This guide offers 3 ways on how to quickly change your password in WordPress. There are a few reasons site owners need to do this. Passwords (PWs) are a necessary evil, but they can get lost or forgotten. Also, weak passwords are as useful as an open door at stopping bad actors from accessing your site. And webmasters MUST always change PWs in the event of a security breach.
Password Security 101
Hackers are constantly scanning the web for weak passwords, and they are never disappointed. WordPress Administrators should view PWs as the key to their website. Stronger, more random passwords are much harder to crack; it’s that simple. Despite this, many site owners continue to use short, simple PWs because they’re easy to remember. Please avoid this at all costs.
Another common mistake is to share login details with others. Examples could be co-workers and web developers. Change your WordPress password now if you’ve done this in the past and still use the same login details. Create an appropriate User Access Level account if someone needs temporary site access. You then delete it when their work is done.
Password managers can help
Consider one of the free password managers to generate password combinations and for PW storage. Some programs can auto-login to sites without saving the details to web browsers. They also securely auto-fill online forms with a single click once you set them up. These tools are super-easy to use, and you never need to worry about losing or forgetting your login details.
Three of the favourite free and fee-based password managers are:
There are others, but the ones above should offer all the PW security a webmaster needs.
Changing WordPress Passwords
The three quickest ways to reset and change WordPress passwords are via:
- WordPress Dashboard
- Lost your password link from the WP login screen
- Database reset via phpMyAdmin (advanced)
#1 Change your WP password in Dashboard
Changing your password from within your WordPress Admin area is the simplest option. It lets you change your PW without having to enter the old one first.
Skip to fix #2 if you are locked out of your WP account.
Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
Go to Users =>Profile from the Dashboard side menu.
You’re now at your personal profile screen.
Scroll down to Account Management.
Click the Set New Password button. WordPress generates a strong random PW each time you click the button. Alternatively, enter one of your own.
If you enter your own PW, make sure it’s strong (WordPress warns you if it’s too weak). It’s wise to heed this warning as bad actors can easily hack into websites that use vulnerable passwords.
When you’re happy with the new password, please save a copy of it somewhere secure like a password safe (see password managers above for suggestions).
Scroll down the screen and click Update Profile to save the changes.
Now log out of WordPress and log in again to test the new password. If you can’t log in for some reason, you need to do a PW reset using the next method.
#2 Resetting WP passwords from the login screen
Use the ‘lost your password’ link on your WordPress login page if you lose or forget the PW.
Point to Note: Emergency password resets are only possible if you remember the username or email address associated with the account. If not, WordPress can’t send you a PW reset email. Jump to method #3 if you’re an administrator who’s locked out.
Click ‘lost your password’ link on the WP login page.
You’re now at the WP password reset page.
Enter the username or email address, then click the Get New Password button.
WordPress sends an email with simple instructions on how to reset your password.
Database password reset (advanced users)
It’s frustrating if you can’t reset and change your PW from the lost password link. Don’t worry. This method offers a quick solution using your web hosting cPanel account.
Log in to cPanel for your domain (WordPress site name).
Scroll down to the cPanel DATABASES section and click phpMyAdmin.
Note: Your cPanel may look different if you use a custom theme. The tools are the same.
Click the Database Name associated with your WordPress website in the left-side column.
The database now displays its lists of tables in the right-side column in alphabetical order.
Navigate to the wp_users table and click Browse.
Note: If your WordPress database prefix is not wp, identify the correct prefix to continue.
You’re now presented with a list of WordPress users who have accounts on the site.
Locate your user_login name and click on the Edit link.
This takes you to the personal details screen for the account.
In the user-pass row/Function column, select MD5 from the dropdown menu.
In the user_pass row, Value column, replace the value with your new password.
Click the Go button (bottom right) to save the changes.
Congratulations. You now know how to change WordPress passwords in three ways.