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

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:

Opening phpMyAdmin from 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', '[email protected]', '', '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

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

233 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. It’s not working for me, sadly. I’ve checked and everything is showing in the database tables, but the website says the email address is not registered. If I try username it says it’s not recognised. Any ideas would be gratefully received!

    • You may want to check that you do not have multiple databases in the chance that a placeholder site was set up when you first signed up with your hosting provider.


    • For editor users, we would recommend manually creating them through the WordPress interface using an admin account.


  2. I am so happy for your explanation. This saves me a lot of work.

    It was hard to do without knowledge but this tutorial did it for me

    Thanks a lot!

  3. It’s not working for me, sadly. I’ve checked and everything is showing in the database tables, but the website says the email address is not registered. If I try username it says it’s not recognised. Any ideas would be gratefully received!

  4. Hi there,
    I’m trying to move my live wordpress site to my local server because I need to do an updates.
    However after setting up in the local server I’m not able to login and I came accross this article
    ‘Adding an Admin User to the WordPress Database Using a SQL Query’. My questions is the adding of this user should be done in the live server or my local server.
    Thank you.

  5. done but is not working for me. I created an account but wo see it as subscriber account not an admin.

  6. Thanks for the tips it really worked and i could know a lot more about configuration i wordpress.

  7. Thank you. This might come handy in other cases too… I made a Local AMPPS WordPress Install and for some reason first registrant got Subscriber rights instead of Admin. Really interesting. Anyways, PhpMyAdmin and fix of wp_usermeta -> wp_usercapabilities -> “a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;}” sorted it out.

  8. Hi, thanks for the info. I’ve only been able to login as a general ‘User’ using this method – I can’t see/access the Admin Dashboard. The site is a directory site that i migrated from a backup to a new domain. Any suggestions to get full admin privileges?

  9. I come here 2-3 times a year to get that nice set of SQL boilerplate. Should probably just save it to my notes at this point. Thanks so much!

  10. Thank you so much for this post! I had so many problems after migrating and changing the base url of my site and this post solved them all.

  11. I followed these steps and see my new account, but my site still will not allow me to log in. It says invalid user, then if I try resetting the password it says no account exists. What’s my next step to fix this?

    • You may want to ensure you added the user to the correct database, you should also be able to reach out to your hosting provider for them to take a look.


  12. 1. Please change the post to include information about table prefixes – a problem that appeared quite a few times in the comments and will keep you from succeeding if you just follow the post and have an alternative prefix.
    2. Thanks for the information presented here :-)

  13. For everyone who can login but not see the wp-admin, these instructions aren’t wholly correct.
    The wp_cabailities meta_value actually needs to be set as a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;b:1;}
    Otherwise your user doesn’t end up with a role set and you can’t see wp-admin.

  14. Hi. My WordPress website is being managed by a remote developer. He is an admin and so am I. We have a monthly agreement and I have every intention of paying him his dues. What measures can I do to make sure that I keep the access as well as my website should things go sideways? Can you please help me? Thanks in advance.

    • Create backups of your site and as long as you are the one paying for hosting you can restore the site


  15. Hi,
    Thanks for writing this! I see I am not the only one who was looking for instructions. My user was created, and I can click on the “Reset password” link and also get an e-mail from the system, but I am not able to log in. I saw that my “usermeta” table looks different from the other users’ – mine starts with “closedpostboxes_attachment”, not “first_name” etc. What might be the reason for that?

    • That table is for meta boxes that you have closed, the order you’re seeing the table shouldn’t cause an issue


  16. Hi!
    I did all the process but when I log in to the dashboard I only see the “Welcome to WordPress” section, I don’t see anything else in the admin area.

    Please, can you help me?

    • Your hosting provider may have customized their login area, there is normally an advanced section you can go to or reach out to your host and they should be able to assist :)


  17. I have a WP blog site which I have been locked out of. I created a new admin and can log in, but not to my dashboard. Instead, I go to my main blog page with my name and admin # at the top right and a logout button. How do I gain access to my admin/dashboard area?

  18. Hello,
    Well, this is embarrassing but… would anyone be able and kind enough to help me solve the father of problems? – wp_users table gone/missing… :(
    Thank you in advance.

    • You would want to reach out to your hosting provider if that table is not with your database to see if they have a backup of your database to restore.


  19. hi! thank you for your tutorials,
    i did all these steps and my issue still the same, when I want to login to my wp-admin, show me this message “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page.” please if know how to fix this I will so thankful
    thank you

  20. After backing up my database with updraftPlus, then restoring it, we lost all admin access. I followed these instructions but am still getting an error saying I do not have access. Help!

  21. you are an absolute legend! after3 hours of trying useless suggestion from forums, you came up trumps, thank you!

  22. Thanks your information!
    But after inserting a admin accout, i can not login my site.
    Appear “Protection” button stop me to login WP dashboard.
    Please help me!

  23. Didn’t work, I’m getting the “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page.” message. I checked my wp-config.php and the prefix is “wp_” but it still doesn’t work. Any ideas?

  24. Thank you very much. This article really helped me a lot, after my admin account was set to customer by a plugin I set to change user role from whatever to customer when they made a purchase.
    I never knew it will affect the admin role as well.

  25. is there a common reason why user can login but Dashboard is not made available? I see a lot of meta key values in the db

  26. Thank you sooooo much for this. Just this morning my wordpress site was hacked and I could not login into wp-admin. It was giving “user not found” error. I used this to fix things in my hostgator account.
    Very very grateful. Written instructions are excellent but the video could be slower with more details.

  27. Hi all,

    it didn’t work for me…

    an error message tell me that I can’t access to the dashboard

    !!HELP !!

    • It is simple mate.See what is written in you database name.
      Like in my case it was wprn_capabilities,wprn_user_level..

  28. I messed around with this more; watched the video several times and it’s still not working.

    In my case, I lost admin access after I migrated my WP site from one hosting account to another.

    my old admin login is able to login but once in, isn’t able to do anything.

    Using mysql, i tried creating a new user and adding the meta data. When I try to login with the new user, it says the password is incorrect. I tried saying “forgot password” and I did not receive any email to the email address i included when making the user with msql.

    In mysql i can see my old admin user is still there. I tried adding meta data to give admin privledges to that user, by putting in the corresponding userID. This didn’t change anything. I am still able to login with that user but don’t have access to anything. If anyone has any advice it would be much appreciated!

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