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Protect Your Admin folder in WordPress by Limiting Access in .htaccess

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Protect Your Admin folder in WordPress by Limiting Access in .htaccess

As we mentioned while using WordPress 2.8.3, our site was attacked in an attempt to hack into our WP-Admin folder. Thankfully WordPress has found the bug and released a security patch in WordPress 2.8.4, but this attack made us take extra security measures with our site. We have limited access to our wp-admin folder by using .htaccess and assigning specific IPs that can access it. Before some hacker kept resetting our password and that was because they could see our wp-admin folder and see the login bar. Now no one but WPBeginner Editors can see our admin panel. In this article, we will show you how you can limit wp-admin folder access by IP address using .htaccess file.

First you need to open your .htaccess file located in your /wp-admin/ folder, and make a backup.

Note: Do not edit your Root .htaccess file, don’t paste these codes in there. It must be /wp-admin/.htaccess if you don’t see that file then create a blank file, name it .htaccess in your wp-admin folder.

Then paste the following code:

AuthUserFile /dev/null
AuthGroupFile /dev/null
AuthName "WordPress Admin Access Control"
AuthType Basic
<LIMIT GET>
order deny,allow
deny from all
# whitelist Syed's IP address
allow from xx.xx.xx.xxx
# whitelist David's IP address
allow from xx.xx.xx.xxx
# whitelist Amanda's IP address
allow from xx.xx.xx.xxx
# whitelist Muhammad's IP address
allow from xx.xx.xx.xxx
# whitelist Work IP address
allow from xx.xx.xx.xxx
</LIMIT>

Paste your IP Address and upload the file.

Now if you have more than one IP make sure you list them there. For example, Work, Home, Vacation IP, if you ever use it. Each time you want to visit your wp-admin panel from another location, you would have to add an extra IP address. That is the only downside to this hack, but this will keep your wp-admin folder safe.


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

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  • Kim

    I tried this (after previously successfully password protecting my wp-admin directory and fixing the redirect error per your other article), but then I get a pop-up asking for a user name and password for the “WordPress Admin Access Control”. What user name and password am I supposed to be using for this new pop-up? Neither the wordpress admin logon nor the wp-admin directory logon work for it.
    Thanks!

    • Kim

      Oh, I believe I figured out the problem; seems to work as long as I make sure to have the added code at the very beginning.

  • Jordyn

    I have a big problem :(

    I did what you said about creating the .htaccess and putting in the code snippet. It didn’t work so I deleted the .htaccess file and now I can’t login to my dashboard! It’s just a white screen :( Please help!!!

    Thanks

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

      That’s a fairly unlikely outcome. You deleted the .htaccess file in your /wp-admin/ folder correct?

      • Jordyn

        All I did was create the file in my wp-admin folder and when it didn’t work I deleted it from the wp-admin folder. I’m not sure what happened but, after a crazy rabbit trail and many shots in the dark, I was able to correct the problem by adding to the top of my login.php file. I still don’t know what went wrong or why what I did fixed it…. but at least its fixed. I may try this again when I’m feeling brave.

        • Jordyn

          it erased the code snippet :( it was supposed to say “…by adding “” to the top…”

        • Jordyn

          less than sign ? ob_start(); ? greater than sign

  • Peter

    First I did not manage to make your password protect work

    http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-password-protect-your-wordpress-admin-wp-admin-directory

    at least this one works.

    It is interesting, that I wp-admin page gets into an infinite redirect when I enter a wrong IP address, not my one.
    The infinite redirect seems to be hence an authorization problem.

  • Raheem Khan

    Hi WPB, I don’t think it will be working in Pakistan because every time we reset or turn of our DSL modem so the IP address automatically changes. if any other tip please reply me.
    Thanks

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

      You should look at our tip for password protecting the wp-admin directory.

  • awan

    yes it can be done on https, it’s just .htaccess

  • wpbeginnerfan

    Can this be done on https sites? I can’t get it to work.

  • andrew

    hi, how to make .htaccess with dynamic ip (non static ip)
    my ip is always change xxx.xxx.xxx.12 xxx.xxx.xxx.453 xxx.xxx.xxx.076

    please help…

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

      Then this solution is not for you.

      • Joe

        You can harden your wordpress install via .htaccess whitelisting even if you have a dynamic IP address. You can whitelist a range of IP addresses using a /24 or /16 range. While this allows more access than if you always knew the IP you wanted to allow, it still prohibits access from almost the entire internet.

        Just add /24 to the end of the allow from line to allow the whole class C subnet (256 IPs), or add /16 to allow the whole 65,536 range. i.e.

        allow from xxx.xxx.xxx.0/24

        will allow access to IP addresses from xxx.xxx.xxx.0 – xxx.xxx.xxx.255. and

        allow from xxx.xxx.0.0/16

        will allow access from IP addresses from xxx.xxx.0.0 – xxx.xxx.255.255

  • http://threesouthwest.com/wp Kyle

    You say not to do the root site’s .htaccess file…why is that? Because you just want to limit access to the /wp-admin folder?

    So…if I wanted to have a WordPress site hosted externally but used as an internal company resource so that only people using IPs of our company could access it…if I edited the root folder’s .htaccess folder to only allow IPs from our domain…that would work the same way your /wp-admin fix is, but for the entire site, correct?

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

      Yes Kyle, the reason why we said do not put this code in the root file because then it will limit your site access to only these IP as well. But if you are trying to make a site just for your company’s staff can access it only from work, then you would want to put the .htaccess file in the root folder.

      • http://threesouthwest.com/wp Kyle

        Fantastic…thank you for the quick reply! :D

  • Bill

    Why just limit GETs? You might want to limit POSTs as well!

  • http://darrinrich.com Darrin

    Nice tip. I will be doing this.

    • http://fourplusadvertising.com Alim Bolar

      Can I limit access based on other criterias? Like I need only my laptop to access a particular folder.. I could access it from anywhere so it would be difficult to specify an IP as my internet access would be based on DHCP. Is there a unique identifier for every machine or something like that that can be used as a criteria?