How to gain access to your WordPress or Joomla installation without password reset

If you manage plenty of WordPress and or Joomla websites, there is usually an occasion when you try to access their admin panel and can’t seem to recall the password you used. The worst case is when you can’t make use of the password reset options since you are either running the installation on a local server that is not configured to send out mails or you don’t have access to the default email where a password reset URL will be submitted to, so what do you do now?

Luckily if you have access to the database then there is no need to worry, just follow the simple steps below.


For WordPress
Log on to phpMyAdmin and select the exact database that runs the WordPress installation whose access you want to gain.
Locate the wp_users table, each row on that table represents a single user; so if you only had one user admin set up for WordPress then you will locate only one row.
Select the edit option corresponding to the row/user you want to change his/her password.

On the user_pass field, copy the usually long string of characters and paste it on notepad or a text editor of choice. This is only necessary if you want to restore the old password for the user once you are done with the task you wanted to carry out on the admin panel.
Clear the string of characters on the user_pass field and type in a password of choice that you can easily remember, in my case: mypassword

On the Function field click on the drop-down menu then select MD5, once done click on Go to save your changes and you will notice that your clear text password will be converted to a string or random characters.

Now open your WordPress admin log in page and specify the username whose password you changed from the database and supply the password you provided without doubt this should work.
In a case that you are working on somebody’s installation and would like to revert back to the previous password which you did not have, simply go back to the WordPress database, and under the user_pass field where you specified your own password, erase the characters then paste back the initial characters you first copied to a text editor. This time do not select anything on the Function field since the password is not in clear text format but simply click on Go and you are done.


For Joomla
The above steps also apply to a Joomla database, only that in this case you will need to locate the *_users table to apply them. (* is determined by your specified DB prefix)


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