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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.

Video Tutorial

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If you don’t like the video or need more instructions, then continue reading.

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'), 'Your Name', 'test@yourdomain.com', 'http://www.test.com/', '2011-06-07 00:00:00', '', '0', 'Your Name');


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.

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Reader Interactions

216 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. I wanted to delete all spam emails registered in my site. I went to myPhpAdmin and deleted all including mine (without knowing). I searched the web ’til I landed at this page.

    Good Job! It worked!

  2. Not sure where I went wrong but I get this when trying to login: You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.

    • Hello Donato,

      Change the “wp_” prefix of “wp_capabilities” and “wp_user_level” to whatever prefix you have set. Example, if you changed your wordpress prefix as “mysite_” then the insert command should be:

      INSERT INTO `databasename`.`mysite_usermeta` (`umeta_id`, `user_id`, `meta_key`, `meta_value`) VALUES (NULL, ‘4’, ‘mysite_capabilities’, ‘a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;}’);

      INSERT INTO `databasename`.`mysite_usermeta` (`umeta_id`, `user_id`, `meta_key`, `meta_value`) VALUES (NULL, ‘4’, ‘mysite_user_level’, ’10’);

  3. Great post – quick not – wp_capabilities and wp_user_level need to match the prefix in the DB…

  4. Thank you for this… very easy to follow! I never would have intuitively thought I would have to add two record in the same table. Thank you again.

    WordPress add admin record… I never thought I would have gotten this done in 5 minutes.

  5. Thank you! I love when things work! I went through the instructions as stated above and everything worked out. Just a tip – if you changed the prefix of your database tables from wp_ to something else, make sure to replace it in the code above.

  6. Thanks, Dasha! You’re a life saver! Was stumped until I saw I needed to also change the DB prefix for ‘wp_capabilities’ and ‘wp_user_level’!

  7. Hi, thanks for the clear tips. It nearly worked – but had to change a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;} with a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;} – looks the same, just replace all the quotes (which are curly quotes) with normal quotes. Or don’t be lazy andwrite it instead of cut and paste. Otherwise the new user I created didn’t have admin access. Phew that was difficult,

  8. omg.. what a life saver. Just a tip you need to update the wp_capabilities meta_key value to ‘a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;b:1;}’. And for some reason it still didn’t allow me to login. So then I just typed in the new username I created and clicked on forgot password. WP sent me a password reset link and all was well.

  9. I was able to gain access with the original process but now my dashboard is blank. Any ideas on what I need to do? thanks

  10. As of today you also have to add another entry (and probably not the wp_user_level, not sure about that though), wp_capabilities with a value of a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;b:1;}

  11. 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

  12. Thank you for the tutorial – very useful. However, it would be handy if there was a note that ‘wp_capabilities’ and ‘wp_user_level’ use default database prefix, i.e. ‘wp_’. If a site uses a custom DB prefix that it should be used in those strings instead.

  13. 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’);

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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. “”

    • 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!

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

        What can I do??

        Thanks!

        • 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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

    • 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.

      Admin

      • 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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?

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

  23. 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

  24. 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?

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

  26. 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?

    • 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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?

    • 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.

      Admin

      • 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.

      • 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.

  30. 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!

  31. 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!

    • 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.

      Admin

      • 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.

  32. After attempting to log in it sais..

    You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page

    why did this happen?

    Thanks

    • 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

      Admin

      • 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!

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

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

  33. 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.
     

    • 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.”

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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!

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

    • 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

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

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