Losing access to your WordPress account can be a frustrating experience, especially when you don’t have access to the associated email address. Fortunately, there’s a solution that involves using cPanel, phpMyAdmin, and a little bit of comfort with technical procedures.
As you might have guessed, I’ve had to do this many times throughout the last 10+ years of helping clients with WordPress! Although sometimes it was my fault, not theirs.
Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of recovering your WordPress account without email.
Step 1: Create a new WordPress installation
Note: You can do step 1 manually if you’re comfortable doing so, or use a software installation option using the instructions below if your cPanel has one.
- Access your cPanel dashboard provided by your web hosting provider.
- Look for the “Softaculous,” “QuickInstall, “Fantastico,” “Installatron,” or even “WordPress Installer” icon and click on it.
- Follow the prompts to create a new WordPress installation on your server.
- During the installation process, make sure to choose a different username and password that you can remember.
Step 2: Access phpMyAdmin
- Return to your cPanel dashboard.
- Locate the “Databases” section and click on “phpMyAdmin.”
- Select the database associated with your existing WordPress installation.
Step 3: Find the users table and retrieve the password hash
- Within the selected database, locate and click on the “wp_users” table. There’s a remote chance it will start with something other than “wp_”
- Identify the row corresponding to your WordPress login.
- Note the value in the “user_pass” field. This is the hashed password that you want to use to regain access to your account. Copy it now, and save it temporarily somewhere.
Step 4: Paste the hashed password into the existing WordPress database
- Return to the “wp_users” table of the new WordPress installation created in Step 1.
- Locate the row corresponding to the user whose password you want to change.
- Click on the “Edit” button for that row.
- Replace the existing value in the “user_pass” field with the hashed password retrieved from Step 3.
- Save the changes by clicking the “Go” or “Save” button.
Step 5: Log into your recovered WordPress account
- Open a new browser tab and access your original WordPress login page.
- Enter the username of the user account whose password you changed.
- Enter the password you set during the new WordPress installation in Step 1.
- Click the “Log In” button.
Recovering your WordPress account without email may seem daunting, but by following these step-by-step instructions using cPanel, phpMyAdmin, and a little bit of technical knowledge, you can regain access to your account. Remember to take appropriate security measures after regaining access, such as updating your password and ensuring your email address is up to date.
Disclaimer: Of course, this method should only be used for legitimate account recovery purposes. It’s important to ensure the security and integrity of your website, so use this method responsibly.