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How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

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How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

WordPress added support for automatic updates in version 3.7 which allows WordPress to update itself to minor releases. A common problem when updating on shared WordPress hosting is that the update process may timeout, leaving your site in maintenance mode and inaccessible. In this article, we will show you how to fix “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error in WordPress.

Unavailable for Maintenance notification in WordPress

Why The Maintenance Error Occurs?

Maintenance mode page is technically not an error. It is a notification page. During the update process, WordPress downloads necessary update files to your server, extracts them, and installs new files. WordPress also puts your site on maintenance mode and displays the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” notice during the process.

If everything worked out normally, then this notice will probably be displayed for only a few seconds. However, sometimes due to a web server’s slow response or low memory issue the update script may timeout or gets interrupted. When this happens, WordPress does not get a chance to take your site out of maintenance mode.

How to Fix Maintenance Error in WordPress

First thing you would want to make sure is that your site is updated properly to the latest WordPress. An unfinished or interrupted update may cause issues when your site comes out of maintenance mode. Checkout our guide on how to manually update WordPress using FTP.

Once you have updated WordPress, all you have to do is delete .maintenance file from your site’s root folder using FTP. If you can not see .maintenance file in your site’s root directory, then make sure you checked your FTP client to show hidden files. In Filezilla, you can force it to show hidden files by clicking on Server » Force showing hidden files from the menu bar.

WordPress creates a .maintenance file during the update process which indicates that your site is in the maintenance mode. Unless this file is removed your site will remain in the maintenance mode and your users will continue to see the notification.

How to Customize Maintenance Mode Notification

An easier solution to avoid showing the default maintenance mode notification in WordPress is by redirecting visitors to a temporary maintenance page in WordPress. You will have to put your site on maintenance mode before you update or do any modifications that could temporarily make your site inaccessible to users.

However, if you don’t want to go through manually putting the site into update mode, then you can create a maintenance mode page in WordPress without using a plugin. Simply create a new file maintenance.php on your desktop and paste this code inside it.

$protocol = $_SERVER["SERVER_PROTOCOL"];
if ( 'HTTP/1.1' != $protocol && 'HTTP/1.0' != $protocol )
    $protocol = 'HTTP/1.0';
header( "$protocol 503 Service Unavailable", true, 503 );
header( 'Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8' );
<html xmlns="">
    <h1>We are updating the site, please check back in 30 minutes.</h1>
<?php die(); ?>

Upload this file to your WordPress site’s wp-content directory. Now whenever you are updating your site WordPress will show this page during the maintenance mode. You can use CSS to style this page anyway you want.

We hope this article helped you fix briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance error in WordPress. For feedback and questions, you can always leave us a comment below or join us on Twitter.

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

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  1. Samuel igwe says:

    am in this trouble thank for sharing you just saved me because was thinking my site got hacked

  2. Doug Davis says:

    Thanks. That worked great.

  3. Paul Okeke says:

    This is a great article. saved me hours of research and frustration.
    Thanks for WPBeginners Editorial Team

  4. sarfraz khan says:

    Thanks for the trick. I learned one more thing.

  5. Becky says:

    Thanks. Site back up and running. It got stuck in maintenance. Removed file from FTP and all back as it should be.

  6. 1Wanted says:

    Thank’s, second method helped me. I am happy!

  7. Qamar says:

    Solved, So thanks

  8. Andy Johnston says:

    Frank any thoughts on my response on Jan 15th. Andy

  9. Andy Johnston says:

    I can access wp-admin but when I select ‘Please update now’ at top of dashboard (WordPress 4.4.1 is available) I get the following message
    ‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.’. I have read through forum and everything seems to suggest deleting the hidden .maintenance file but this file does not exist. Any further ideas?

  10. frank says:

    could not find .maintenance. Too many files. Why is it so hard to give a step by step instruction ?

    • Andy Johnston says:

      Frank I have ensured hidden files are accesible and tried it with boat Filezilla and cPanel and there is no .maintenance file.

      One thing that is different to other similar querys is that I seem to be able to access all features of my wp-admin..can post, update page, update plugins etc. only thing I seem to get message is when I try to update wordpress 4.4.1. Any significance? Andy

  11. Mohsin Tariq says:

    Thanks…… I am very Happy that you give me a Solution … Thanks again :D

  12. Smachizo says:

    Thanks for saving my blog went down for more than 10 minutes.
    I think that i should move to a vps hosting.

  13. Jade says:

    Thanks so much for this, you’ve really helped me how to get the site back out of maintenance mode.

  14. Marcelle says:

    Saved me from a massive panic attack today. Thanks!

  15. Annelise Mitchell says:

    Thank you, thank you. I was worried there but your advice and your commenters really helped. :D

  16. toya says:

    i am also do this but still showing mantinance mode

  17. parag says:

    It’s SImple just following step :

    1) open wp-admin

    2)open maint folder

    3) Delete repair.php file


  18. ashu says:

    sir i am having the same problem, and i can not find any .maintenance file. i have checked the hidden files too , what should i do?

  19. Adeel Ahmed says:

    Thanks a lot for writing such an amazing and accurate article. I was wondering whether there is some problem with my domain hosting service

  20. Gretchen says:

    Thanks for this article. Really helpful.

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