Table of Content
- What to do With WordPress Login Not Working?
- Best Practices for Preventing WordPress Login Not Working
- FAQs Related to WordPress Login Not Working
Is your WordPress login not working and you can’t access the WordPress Admin dashboard? Then, it can get quite tricky to build, customize, maintain, and update the website. So, professional WordPress developers have to come up with the best ways to solve the potential issues and log into the dashboard.
The job ain’t over just after creating and launching a WordPress website. There’s a lot more work to do to ensure your website is successful, engaging, and achieves its intended goals. But it won’t be possible if the WordPress login is not working. So you won’t be able to work on the website. There are several reasons behind this issue, which only makes things more complicated.
That’s why, based on our first-hand experience, we have compiled this blog to explain the best ways you can solve WordPress login issues.
What to do With WordPress Login Not Working?
The experts at our WordPress development company have decades of combined experience in creating, customizing, and maintaining high-quality websites. In these years, we have encountered many of our users and clients asking for solutions for WordPress login not working. And I can tell you there are several reasons behind this problem.
So we have compiled 9 ways to fix WordPress login not working, based on the reasons that may be causing it.
1. Incorrect Username or Password
Perhaps the most common reason for login failure I have seen is incorrect login credentials. If you enter the incorrect username or password, WordPress won’t grant access to the admin area.
When you attempt to log in, WordPress compares the credentials you provide with the ones stored in its database. If either the username or password is incorrect, WordPress will not authenticate your identity, and you won’t be able to access the admin dashboard.
How to Fix it?
Double-check your username and password for accuracy. Ensure that “Caps Lock” is off. If you forget your password or username, WordPress provides options to reset your password or recover your username. The “Forgot your password?” or “Lost your password?” link on the WordPress login page allows you to initiate the password reset process. You’ll receive an email with instructions to set a new password.
Make sure to note down the new username and password so you don’t forget them.
2. Cache & Cookies
Stored in your browser, cached data and cookies can sometimes interfere with the login process. It causes WordPress login not working unexpectedly.
When you visit a website, your preferred browser stores various types of data, including images, stylesheets, scripts, and even login credentials in the form of cookies. This caching process is intended to speed up your browsing experience by reducing the need to re-download the same resources every time you visit a site. However, sometimes cached data and cookies can become outdated or corrupted, leading to unexpected behavior, including login issues.
If your browser is using outdated cached resources, it might load an old version of the login page or related scripts. That may lead to functional discrepancies and prevent the proper display of login elements.
Here’s another scenario. When you log in to a website, your browser stores session cookies to maintain your authenticated status. If these cookies become corrupted or mismatched due to cached data, your browser might struggle to establish a proper session. That results in the WordPress login not working.
How to Fix it?
The simple solution is to clear your browser’s cache and cookies. We have devised a step-by-step to clear WordPress cache and cookies.
For Google Chrome:
Step 1: Open Chrome and click on the three dots in the top-right corner (Customize and control Google Chrome).
Step 2: Go to “More tools” → “Clear browsing data”.
Step 3: Select “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files”.
Step 4: Choose a time range (e.g., “Last 24 hours” or “All time”).
Step 5: Click “Clear data”.
For Mozilla Firefox:
Step 1: Open Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines settings in the top-right corner (Open menu).
Step 2: Go to “Options” → “Privacy & Security”.
Step 3: Scroll down to the “Cookies and Site Data” section.
Step 4: Click “Clear Data.”
Step 5: Check “Cookies and Site Data” and “Cached Web Content.”
Step 6: Click “Clear.”
For Microsoft Edge:
Step 1: Open Edge and click on the three dots settings in the top-right corner (Settings and more).
Step 2: Go to “Settings” → “Privacy, search, and services.”
Step 3: Under “Clear browsing data,” click “Choose what to clear.”
Step 4: Check “Cached images and files” and “Cookies and other site data”.
Step 5: Click “Clear.”
After clearing the browser cache and cookies, refresh the WordPress login page and attempt to log in again. That should ensure your browser fetches the most up-to-date resources. That helps prevent issues like “WordPress Login Not Working”.
3. WordPress Site URL Mismatch
Have you recently changed your WordPress site’s URL settings? Then, if you don’t update them correctly, it can lead to WordPress login not working. That is because WordPress won’t be able to validate your login credentials against the incorrect WordPress login URL.
WordPress uses the URLs to redirect users to the correct pages. If the URLs are not accurately configured, you might be redirected to the wrong location after submitting login credentials, leading to confusion or error messages.
Let’s look at this problem from another angle. The URLs are tied to your session and authentication data. If the URLs don’t match, the session cookies might not work as expected. That prevents successful authentication and access to the admin area.
How to Fix it?
To fix this WordPress login issue, you will need to ensure your WordPress and site address settings are accurate and consistent. There are two ways to go about it.
Via WordPress Dashboard
Step 1: Log in to your WP admin dashboard as an administrator.
Step 2: Navigate to the WordPress settings.
Step 3: Verify that the URLs under “WordPress Address (URL)” and “Site Address (URL)” are correct.
Step 4: Make changes if needed and save the settings.
Step 1: If you’re unable to access your WordPress dashboard due to incorrect URL settings, you can fix them directly in the wp-config.php file.
Step 2: Access your website’s files using the FTP client or your hosting file manager.
Step 3: Locate the wp-config.php file in the WordPress file and directory structure.
Step 4: Add the following lines just above the “That’s all, stop editing!” line, replacing example.com with your actual domain:
- define(‘WP_HOME’, ‘http://example.com’);
- define(‘WP_SITEURL’, ‘http://example.com’);
Step 5: Save the file.
After making the necessary corrections, your login issue should be resolved. It’s important to ensure that both URLs are consistent with your website.
4. Corrupted functions.php (Theme) File or Plugins
Another frequent issue behind WordPress login not working is a corrupted function.php file. We find if your theme’s functions.php file has a coding error or if a plugin is conflicting with the login process, it can prevent access to the admin area.
The functions.php file in your WordPress theme plays a crucial role in controlling the theme’s functionality. It allows you to add custom features, modify existing ones, and interact with various parts of WordPress. Plugins, on the other hand, can extend and enhance your site’s functionality independently of the theme.
A coding error in the functions.php file or a plugin can result in a “fatal error“. This error halts the execution of the code. That prevents WordPress from loading the necessary components for the login process. Poorly written code can trigger infinite loops or heavy resource consumption. That slows down your website’s performance and potentially renders the login process unresponsive.
But don’t worry; after some careful consideration, our dedicated WordPress experts have devised step-by-step procedures for deactivating the plugins and themes.
How to Fix it?
Access your site’s files via FTP to work with the theme and plugin files of the website.
Step 1: Access your site’s files using FTP or your hosting’s file manager.
Step 2: Navigate to the wp-content/plugins directory.
Step 3: Rename the folder of the suspected plugin to disable it. For example, change plugin-folder to plugin-folder-disabled.
Step 4: Try logging in again. If the issue is resolved, you’ve identified the problematic plugin. You can then explore its settings or contact the plugin developer for support.
You can even remove it altogether and install the WordPress plugin again.
Deactivate the Theme
Step 1: Access your site’s files using FTP or your hosting’s file manager.
Step 2: Navigate to the ‘wp-content/themes’ directory.
Step 3: Rename the folder of the active theme to disable it. For example, change theme-folder to theme-folder-disabled.
Step 4: WordPress will automatically switch to a default theme.
Step 5: Attempt to log in. If successful, the problem likely lies with your theme or its ‘functions.php’ file.
Navigate to the active theme’s folder, locate the functions.php file, and rename it (e.g., to functions-old.php). That will deactivate the theme temporarily. Similarly, you can navigate to the wp-content/plugins directory and rename the plugin folder related to the issue. Once renamed, try logging in.
If successful, you’ve identified the problem, and you can troubleshoot further by checking the theme or plugin’s code. Or you may contact a WordPress website development company. They’ll help you perform this process and alleviate the problem with the WordPress login not working.
5. File Permission Issues
File permissions determine who can read, write, and execute files and directories on your web server. Incorrect permissions can prevent WordPress from functioning as expected and might lead to login problems.
The files or directories critical for the login process may have overly restrictive permissions. In that case, WordPress won’t be able to access or modify them, resulting in login failures. Moreover, incorrect permissions can expose your site to security risks. If files have permissions allowing unauthorized access, hackers might exploit these vulnerabilities, impacting the site’s security.
How to Fix it?
Connect to your website’s server via FTP client and navigate to your WordPress directory. Right-click on the directories and files, and choose “File Permissions” or “CHMOD.” Set files to 644 and directories to 755. These permissions ensure proper access while maintaining security. So you won’t have issues like WordPress login not working.
But make sure you avoid setting permissions to values like 777. It grants full read, write, and execute permissions to everyone, as this can compromise your site’s security.
6. WordPress Core Update Gone Wrong
WordPress CMS regularly releases updates to its core software to introduce new features, enhance security, and fix bugs. While these updates are generally smooth, there’s always a small possibility that something might go wrong during the update process.
If a core update is interrupted or incomplete, your WordPress site might be left in an inconsistent state. That causes unexpected behavior, including WordPress login issues.
How to Fix it?
If you feel like a core update has caused the WordPress login to not work, you may try installing WordPress manually. Here’s how you go about it.
Step 1: Backup: Before proceeding, always create a backup of your website, including the database and files.
Step 2: Download the Latest WordPress: Go to the official WordPress website and get the latest version of WordPress.
Step 3: Extract Files: Extract the downloaded WordPress package on your computer.
Step 4: FTP: Access your site’s files using an FTP client.
Step 5: Replace Core Files: Delete all files and folders in your website’s root directory (except the wp-content directory) and replace them with the files you extracted in step 3.
Step 6: wp-config.php: Ensure your existing wp-config.php file is still in place. This file contains your site’s database connection settings.
Step 7: Test: After replacing the files, try accessing your site and logging in again.
Remember that manual reinstallation is a technical process and requires careful attention. So, if you’re unsure about it, we recommend you hire WordPress experts. Or seek assistance from your WordPress hosting support team.
7. Security Plugins or Firewalls
Security plugins and firewalls are designed to enhance the security of your WordPress site by identifying and preventing malicious activities. They do so by monitoring and analyzing incoming traffic and detecting patterns that resemble hacking attempts. Then, they can take protective actions.
Security measures might automatically block IP addresses that they perceive as suspicious due to repeated failed login attempts. Also, sometimes, even legit users can be mistaken for attackers due to certain behaviors that trigger security alerts. It can block access and result in the WordPress login not working.
How to Fix it?
If you’re locked out due to a WordPress security plugin, the following process would help.
Temporarily Disable the Plugin: Temporarily disable the security plugin through the WordPress admin dashboard. If the issue is resolved, you’ve likely identified the cause.
Check IP Blocks: If you’re unable to access your admin dashboard, check if your IP address has been inadvertently blocked by the security plugin or firewall. If yes, you can unblock it through the plugin’s settings or firewall configuration.
Access via VPN or Different Network: Try accessing your site’s admin area using a different network or a VPN. This changes your IP address and might allow you to bypass the IP block.
Whitelist Your IP: Whitelist Your IP: If you consistently face IP blocking, you can whitelist your IP address in the security plugin’s settings or firewall rules. It helps prevent security measures from blocking your IP.
If you’re unsure how to proceed or can’t resolve the issue on your own, reach out to the support team of the security plugin or firewall. They can provide guidance on addressing false positives and adjusting settings.
You have to remember that WordPress security measures should be in place to protect your website. So, it’s important to balance security with accessibility.
8. Exceeded Login Attempts
WordPress includes a security mechanism that helps protect against brute-force attacks. A brute-force attack is when someone repeatedly tries different username and password combinations in an attempt to gain unauthorized access to your WordPress site. To mitigate this risk, WordPress can temporarily block IP addresses that exhibit such behavior.
After a certain no. of consecutive failed login attempts from a specific IP address, WordPress will temporarily block that IP address from making further login attempts. You can also prevent brute-force attacks by slowing down or inhibiting attackers’ ability to guess login credentials.
How to Fix it?
If your IP address is temporarily blocked due to repeated failed login attempts, here are a few things you can do:
Wait: The block is temporary and typically lasts for about 15 to 30 minutes. During this time, avoid making additional login attempts to prevent extending the lockout period.
Password Reset: If you’re the legitimate owner of the account and forgot your password, you can use “Forgot Password” on the login page. It helps initiate a password reset. So you can set a new password and regain access to your account.
Brute-Force Protection Plugins: Install and configure a reputable brute-force protection plugin. These plugins can establish an added layer of security by limiting login attempts. It helps blacklist malicious IP addresses and provides more control over login processes.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2-Factor Authentication on your WordPress site. It sends a code to your phone, in addition to your password, for better security.
Change Admin URL: Consider using a security plugin that allows you to change the default login URL (wp-login.php) to a custom one. That can make it harder for attackers to find the login page of your WordPress website.
Web Application Firewall (WAF): Consider using a web application firewall that can help detect and prevent malicious activities like brute-force attacks before they reach your site.
By taking these steps, you can better the security of your WordPress site. It reduces the risk of being locked out due to temporary IP address blocking and helps safeguard your site from various threats.
9. Browser Issues
Issues with the browser tend to be among the primary reasons behind the WordPress login not working. The web browser you use to access your WordPress site plays a significant role in how you interact with it.
How to Fix it?
If you suspect that your browser is leading to WordPress login not working, you can take these steps to troubleshoot:
Disable Extensions: Temporarily disable browser extensions or add-ons, especially those related to security or privacy. After disabling each extension, try logging in to see if the issue persists. If it doesn’t, you’ve identified the problematic extension.
Update Your Browser: Ensure you’re using the latest version of your preferred browser. Outdated browsers might have compatibility issues with modern websites, including WordPress.
Clear Cache and Cookies: Clear your browser’s cache and cookies to ensure you’re loading the latest version of the site. This can often resolve login issues caused by outdated or conflicting cached data.
Try a Different Browser: If you’re still experiencing login issues, select the best browser for WordPress development. It will help determine if the problem is specific to your current browser.
Incognito/Private Mode: Use your browser’s incognito (private) mode to open a new window. It disables browser extensions and doesn’t use cached data, allowing you to test if extensions or cached data are causing the issue.
Reset Browser Settings: As a last resort, you can reset your browser settings to default. Be aware that this will remove custom settings, saved passwords, and bookmarks, so only do this if necessary.
Remember that browser-related issues are often localized and might not affect other users. If the problem persists despite troubleshooting, it’s a good idea to consult with other users or experts. It will help determine if the issue is widespread or specific to your setup.
WordPress login not working can be tricky. So, we recommend you consult with a WordPress development agency. Our WordPress experts will analyze your website based on each of the factors and issues mentioned above and fix the WordPress login not working effectively.
Best Practices for Preventing WordPress Login Not Working
As you may already know, “Prevention is better than cure.” Preventing WordPress login issues involves a combination of proactive measures and best practices to ensure the security, stability, and accessibility of your website’s admin area. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to prevent login problems in WordPress:
Regular Backups: Always maintain up-to-date backups of your entire website, including files and databases. Backups provide a safety net in case anything goes wrong during updates or troubleshooting.
Update WordPress, Themes, and Plugins: Keep your core WordPress, plugins, and themes updated to their latest versions. Regular updates often include bug fixes and security patches that help prevent vulnerabilities.
Use Strong Passwords: Ensure your login credentials, especially passwords, are strong and unique. Avoid using common or easily guessable information.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Implement two-factor authentication for an additional layer of security. It requires users to provide a second form of verification (usually a code sent to their phone) along with their password.
Limit Login Attempts: Use a plugin that limits the number of failed login attempts. That helps protect against brute-force attacks by locking out users or IP addresses after multiple failed attempts.
Use Reputable Themes & Plugins: Choose the best WordPress plugins from trusted sources like the WordPress repository or well-known developers. The same goes for the WordPress themes. Poorly coded or malicious themes and plugins can compromise your site’s security.
Regularly Monitor & Audit Plugins: Periodically review the plugins you have installed. Deactivate and delete any plugins that you no longer use or are no longer maintained.
Keep the Number of Plugins Minimal: While plugins add functionality, too many plugins can slow down your site and increase the risk of compatibility issues.
Regularly Review User Accounts: Ensure that user accounts on your site are necessary and have appropriate roles. Remove any unused or unnecessary accounts.
Secure Hosting Environment: It’s important you choose the best WordPress hosting provider. A secure hosting environment is the foundation of a secure website.
Regular Security Scans: Use security plugins to perform regular scans for malware and vulnerabilities. These plugins can alert you to potential threats and security risks.
Set File Permissions Correctly: Ensure that file and directory permissions are correctly configured. Directories should be set to 755 and files to 644. Adjust permissions only when necessary.
Regularly Update PHP Version: Use the latest supported PHP version for improved security and performance. Older PHP versions may have vulnerabilities.
Implement a Web Application Firewall or WAF: A WAF can filter out malicious traffic and block hacking attempts before they reach your site.
Regularly Test and Monitor: Regularly perform tests on your website, including logging in and checking for any unusual behavior. Monitor your website’s performance and security.
Educate Users: Educate all users with access to the admin area about best security practices, including not sharing login credentials and being cautious with third-party plugins.
By adopting these preventive measures and best practices, you can significantly lower the risk of encountering login issues and security vulnerabilities on your WordPress site. Remember that security is an ongoing process, and staying vigilant is key to maintaining a secure and functional website.
FAQs Related to Wordpress Login Not Working
WordPress login not working means you’ll be locked out of your website’s admin area. It prevents you from managing and updating your site. So you can’t create and edit posts, manage themes and plugins, or adject the website settings.
Now, there may be several reasons behind WordPress login not working, chief among which are incorrect credentials, caches, and cookies, issues with core WordPress, security plugins, limited login attempts, and more. But don’t worry; Through our extensive experience with WordPress development, we have described the solution for every reason that may be causing WordPress login not working.
If, after trying everything mentioned above, you still encounter WordPress login issues, I recommend you reach out to our experts today!