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What is: phpMyAdmin

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phpMyAdmin is a free web application you can use to manage MySQL databases. It is open-source and can be used without having any programming knowledge.

WordPress stores most of its information in a MySQL database, and phpMyAdmin can be used to access the WordPress database directly.

This is especially useful when they are locked out of your WordPress dashboard and can’t perform administrative tasks on your website normally.

Glossary: phpMyAdmin

What Is phpMyAdmin?

phpMyAdmin is web-based software that lets you manage MySQL databases in the browser. This is useful because WordPress stores most of your website data in a MySQL database.

This database is set up when you first install WordPress. You will be asked to provide a database name, host, username, and password. WordPress stores this information in a configuration file called wp-config.php.

Creating the WordPress Database at Install

You will normally interact with the WordPress database indirectly, using the features offered in the WordPress dashboard or admin area, such as when you create a new post or add a user.

phpMyAdmin offers an alternative that you will probably only use in emergency situations.

You can work in phpMyAdmin’s easy-to-use interface to browse and edit database tables, rows, and fields, and import, export, or delete all data inside a database.

Advanced users will often perform these tasks in MySQL using code snippets called queries.

Note: SQL queries are not friendly to beginners. Typing the wrong command may bring your WordPress website down, or simply result in an error message.

For example, here is some code that performs an SQL query that adds a new WordPress admin user:

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 ('3', 'demo', MD5('demo'), 'Your Name', '', '', '2022-09-01 00:00:00', '', '0', 'Your Name');
INSERT INTO `databasename`.`wp_usermeta` (`umeta_id`, `user_id`, `meta_key`, `meta_value`) VALUES (NULL, '3', '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, '3', 'wp_user_level', '10');

phpMyAdmin offers a useful alternative to those who are not familiar with SQL code and want to use a more typical user interface to interact with their site’s data.

How to Access phpMyAdmin

Most of the top WordPress hosting companies offer phpMyAdmin in their dashboard.

For example, if you use Bluehost, then you will find a button to open phpMyAdmin at the bottom of the Websites tab.

Accessing phpMyAdmin in Bluehost

You will also find it in the cPanel dashboard provided by many hosting companies.

Simply scroll down to the Databases section of cPanel, as in this screenshot from Bluehost.

Accessing phpMyAdmin in Bluehost

Your cPanel interface may look different, depending on your hosting provider.

Once open, the phpMyAdmin interface looks like this. Initially, you will see a list of your WordPress databases.

The phpMyAdmin Interface

You can view a database table in the left pane by clicking on the database name.

You can also access phpMyAdmin’s features by clicking on the tabs at the top of the page.

How to Use phpMyAdmin to Manage Your WordPress Database

We have written a complete beginner’s guide on database management with phpMyAdmin. This tutorial will help you understand database tables and show you how to perform useful tasks on your WordPress website.

You may also like to see these individual guides on how to perform specific database management tasks using phpMyAdmin:

Opening the 'Export' tab on phpMyAdmin and selecting the Custom option

Using phpMyAdmin to Solve Problems in WordPress

If you ever find yourself locked out of WordPress admin (wp-admin), then you won’t be able to write posts, install or uninstall plugins, or do any maintenance work on your website.

But phpMyAdmin will be available in emergency situations like this.

Here are some ways phpMyAdmin can help when you are locked out of your WordPress dashboard:

We hope this article helped you learn more about phpMyAdmin in WordPress. You may also want to see our Additional Reading list below for related articles on useful WordPress tips, tricks, and ideas.

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Additional Reading

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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