WordPress Password Reset for Newbies


A couple of weeks ago I had to hack into my own WordPress account. Well, hack is probably not the right word, although WP’s systems sure seemed dubious about my multiple log in failings at the time. So much so that I was actually locked out of attempting to log in for a short period. Which is great in terms of security… but not so much when you’re a panicked admin, trying desperately to remember which password you used when setting up your account at 3am the week before.

As it turned out, I’d set up my site using Go Daddy’s new WordPress installation wizard, which somehow meant I managed to set up a new admin profile without specifying a password, or even associating it with an email address. How this happened I’m still not sure, but it meant when I put my email into the ‘reset password’ system, the email I thought should have been associated just wasn’t. Cursing and confusion ensued.

Luckily, I found a solution, which I think is worth sharing for anyone who ever has log in nightmares in the future.

Codex has all kinds of troubleshooting information, including some really simple, step-by-step solutions for password resetting.

Via Password Reset Function

In most cases, if you know your username and the email account in your profile, you’ll be able to use the ‘lost password’ system, which is as simple as 1-2-3.

  1. First, go to your WordPress login page (which will look something like http://yourdomain.com/wordpress/wp-login.php) and click the Lost Password link.
  2. You’ll be required to submit your basic information, so enter your user name and the email address on file for your account.
  3. Wait a couple of minutes for a new password to be emailed to you, then log in using that new password, being sure to change it to something you will remember via your profile page.


Via phpMyAdmin

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If you have phpMyAdmin access to your database (if you do have access, you’ll be able to see it as an option when you log in to your WordPress hosting provider account) you can use this to log in. WordPress cautions that using phpMyAdmin is at your own risk, and that WordPress is not responsible for lost data should things go pear-shaped (neither is WP Dev Shed, by the way – if you doubt your ability to use it, it’s probably best to get a developer friend to give you a hand).

This warning did make me a little nervous, but having tried a couple of other options I was desperate. Thankfully, I found this system to be relatively simple to navigate – even for someone like me who somehow manages to set up an account without specifying a password.

The process may differ a little depending on your host provider, but the summary below using Go Daddy’s admin as an example will give you a rough idea of what you can expect.

Log in to your account and launch the product you need help with under the Web Hosting option.

phptut1 Under Databases you’ll see phpMyAdmin – click this option.


You’ll be taken to a slightly scary-looking page like this…

phptut3Click wp_users…


This will bring up your information, including your log in name, your password, and your email. You can edit your information directly in phpMyAdmin, although, because it was my first time navigating the system and I wasn’t sure what to expect, I simply copied the information I needed to log in – the user name and password – and pasted that into the WordPress login system.

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Once I was logged in, I changed my user name and password from the profile page, to make logging in simple from there on in. Then, I logged out of phpMyAdmin and GoDaddy.

I didn’t lose any information, and I managed to not upset the system. All in all, a good result for a relative WP newbie.

For more information about log in troubleshooting, check out Resetting Your Password via WordPress Codex.

Nikki is a professional freelance writer and story teller with a passion for the web and technology. She writes for WP Dev Shed and amongst a roster of other clients.

2 thoughts on “WordPress Password Reset for Newbies

  1. Laura Morrison says:

    I am trying to change my login from a user to one with admin privileges, can you assist me or let me know who can?

    1. Kris says:

      A user with a role of Administrator can change the login of any users.

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