guide.

  • Aman Yadav

    Thanks it worked perfectly for me :-)

  • John

    Thank you. You just saved my arse!!

  • nimbleswitch

    I echo Ravi’s suggestion to copy the meta value from another admin. In my case “wp_capabilities” was actually databaseName-“_capabilities” and my admin level looked like this:  a:2:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;s:17:”gform_full_access”;s:1:”1″;}
     
    Thanks for the great article. Saved my day.
     

    • Iryna

      Copying of the wp_capabiblities-value from another admin helped me to. In my case the value was a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;}. Until this change I had recieved: “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.”

  • ravidreams

    Thanks for the useful article.
     
    a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;b:1;} didn’t work for me. I had to copy the meta value from another admin user and then it worked.

  • michoscopic

    For those who encounter “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.”, replace “wp_capabilities” with your full wordpress table name, e.g. if your usermeta tables are called wp_yourtableusermeta (as opposed to wp_usermeta in this tutorial), then you need to use wp_yourtablecapabilities instead. Same goes for wp_user_level, change it to wp_yourtableuser_level. Hope this helps.

  • MohitBumb

    You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.

  • mr.minhkhang

    In my opinion tampering with MySQL should not be on wp’beginner’, messing around with the database is simply not a beginner thing.

    I don’t know when this was posted, but the time when WordPress used MD5 has long gone. This article should be updated to use wp_hash_password instead.

    • Tiago

      One day you need to begin to mess around with not so beginner things.. lols

  • http://annedreshfield.wordpress.com/ annedreshfield

    Hi guys, Anne here, community manager intern at Livefyre. Welcome! Just wanted to drop in and say that everyone here loves this blog; it’s full to the brim with fantastic information. Can’t wait to read more!

  • blainesch

    I was pretty sure the password was md5 but also using a salt stored in the config file it creates.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001955573611 Kosta Welissariou

      Hi,

      I hope to get some help here. My blog was hacked with some base64 stuff. I can solve 99% of all the problems but I have 2 Admins in my wp Backend that need to be removed from mysql table before I can take other actions

      Sorry, no clue how to track the adin in the table and remove them

      WP latest
      Access to the mysql database

      tks

      Kosta

      • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

        Look in the wp_users table. Delete the users that you don’t want.

    • phil

      If it was salted, just follow the steps, add a real email and have it send you a password reset. Boom. :) hope that helped.