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

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Have you been locked out of your WordPress website?

Sometimes, hackers will lock you out of your own website by deleting your admin account from the database.

In this article, we will show you how to add an admin user to the WordPress database via MySQL so you can get your access back.

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

Why Add an Admin User to the WordPress Database via MySQL?

We once ran into an issue where a user’s site was hacked, and their admin account was deleted from the database. This locked them out of their WordPress website.

We were able to help them get access to their website by creating a new admin user directly to the WordPress website. We did that using phpMyAdmin, a web-based tool that allows you to manage MySQL databases using your web browser.

If you find yourself locked out of your WordPress admin area due to hackers or simply because you forgot your password, then you can do the same.

However, you should always make a backup of your database before performing any MySQL edits. Then, once you can log back into your website, you may need to follow our beginner’s guide to fixing your hacked WordPress site.

With that being said, let’s take a look at how to add an admin user to the WordPress database via MySQL.

Adding an Admin User to the WordPress Database With phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin comes pre-installed with most top WordPress hosting companies. You can find it in the Databases section of your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard.

Here is a screenshot from the Bluehost control panel:

Selecting phpMyAdmin on cPanel

Clicking on the icon will open the phpMyAdmin interface. You need to select your WordPress database from the left column.

After that, phpMyAdmin will display all tables in your WordPress database. You will be making changes to the wp_users and wp_usermeta tables.

You Will Be Making Changes to the wp_users and wp_usermeta Tables

Adding a User to the wp_users Table

First, you need to find the wp_users table and click it. This will show the users currently listed in the table.

Notice in the screenshot below that there are two user IDs in our demo website’s table, 1 and 2. When we create a new user for our demo site, this ID needs to be unique, so we’ll type the number 3.

You need to click the ‘Insert’ tab at the top of the screen so you can insert the information for a new admin user.

Click the Insert Tab

Add the following information to the fields on the Insert form:

  • ID: pick a unique number (in our example, we’ll use 3)
  • user_login: the username that will be used when logging in
  • user_pass: add a password, and make sure to select MD5 in the function menu (see the screenshot below)
  • user_nicename: the user’s full name or nickname
  • user_email: the user’s email address
  • user_url: your website address
  • user_registered: select the date and time the user was registered using the calendar
  • user_activation_key: leave blank
  • user_status: set this to 0
  • display_name: the user’s full name or display name
Fill In the Fields for the New User

Once you have finished, make sure you click on the ‘Go’ button to store the new user.

Adding a User to the wp_usermeta Table

Now, you need to find the wp_usermeta table and click it. After that, you should click on the ‘Insert’ tab as you did in the previous step.

Next, you need to add the following information to the Insert form:

  • unmeta_id: leave this blank (it will be auto-generated)
  • user_id: the user ID you used in the previous step
  • meta_key: this should be wp_capabilities
  • meta_value: insert this: a:1:{s:13:"administrator";s:1:"1";}
Fill In the Fields for the New User

After that, when you scroll down, you should find fields for a second row. You need to add the following information:

  • unmeta_id: leave this blank (it will be auto-generated)
  • user_id: the user ID you used in the previous steps
  • meta_key: you need to enter wp_user_level
  • meta_value: 10
Fill In the Fields for the New User

When you have finished entering the information into the fields, you need to click the ‘Go’ button. Congratulations, you have created a new admin username!

Now, you should be able to log in to your WordPress admin area using the username and password you specified for this user.

As soon as you log in, you need to navigate to Users » All Users, then click on the username you just created.

Navigate to Users » All Users and Edit the New User

Now, without changing anything, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the ‘Save’ button.

This will allow WordPress to clean up the user you just created and add some extra information that is needed.

Adding an Admin User to the WordPress Database Using a SQL Query

If you are a developer, then you can speed up the process using code.

Simply drop this SQL query into 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 ('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');

Make sure you change ‘databasename’ to the database you are working with.

Also, don’t forget to change the other values to those you want for the new user, as we explained in the first method.

Drop This SQL Query Into Your Database

Expert Guides on What to Do When Locked Out of WordPress Admin

Now that you know how to add an admin user via MySQL, you may like to see some articles on how to fix your website when locked out of the WordPress admin area.

We hope this tutorial helped you learn how to add an admin user to the WordPress database via MySQL. You may also want to see our ultimate WordPress security guide or our list of common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

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Reader Interactions

241 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. zohaib says

    Thanks a lot, Yes I got my problem solved and this was due to the the role assigned to my user name. Cheers

  3. Rastislav Nichta says

    Really very simple and clear guide to how to create a user through MYSQL WordPress database, thank you.

  4. Susan Marshall VA says

    Thank you so much for this. Just had a client that locked herself out of her site and I was able to get her back in with these instructions.

  5. Kumar Mritunjay says

    I’ve used this on my websites. Works like a charm…very easy to follow!

    Thank you for this amazing time saver technique.

  6. Michael Sineni says

    I have changed my admin access to editor because i was trying to change role capabilities to edit gravity forms. Suddenly i no longer see edit cornerstone or have access!! HELP!

  7. Nilo Velez says

    I don’t now if it is an update to WordPress data structure, but I’ve just encounter a site in which I’ve had to enter the wp_options meta_key values as:

    [table_prefix]capabilities instead of wp_capabilities
    [table_prefix]user_level instead of wp_user_level

    I leave this here as it might be of help.

    • Takis Pan says

      You sir are awesome!

      I guess it uses the database prefix but in case the site has been moved, or someone changed the prefix from “wp_” to something else, capabilities and user_level should be changed accordingly.

    • Abraham Quilca says

      Thanks, this comment helped a lot.

      I had to double-check and get the exact table_prefix value from our wp-config.php file. Ours meta_key values were correct except for capitalization. I believe some hosting companies with single-click wordpress installs will set their own table_prefixes, so be sure to check for that as well.

  8. Loren Helgeson says

    I’ve used this on three different websites so far. Works like a charm!

    Thank you for this amazing time saver.

  9. Kirst says

    It looks like there’s been a database change in the most recent version of WP, so this post may need to be updated.

    I’s been an awesome resource, thank you!

    • Loren Helgeson says

      I can’t verify this with previous versions of WordPress, but I just tested this with the latest version of WordPress, and it worked fine for me. Can anyone also confirm if this was a fluke?

  10. Abid says

    I have done same sql quires to make admin user. User created and logged but showing Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page error. Please help me about this.

  11. Jade says

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I had an issue with WooCommerce Product Vendors, where I have applied as a vendor while logged in as admin. From that point on I couldn’t log in and I was receiving a message”You will be notified once your account has been approved” O_o

    Previously I had to re-install WP because of this!!! Now I found your post and it was such a help!!! Thank you so much for sharing this :) x

  12. Ben says

    Didn’t work at all for me. I get a “ERROR: Incorrect username or password.”

    Yeah yeah, I’ve check it. Password and user are correct.

    So what now? I used to have admin access but now only have a lower basic level that doesn’t show the user settings.


    Awesome….saved me tons of hardship like for other issues. I saw that for some reason all the administrators in my site became something else…


    The guys who discussed about wp_prefixes…..perfect….

    Ah !!!

  14. Werner Ullrich says

    For me it is a great helpful post. I have modified this SQL script and re-animated my door to the administrator entry of my wordpress homepage. Thanks.
    Werner Ullrich

  15. Smithg0 says

    Okay this YouTube video is much enhanced than last one, this one has pleasant picture feature as well as audio.

  16. Jerry L says

    I wanted to change several “Nicename” entries to other values than that user’s Login ID. From within PhpMyAdmin, I exported the “wp_users” table.

    Then I made the necessary changes in my code editor.

    Then after saving a backup of the original users table and the entire database, I “Import”ed just the “wp_users” table back into the database using PhpMyAdmin.

    Worked fine for me.

  17. kali says

    I followed this and was able to login but cannot go to the dashboard. I get this error: You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.

      • Eileen says

        I had the same problem but in wp_usermeta where we are told to write:
        meta_value – insert this: a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;}

        I changed the value to:

        and it worked. I found this value in the corresponding value further up in the table for the original administrator account. Check your table and see if there are any other previous administrators, and copy the same value (just in case it differs to my value).

    • Daniel Payne says

      For this to work with the latest WordPress 4.4.2 I had to update the meta_key names because my WordPress install was using a table prefix of wp_brnq_ instead of the typical wp_ prefix.

  18. Robert Drummond says

    Thank you for this! It saved me from an errant plugin that over-wrote my admin record in the users table!

  19. Nadia says

    I am currently fixing the website of my mom for her own company and I am a kind of wordpress-dummy. I couldn’t properly log in because she sent me the wrong password. After three failed attempts it said I should look in the data. Message: ‘Username or password are not correct. Please check your data.’
    I followed these steps here and I followed all of these steps very precisely, but still, with my new username and password, I am unable to log in. My prefix was different than wp_ what this article stated, so I changed the prefix as well – but can’t come through. Now I am locked out until tomorrow.

    What happened, can someone maybe help me / explain me what I did wrong and how can I fix this. I really promised my mom to build her website, and it needs to be updated really soon! :(

  20. Joe Harkins says

    you were doing a great job of step by step until you got to

    “meta_key – this should be wp_capabilities”

    What does “should be” mean in this context? Does it mean that it should already say that that in that field, perhaps generated from something prior? If is not there what is required?

    There’s a drop down field to the right of meta_key. That file name “wp_capabilities” does not exist as a selection. There’s a blank field to the right of that. Do I paste wp_capabilities into it? Is there a value of that name somewhere that I should be putting in that field?

    And I see more trouble ahead. You say “insert another row.”

    I take the word insert as a verb. Where and how do I do that? I am already on the Insert page. There is nothing on it says “Insert new row.”

    Looking further down – all the way at thre bottom – skipping over the next section (which I an told to do) I see a field that says “Insert as a new row.”

    But “insert a new row” and being told to go to a field that contains the phrase “Inert as a new row” are not all the same thing.

    and there is a checked box that says “ignore” right above it. What’s the point of going further if that box is still checked ignore – and is “insert a new row” the same as “insert a new row?”

    And I see the same “should be” confusion ahead again in the next set of instructions.

    But I’m stuck back the first “should” because I am literal minded. Please clarify?

    • Jeff says

      Hi Joe,

      “meta_key – this should be wp_capabilities” means that the meta_key value (the textbox in phpmyadmin) should be wp_capabilities

      When he refers to inserting a new row, you can do so by clicking insert from the navigation at the top of phpmyadmin this tutorial assumes you have already done the first insert and are on the browse tab.

  21. Rich says

    I had a multiple site setup. After doing this I can access both sites, however I have no Network Admin capability and not Plugin management… Under “My Sites” I see my two sites, but no “Network” option. On the vertical menu area for my site I seem to have everything other than “Plugins.”

    Seems I do not have Administration over my WP Network for multiple sites?

  22. Phil says

    This worked for me with the following modification: the wp_capabilities value had to be taken from another admin users row because it had additional permissions or whatever those are. copy the values in that case from an existing user if necessary

  23. Reid Walley says

    If you’ve gone through all of the steps and you’re STILL getting the “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page” error message when trying to log in…

    I had to replace the first example meta_key (wp_capabilities) with my own prefix: change wp_capabilities to whateveryourprefixis_capabilities

    Same with the second meta_key example (wp_user_level). I changed it to my specific prefix: change wp_user_level to whateveryourprefixis_user_level

  24. Terry Hale says

    Such a helpful article. Perfectly done, easy to understand. Thanks for the time you spent putting it together. :)

  25. 2046 says

    for those who still got the You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.
    you might want to check that the wp_capabilities adn stuff follows your db prefix name..
    like if your normally wp_usersmeta has blab787_usersmeta the wp_capabilities will be blab787_capabilities etc.

  26. Denny says

    Fantastic walk-through. This is spot on with multiple versions of phpmyadmin so ignore the differences in the screenshots. Thanks for the write-up!


  27. Ludwik C. Siadlak says

    Same here, in September 2015 I get “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.” error after using the SQL code provided. Which is strange, since this article is only 6 months old!

  28. Harm says

    I followed your instructions to the letter but something went wrong (don’t know what) and now I don’t have access to my website. I get the message: database error.
    Can I undo the changes I made? Please help.

  29. Kiel says

    all I had to do was revert the meta data back to admin and it worked great. Thanks for the article.

  30. Chris Hewlett says

    Hello, I dug a little deeper into the problem and found that existing entries in the “usermeta” table had a prefix that was unique to my site. My wordpress tables all begin with ar_, and once I edited those 2 rows to reflect that, my login was complete, with all priveleges.



  31. Chris Hewlett says

    Hello, and thank you for the above write-up on this subject. I have been locked out of my local site (XAMPP) and other articles I have read deal with changing the existing admin user password using phpMyAdmin. I did not have success with those methods.

    I followed your instructions above and the login screen did accept the credentials.

    Unfortunately I was redirected to domain//wp-admin/profile.php and the phrase “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page”.

    From the front end of the site, I can see I am logged in but when I click on Dashboard, the same phrase appears.

    Do you have any suggestions that would allow me access?

    Thanks in advance,


  32. Abishai says

    Hi, tried the fix by following it to the “T” yet when I try logging in: url/wp-admin takes me to a url/25/ page as before. Wonder what I did wrong. Please advice. Thanks in advance.

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