WordPress administrator can’t log in – 6 steps to regain access to WP Dashboard (2018)


The administrative area of ​​WordPress works in exactly the same way as the other parts of the system – through a login system (“/ wp-admin”) you can access the dashboard, through which you can add posts, etc.

Although there are a number of potential causes for the problem, they are all relatively easy to fix.

The most important thing to note is that your system * may be infected with malware. I’ve had this problem before – hackers inject code into your WordPress system in the hopes that it will spread fake traffic to them.

If you have ANY malware problem with WordPress, you will need to contact a technician to review it. When it happened to us, our sites were constantly being attacked, and we eventually had to move hosts.

Obviously, the malware will not be high on the list – the most likely problem you have is either a plug-in that is preventing you from logging in, or some other problem has prevented WordPress from verifying you.


As mentioned, there are several common reasons that usually lead to the admin area not working:

  • A bad update prevented WordPress from updating its core files

  • Some plug-ins prevent input

  • You have set your application to https: // and are constantly experiencing a redirect cycle

  • The files on your system may have been changed on the server

  • WordPress may be infected with malware

The most important thing to note is that WordPress is built with PHP.

PHP is a scripting language that provides basic “dynamic” functionality for Internet-oriented applications, allowing for similar dynamic pages, login / exit functionality, and more.

Although PHP has been around for many decades and is supported by most hosting providers, there are a number of cases where its applications may not work properly.

Your WordPress installation is probably experiencing this issue, although there are a number of other issues (hosting / malware / encryption issues, etc.) that also cause it.

To solve the problem, you can do 6 “steps” …


1. Clear your browser’s cache

The first step is to clear your browser’s cache.

Your browser’s “cache” basically stores websites, login information, and more.

It exists to give your browser the ability to “save” relevant files, allowing it to load files / websites faster. You will be surprised how crucial this really is.

* The case may not be updated in the WordPress admin panel cache. Although a relatively rare problem, it can still cause an entry problem:

  • Chrome
  • Click the “vertical dots” top menu in the upper right corner of the Chrome window

  • From the drop-down menu, select “Settings”

  • Click “Advanced” (you’ll need to scroll down)

  • In the “Privacy and Security” section, select “Clear browsing data”

  • Check each box and make sure “All times” is selected

  • Click Clear Data (blue box)

  • Let it clear the cache

  • Firefox
  • Click the “Horizontal Lines” menu in the upper right corner of the screen

  • Select “Options”

  • Select “Privacy” (left sidebar)

  • Click “Clear your recent history”

  • Select all and make sure “All” is selected

  • Click “Clear Now”

  • Let it clear the cache

  • Microsoft Edge
  • Click on the “points” menu in the upper right corner of the window

  • From the drop-down menu, select “Settings”

  • Scroll down to “Clear browsing data”

  • Click the “Choose what to clear” button

  • Select all available options and click “Clear”

  • Let it clear the cache

This will not solve the error, but it should ensure that your browsers do not cause additional problems.

2. Access CPanel

The next step is to access CPanel (or the equivalent control panel for your hosting).

EVERY WordPress must be hosted somewhere; the way you can manage different resources / server depends on what type of control panel your host can run.

The point is, you need access to your system’s files.

With CPanel this is done with “File Manager”; may differ depending on the type of hosting you use …

  • Log in to your hosting provider

  • Browse the control panel and look for any way to access your system’s File Manager

If you can’t access the file manager, you need to talk to your host – or – access via FTP.

If you want to use FTP, you will need to do the following:

  • Download the FTP application (FileZilla was the one I used before)

  • Once downloaded, launch the app

  • In the “IP” / “Address” field, enter “ftp.yourdomain.com” (or any FTP address – your host will be able to tell you)

  • You will need to enter your FTP user data in the “username” and “password” fields (again, your host can help you if this is not something you know)

Once you have access to the files on your system, you will be able to start working on the fix.

3. Disable plug-ins (Rename folder)

Once you’ve accessed the files, you’ll need to rename the plugins folder.

Renaming this folder allows you to essentially disable any of the plugins that WordPress can run. Obviously this can cause temporary problems, but it should remove this potential problem from the equation:

  • Click in the installation folder “WordPress” (you can find out by the presence of “wp-includes”, etc. inside it).

  • When you find the WordPress folder, find “wp-content”

  • Inside this folder you will find the “plugins” folder

  • Rename the folder to something like “plugins_bk”

  • Return to your web browser and try logging in to your WordPress installation again

If it works, you need to download each plugin again and try to activate it until you find the cause of the problem.

If it doesn’t work, you should try to fix some of the basic WordPress system settings.

4. Change administrator password in DB

The WordPress system – as we mentioned – is built on PHP.

The beauty of the system lies in how it uses a database to store various information / content for your site.

To do this, if you have problems logging in, you may need to change some of the settings in the database.

Each legitimate host must provide access to the database management portal. You can use it with the following:

  • Click on the “control panel” for your hosting

  • Look for the “database” tab (this varies from host to host)

  • Most hosting providers will have “PHPMyAdmin” – click this (this allows you to manage your WordPress database)

  • From the database that appears, select the one for your WordPress installation

  • View the “users” table

  • Select your administrator account

  • Enter a new password in the “Password” field

  • In the “Type” field, select MD5

  • Click “OK” to save the recording

  • Try logging back into your WP installation

As mentioned, this is not an exhaustive list (each host handles it differently).

If you have trouble following the steps above, it’s best to talk to your hosting provider or a support company.

5. Make sure you are not in HTTPS Redirect Loop

One of the main reasons for the problem of “blocking” the administrative area in WordPress is what is known as the “HTTPS redirection loop”.

This is where you will set up your site to use HTTPS and there will be another redirection tool that prevents you from entering the administrative area.

In addition, the way cookies work is specific to the domain you have access to. HTTP and HTTPS are considered completely different objects, and thus entering one option does not allow you to access the other.

The correction for this is as follows:

  • In the WordPress database (as mentioned din Step 4), click on the table “wp_options”

  • Look for the “siteurl” option

  • Make sure it’s “http: // …”

  • Look for other links to the domain / protocol of the site

  • Make sure the “http: // …” link is available

  • Clear your browser cache (step 1)

  • Try logging in again

If that doesn’t work, it may be worth replacing your main WordPress files.

6. Replace the main WordPress files

The next step is to replace the main WordPress files on your system.

To do this, we must first make sure that the “config” file for WP (“wp-config.php”) is protected:

  • Reopen the WordPress files (from step 2)

  • Browse the root folder of your WordPress installation

  • Search “wp-config.php”

  • Download it to your computer

  • After doing this, click on your favorite search engine + search for “download WordPress”

  • You need to find the WordPress.org website

  • Click the “download” button (blue)

  • Once saved, you will need to unzip the files to a folder on your system

  • Click back on your hosting file manager

  • Select the “WordPress” folder and rename it (something like “wp_bk” or similar)

  • Create a new WordPress folder here (with the same name as the original)

  • Upload all new WordPress files you have downloaded from the WP site to this folder

  • Copy wp-config.php to the root folder (should overwrite what is already there)

  • Try logging in to the site

If there are any problems with this, you will simply be able to rename your old WP directory back to its original name.

If you still can’t resolve the issue, you’ll need more specific support. In fact, there are several ways to do this – either with similar online communities (such as Microsoft Answers or SuperUser), or from a dedicated support source (your hosting account, etc.). Fiverr is also a good place to find people who will help solve WordPress problems (but these guys will definitely have to pay).

The thing is, WordPress is usually quite a flexible platform, and the problem of not being able to access the admin area of ​​your application is certainly not as unique as you might think. To that end, it will justify your site – perhaps – getting a “check” from a WordPress company that will be able to give you a summary of what may or may not work well. They must also be able to address the defective administrative area.