Can’t change your password?
Well, the good news is, there’s more than one way to change it.
This article has three different tactics. You’ll learn how to:
- Change your password from the WP admin dashboard
- Update your password if you’ve forgotten it
- Switch your password even if you’ve forgotten your password, username, and email address
No matter what’s going on with your account, one of these tactics is sure to work.
Let’s get started with the simplest way to change your WordPress password.
Watch the tutorial
If you prefer a video over the text, you can watch my step-by-step video tutorial instead:
Here are the three ways to change your WordPress password.
Change via the Users menu
If you can login to your site, changing your password is easy.
Start by logging in and visiting the Your Profile menu founder under the Users menu.
On the next page, scroll all the way to the bottom and you’ll find the Generate Password button.
Click this button to reveal the password input.
WordPress will auto-generate a secure password for you. You can use the automatic password or type in your own, and then click Update Profile to save the new password.
By the way, if you’re not sure how you would remember a password like that, the key is to use a password manager like LastPass to remember it for you.
If you’re the admin of the site, you can repeat this same process to change the password for any other registered user on your site.
If you forgot your password and can’t login to your site, try this next approach.
Change via the lost password link
If you can’t login to your site, you can use these steps to change your password.
First, try to visit the admin dashboard and you’ll be redirected to the login form. Next, click the “Lost your password?” link below the form.
You’ll be taken to this page where you can enter either your username or email address and request a password reset.
After clicking this button, you’ll get an email with a password reset link. Click that link and you’ll be taken to the password reset form.
WordPress will suggest a password for you, but you can enter your own if you’d like, and then finalize the process by clicking the Reset Password button.
Resetting your password only takes a minute or two this way and should work for most WP users.
This final tactic is only necessary if you’ve forgotten both your site username and password.
Change your password from the database
If you can’t remember your username or email address, then you can change your password directly from your database.
Start by logging into your hosting account. You should have some sort of control panel with a phpMyAdmin app, like this:
That screenshot is from Bluehost, so if you don’t use Bluehost then your dashboard won’t look exactly the same, but the phpMyAdmin icon will be identical.
Clicking the icon will take you to the phpMyAdmin dashboard. Inside, click the “+” icon next to the database in the left sidebar and then click on the “users” table at the bottom.
The name of the table won’t be exactly the same for your site, but it should include “_users” and will probably be the last one.
Inside the table, you’ll see a list of all your site’s users. In my case, there is just one user (me).
If you examine the table, you’ll see that there is a column named “user_pass” which as you might expect, stores the password.
However, if you edit the password directly here, it will not work.
The password displayed has been encrypted and needs to be edited with encryption to work properly. To do that, start by clicking the Edit link on the left side of the row.
On the next page, you’ll see the “user_pass” field again. To successfully update the password, enter the new password on the right, use the dropdown next to it to select the “MD5” encryption hash, and then click the Go button at the bottom.
The new password will be saved and when the page reloads, you’ll see the password has been encrypted again.
Secure databases never store plain-text passwords and this is why WordPress only saves a copy of your password that has been fully encrypted.
Password reset complete
With the three techniques outlined above, you should be able to update your password even if you’ve forgotten it (and your username too!).
Losing access to your site can be a scary affair. If you’re feeling relieved to regain access, ride the wave and learn additional ways to secure your site. Every website should have a backup plan. Trust me, you’ll sleep better at night once you have one too 🙂