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What To Do When You Are Locked Out of WordPress Admin (wp-admin)

Are you having trouble logging into your WordPress admin area?

This can be caused by a lot of different reasons, which makes it tricky for beginners to troubleshoot.

In this article, we will show you what to do when you are locked out of WordPress admin (wp-admin) so you can regain access to your site.

What To Do When You Are Locked Out of WordPress Admin (wp-admin)

Why Are You Locked Out of Your Own WordPress Site?

We often hear from users who are locked out of the WordPress admin area. This is frustrating and can bring your productivity to a standstill. You can’t write posts, respond to comments, or do any work on your WordPress website.

If you’re having trouble logging in to someone else’s site, then you should contact the site owner or admin to let them know. They can explain why you don’t have access, or work with you to solve the problem.

If you are the site owner, then you can follow our troubleshooting steps below.

There are few reasons why you could be locked out of WordPress admin, so let’s take a look at each of them one by one. Hopefully, through this process of elimination, you will be able to figure out the solution to your problem.

You can also refer to our WordPress troubleshooting guide to find out what’s causing the issue and how to fix it. You might also find a solution in our list of the 50 most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

With that being said, let’s have a look at some steps you can take when you are locked out of WordPress admin. You can use the links below to quickly navigate to the error message you see.

Error Establishing Database Connection

Error Establishing Database Connection

Are you seeing the ‘Error establishing database connection’ warning on every page of your site? This message is shown for various reasons, such as a corrupt database or issues with your web hosting server.

If you’re seeing this error when trying to log in, then please refer to our guide on how to fix the error establishing a database connection in WordPress.

500 Internal Server Error

Internal Server Error

Another WordPress error that a beginner may come across is “Internal Server Error”, or sometimes “500 Internal Server Error”. This error is displayed when there is something wrong but the server is unable to identify where the problem is.

If you see this message when trying to log in to WordPress, then follow the steps in our guide on how to fix the 500 internal server error in WordPress.

404 ‘Not Found’ Error

Sometimes users make a mistake when changing the WordPress address and site address in their WordPress settings. The next time they try to log in to their admin area, they get the error ‘Error 404 – Not Found’.

WordPress Address and Site Address

If this is happening to you, then check our guide on how to change your WordPress site URLs. You won’t be able to use Method 1 because you can’t log in, but the other methods should get you out of trouble.

Note: If you can log in to your site but see the 404 error when viewing one of your posts, then you have a different problem. You can learn how to fix the issue in our guide on how to fix WordPress posts returning 404 error.

403 Forbidden Error

Forbidden Error

Some users report seeing the “HTTP Error 403 – Forbidden” error when trying to log in to wp-admin. This error can be caused by incorrect file permissions, poorly coded security plugins, or your server configuration.

If you’re seeing this error, then our guide on how to fix the 403 Forbidden Error in WordPress will help you track down and fix the problem.

401 Unauthorized Error

Unauthorized Error

Another message you can see when you’re locked out of your WordPress site is the 401 error. This error is sometimes accompanied by a message ‘Access is denied due to invalid credentials’ or ‘Authorization required’.

You can see this message if you’ve password-protected your WordPress admin folder. It can also be caused by a WordPress security plugin or security measures taken by your hosting company.

Please refer to our guide on how to fix the 401 Error in WordPress to learn six solutions that will help you regain access to your website.

Limited Logins

Limited Logins

By default, WordPress allows users to enter passwords as many times as they want. Hackers may try to exploit this by using scripts that enter different combinations until your website cracks.

To prevent this, we recommend that you limit the number of failed login attempts per user. However, this might mean that you find yourself locked out of your own website when you enter the wrong password too many times.

If you’re in that situation, then you should follow the steps in our guide on how to unblock Limit Login Attempts in WordPress.

White Screen of Death

White Screen of Death

Are you seeing a white screen on your WordPress admin? This issue is often referred to as the WordPress white screen of death.

This happens when you exhaust the memory limit. It could be caused by a poorly coded plugin or theme, or by unreliable web hosting.

If you are seeing this error, then please refer to our guide on how to fix the WordPress white screen of death.

Incorrect Password Issue

Incorrect Password Issue

There’s nothing more frustrating than being told you’ve used the wrong password when you’re sure you haven’t, and you even checked that your caps lock isn’t on.

This can happen if you were a victim of a hack, or you might just be making an honest mistake.

Worse still, when you try to change your password, you never receive the email because it goes to an address you no longer have access to.

Luckily, there’s another way, and you can reset your WordPress password from phpMyAdmin. This method can be a bit overwhelming for new users, but it’s your best hope for regaining access to your admin area.

Problems with Plugins

You may be locked out of your WordPress site due to a faulty plugin or theme. This may be the case if you can’t log in to WordPress admin after installing a new plugin, or if the error message mentions ‘wp-content/plugins/’.

Deactivate All Plugins

To regain access to your site you’ll have to temporarily disable your plugins. You can do that using FTP or phpMyAdmin by following our step by step guide on how to deactivate all plugins when not able to access wp-admin.

Lost Admin Privileges

Sometimes, you may be able to login to your WordPress admin, but you don’t see any of the admin functionality. For example, you don’t have access to your themes or plugins.

This can happen if your user permissions were modified. It could be that hackers have infected your site and then deleted your admin privileges.

In this case, you should add an admin user to the WordPress database via MySQL (phpMyAdmin).

Add an Admin User via MySQL

Hacked WordPress Site

If you do suspect that your site has been hacked, then there are other steps you may need to take.

A hacked website may look different, display different content, or automatically play music or other media. Worse still, it may be infecting your visitors with viruses, so you need to act quickly.

Start with our beginner’s guide on how to fix your hacked WordPress site. We’ll show you how to identify the hack, restore your site from a backup, and remove any malware.

After that, you should protect your site from future attacks. We show you how to do that in our ultimate WordPress security guide .

Login Page Refreshing and Redirecting

Login Page Refreshing and Redirecting

Another type of login error is when your WordPress login page keeps refreshing and redirecting it back to the login screen.

This can happen because of incorrect values for the site URL and home URL fields in the WordPress options table. It can also be caused by poorly configured permalink settings or redirects setup in the .htaccess file.

To fix this problem, check our guide on how to fix WordPress Login Page refreshing and redirecting issue.

‘This Has Been Disabled’ Error

When you try to log into your WordPress admin area, do you see the error ‘This has been disabled’? This message is displayed when you have gone to the wrong admin address.

A common WordPress security practice is to change the default admin login URL (domain.com/wp-admin) to something custom. This can help prevent hackers and bots from hammering your login URL trying to gain access.

If you forget that the URL has been changed and go to the old one, then you’ll see this error message. If you’ve forgotten the correct address, then you should check our beginner’s guide on how to find your WordPress Login URL.

‘Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance’ Error

'Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance' Error

Are you seeing the ‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance’ error in WordPress? This error usually appears while updating WordPress core, plugins, or themes.

But if your WordPress site fails to finish the update, then you are left stuck in maintenance mode.

To fix the problem, you should check our guide on how to fix the Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance error in WordPress. The guide will also explain why the error happens and how to avoid it in the future.

PHP Syntax Errors

PHP Syntax Errors

PHP errors can happen after you paste a code snippet from a WordPress tutorial or website. The wrong code can stop your website from working properly so that you can’t log in.

Often beginners use the built-in WordPress editor from their dashboard. That feature is handy, but can lead to disaster if you don’t know what you are doing.

That’s why we wrote our beginner’s guide to pasting snippets from the web into WordPress.

If you’re locked out of your WordPress admin because of a code snippet, then you’ll have to fix the problem manually using an FTP program to access your files. If you’re not familiar with FTP, then check our beginner’s guide on FTP.

After you connect to your WordPress site using the FTP software, you should follow our guide on how to fix syntax errors in WordPress to correct or remove the code that you added.

We hope this tutorial helped you log into your WordPress admin area. You may also want to learn how to choose the best WordPress hosting, or check out list of must have plugins to grow your website.

If you liked this guide, then please consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Reader Interactions

221 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. I can’t log in to my admin area as I get the’ invisible captcha is not enabled message’. What can I do please?

  2. my admin dashboard is opened but when I click any of the functionality like (click on pages to view all the pages) it shows the error page not found…I am unable to configure the problem

  3. Hello, when going to my homepage it says “You have been blocked by site administrator” but all the other pages works totally fine. Can you help?

  4. I tried accessing my WP dashboard for my blog I get a “This has been disabled” error. Please what can I do to resolve this?

  5. Hi, I changed the link of my wordpress website to ‘https’ to activate our ssl certificate. Now, everytime i attempt to log it, google comes up with a ‘this site cannot be reached’ page. Is there a way to fix this?

  6. Everytime I try to login to my wordpress URL, it get redirected to a domain I previously used. This means I cannot login because I set up a new site for the previous domain and it should no longer be associated. I suspect that the change maybe something that I did within wordpress (changing the permalinks?) But I cant login because it keeps redirecting- help!!!

    • In that situation, we would recommend first reaching out to your hosting provider and they can normally assist.

      Admin

  7. I have a wordpress site where the ReCaptcha code got changed, but I was logged out before the code could be updated site-side. Now I’m locked out with a broken ReCaptcha. Any ideas?

  8. I´ve been locked out from my wordpress admin, I cannot access the login page. I just get an error page that says a plugin has a Fatal error.

  9. Hi

    I´ve been locked out from my wordpress admin as I cannot even access the login page – i´m only being redirected to my “Under construction”-page.
    Have tried mysite/wp-login.php and mysite/login and mysite/admin and from different browsers and different IP´s/internetconnections but nothing works. What should i do?

    Thanks for help!

  10. I have a woo-commerce website. But when I want to login or logout a popup showing on top. I want to remove this popup sign in box. Please help me if anyone knows the solution.

  11. I was working on user registration and login forms using User Submission form plugin. I have enabled the captcha option but unfortunately didn’t set any method. Now, when i am trying to login into my website it’s giving an error “ERROR:Captcha code error, please try again” but their is no option for any type of captcha in my login form, so now i am unable to login anyhow.
    Plz help..

  12. Please please help me!
    so i tried to update wordpress and pressed [update all]
    Loaded for about 30 mins, now i have HTTP ERROR 500 on the admin panel.

    • If you resolve the underlying issue, you should not have to wait to log back into your site.

      Admin

  13. I have tried almost everything to log in my WordPress dashboard but it’s not allowing me to log in. I have changed the password in the wp-users table, cleared browser cache and cookies as well but still, it is showing the same error(invalid username or password).

    • You would want to reach out to your hosting provider and they should be able to see if there are any errors that could be blocking the password change.

      Admin

  14. Hello,
    Nothing you described matches as the scenario as I faced with my site. I or others can enter my wp dashboard only with the role of administrator. Other users (editor, contributor…) cannot access dashboard. Is there any solution to this problem. Waiting for your reply.

  15. Hi,
    I changed the Url for both WordPress and bluehost now my account has been locked. Is there a way to unlock it

    • You would want to reach out to BlueHost and they should be able to help you :)

      Admin

  16. Hello,
    After editing text and publishing I am having a very weird issue.
    The website is online but when I went to my website all that I see is just the menu on the screen.
    What can I do to fix this problem?
    Any help would be most appreciated
    Thanks
    Dahlia

    • If you are just starting out and didn’t set a static home page then you should start seeing content when you publish posts on your site.

      Admin

  17. Hello..
    Good afternoon.
    I want to ask that if you want a developer to help you to design your website either partially or impartially, what position would you post him to, administrator or what?

    • Most developers would normally need admin access to be able to see everything and fix issues with the site and the back end of the site.

      Admin

  18. I update my WP site plug-ins today and then the site crashed and displays this error:

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘[‘ in /wp-content/plugins/swiftype-search/vendor/react/promise/src/functions.php on line 17

    I cannot access my site at all, can anyone help please?

    Cheers!

  19. Hello,

    I have WordPress (latest version), Installed Locally with MAMP on my mac, and everything seems fine UNTIL, I activate a plugin. Once I activate this plugin, the entire thing crashes and I can’t do anything but to erase wordpress and reinstall it again. I literally can’t access anything on my dashboard, or any of the options such as plugins, etc. The whole thing is just frozen.

    I don’t get any error or Syntax message, I simply can’t do anything at all.

    Can someone please help me fix this issue?

    Thanks and have a wonderful day!!!

  20. I have been locked out of wp-login.php on my pc only, after i overrided it by login via google plus but i can access wp-login.php through other devices…. please reply ASAP so that i can access it on my pc too

  21. I was locked out of my wp admin panel after installing a premium theme, I guess it was as a result of many free themes and plugins I previously installed, I have been trying to get my ftp details from wordpress so I can troubleshoot from filezella,but it has not been ssuccessful.

    • For your FTP information, rather than reaching out to WordPress, you would need to reach out to your hosting provider and they would be able to give you that information.

      Admin

  22. I was attempting to update some pages on my website, and was eventually locked out of my website. Now, all I get when I go to the website, from any browser, is the following error message-
    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_FUNCTION in /home/content/77/7030077/html/wp-content/plugins/redirection/redirection.php on line 100

    I have no idea how to access my website and correct this error. Please help…

  23. Jetpack has blocked my IP address to the login page. However, the IP address that is shown is not mine, but originates in San Jose, Calif. I’m in Glens Falls, NY. I was instructed to send a link to my email address so I could try getting in.

    Fortunately, only one of my sites is being attacked. But it is an important one, so I’m just a little freaked by this. I sure would appreciate any advice that would help me resolve this!

    • With Jetpack blocking your UP address, you would want to reach out to Jetpack’s support and explain the situation and they should be able to assist.

      Admin

  24. From today, I am getting this error message in wordpress after I started making changes to integrate and work with Woocommerce.

    This is the message “You have reached the maximum number of requests that is permitted to make per hour. The current rate limit window resets on……”

    Many things are not working in the WP Dashboard after I got this message. Google search did not provide much clue.

    Why I am getting this message? Is WP or Woocommerce responsible for this? What is the fix?

    • You may want to reach out to your hosting provider to ensure that is not a limit set by them causing that error.

      Admin

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