Joomla: How to Reset Super Admin Password

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The easiest and most straightforward way to reset your Joomla password is to use the back-end User Manager. Login to your Joomla site as a member of the Super Administrator group, and then reset your password in the User Manager. If you don’t have access to a member of the Super Admin group, you’ll need to go into your database and manually replace the password of the Super Administrator. Joomla passwords are encoded with a one-way “salted” MD5 hash, which means you can’t recover the password, you can only replace it.

Before we begin, you must have access to your database. If you don’t, pass these instructions on to someone who does. It’s also a good idea to backup your database before making changes, just in case something goes awry.

How to Login to Joomla Backend

First things first. To login to the backend of your Joomla site, browse to example.com/administrator, replacing “example.com” with your website URL. If you are unable to login, or unable to reset your password using the “forgot my password” link, try the steps below to reset your Joomla admin password.

Joomla 1.6+

If you are using Joomla version 1.6 or later, follow these instructions to reset your lost password.

Configuration File Method

If you have access to your Joomla configuration file (configuration.php), you can use the following method to reset your password:

  1. FTP into your Joomla installation, locate the configuration.php file, and change its permissions (chmod) from 444 to 644.
  2. Download the configuration file, open it, and using a text editor (such as Notepad in Windows. Don’t use a word processor – these will insert code into the configuration file that may break it) add the following line to the bottom of the file: public $root_user = ‘username’;
  3. Make sure the ‘username’ is a username that already exists and has Author level or higher (preferably administrator) access.
  4. Save the changes you made to the configuration.php file and re-upload it to your site.
  5. You’ve created a temporary Super Administrator that you can use to login to the back-end and either change the Super Admin pw or create a new Super Admin user. Consider blocking or deleting the older user if you create a new one, for security purposes (ie. if the old one had their password hacked).
  6. As a last step, you want to make sure the line we added to the configuration.php file is removed. You can do this manually or check the “click here to try to do it automatically” link in the alert box that appears.
  7. Once the line is removed, restore the permissions of the configuration.php file back to 444. This is an important security measure protecting access to this important configuration file.

If you don’t know any users that are Author level or higher, you may need to access your database directly using the methods below to reset your Joomla password.

Joomla Hosting

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Database method

Finding the Password

  • Log in to your Joomla database (via phpMyAdmin for example)
  • Click to edit the _users database (will be preceded by your account name, for example: example_users)
  • Edit the entry for where usertype = “Super Administrator” (should be the first record)

Resetting the Password

In the password field you’ll notice a string of characters. Joomla uses a one-way encoding method, which means you won’t be able to retrieve your old password. However, you will be able to reset the password to a new one using mySQL’s built-in MD5 function:

UPDATE example_users SET password=MD5(‘new password’) WHERE usertype = “Super Administrator”;

Congrats! You just successfully reset your Joomla password. Go to your Joomla domain at example.com/administrator and try logging in with the new password. You should be logged in as Super Administrator.

Reset Using cPanel

For those not familiar with mySQL, you should also be able to login with cPanel, click on the “SQL” tab, and enter the above query there.

Copying the Password from Another User

An alternate method to reset your password, if you’re not comfortable with SQL commands, is to simply copy and paste the password hash from another user (to which you know the password) over to your admin user. You’ll then be able to login as the admin user using that password. If you don’t have another user, you should be able to register as one, and then copy the password over.

Applying the Email From Another User

Yet another alternate method to retrieving your lost Joomla admin password is to change your admin user’s email address to one you are familiar with. Then use the lost password retrieval function (the “forgot password” link in the login section) to have your Joomla password emailed to you.

Troubleshooting

Thanks to feedback from our web rockers we’ve been able to add various user based suggestions in addition to our own. Please use caution when trying these optional suggestions!

AlphaNumeric Only

If for some reason the above method does not work try encoding a password that contains only alphanumeric (a-z, 0-9) characters. This method may not work if your password contains special characters (@!#$).

Joomla User Plugin

Another possible reason that you’re unable to login is that you may have inadvertently deleted the Joomla User Plugin. You can remedy this by logging into you backend, and locating the jos_plugins table in your database. Edit this entry and set the published status of user joomla to 1 (enabled). Once you’ve done this, try logging in again.

Temporarily Remove PHP Authentication

This is another potential approach you can use to recover your Joomla admin password, but proceed with caution. Also note that this has only been tested in Joomla 1.5. Locate the file plugins/authentication/joomla.php, and change the line

if ( $crypt == $testcrypt) {

to

if ( $crypt == $testcrypt || $_SERVER[‘REMOTE_ADDR’] == “Your IP Address”) {

Replace “Your IP Address” with your IP address (your IP address is: ). Now anyone from your IP address (ie. your PC or local network) can login with any password. After logging in and changing your password, remember to restore the original code.

Can’t Login and No Errors

If you can’t login and Joomla is not giving you any error messages, it could be that your sessions directory doesn’t have the correct permissions. They should be set to 755 (you can login via FTP, find your sessions directory, and adjust the permissions (CHMOD)).

Invalid Session Error

If you’re getting an invalid session error when you try to login, you probably need to clear your browser and or site cache and cookies. Refer to our browser cache clearing instructions for details on clearing the cache your browser. For Joomla, you can clear the cache tables in your database (if you were able to login, you could browse to Tools > Clean Cache).

How to reset Joomla 1.5, Joomla 1.0 and earlier passwords

In each of these examples you’ll want to follow the above instructions, but then modify your SQL query to the following, which will reset your password to the one you specify.

UPDATE `jos_users` SET `password` = MD5( ‘new password’ ) WHERE `jos_users`.`username` = “admin”;

If this doesn’t work, try changing jos_users to mos_users.

How to Reset a User to Super Administrator

An alternate approach is to adjust the username, email, and password of the existing Super Administrator usertype so you can regain access to your website via an existing user. Here’s the steps to take:

  • Log in to your hosting account and browse to your domain name.
  • Click on “View Details” (varies depending on hosting provider)
  • Click on “cPanel”
  • Click on “phpMyAdmin” under the “Databases” section
  • Click on the name of your database in the left column (should be something besides the default “information_schema”).
  • Back up the database using the “export” function in the top menu just in case you inadvertently screw something up.
  • Scroll down and click on “[tablename]_users” (the name, not the icon) in the left column (tablename will be whatever your database name is).
  • Copy the username, email and password from your user to the “usertype” that is set to “Super Administrator” (this will allow you to login as Super Admin again; you’ll also need to change your old username (for example, to “Admin2”) so they don’t both have the same username.

When logging in now using the same credentials, your user should be back to Super Administrator and you should have access to all the backend admin functions.

Joomla: Evolution of a CMS

Joomla is one of the world’s premier open source CMS (Content Management System). It’s competitors include WordPress (which began as a blogging platform but has since grown into a full-fledged CMS thanks to all the plugins developers have created), Drupal, TypePad, and others. Drupal probably most closely resembles Joomla’s overall structure and functionality, although Drupal tends to be a lot more robust and powerful, while Joomla is known to be more user-friendly and attractive right out of the box.

About The Author:

Alex has been involved on the business side of the internet since the early 2000's. He holds both a Management Science degree from the University of California at San Diego as well as a Computer Science degree from NJIT.

We Rock Your Web had its roots back in 2004 as the tech blog for a web design and development company Alex founded that has grown and evolved into the parent company of We Rock Your Web.

While his foundation is rooted in web development, his expertise today lies in content and digital marketing, SEO, organic and paid search, analytics, and publishing. Alex is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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180 Comments
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Pedro V.
July 18, 2016 11:50 pm

Hi. I have a serious problem. I had been out of the web design for a few years till I was tasked with building my condo’s site. I came across this “company” AssociationComm that supposedly “builds websites” for condos. I opened an account and was excited to work side-by-side with the designer. From the beginning I noticed problems with the company’s customer service: emails would not be answered, phone calls went to voice mail and were not returned, etc. I did research online and found out a number of violations with the BBB in Salt Lake City and with prior customers. I also found out that the alleged company was solely operated by a Jefferson Baisden. I confronted him on my findings and he admitted to many of them but promised to mend his ways and “do it right if he were given a chance”. I then discovered that he used Joomla to build the sites and all he provided was a template, with a little configuration. He helped me familiarize myself with the backend and I did the rest. The customer had to build the site. I learned as much Joomla as possible and built the site myself under a temporary domain name. Now that I’m ready to make the DNS changes, pointing to the right domain name, the guy won’t answer emails, texts or voice mails again. I asked him to create a backup of the site and I would go somewhere else and he declined. I don’t care about the money I paid. I just want my files. I don’t have access to the cPanel, and the hosting company said they can’t do anything for me because he owns the files. Any suggestions? I’m kind of desperate. Thanks.

trägerloser bh
October 25, 2015 5:14 pm

Here I found a nice environment to get new ideas and views and then I have read the comments of this blog and these are really nice and I am glad to comment here.

ish
July 25, 2014 1:58 pm

I don’t have a username for phpadmin how to get one for my website?

Kimberly Alt
July 28, 2014 5:02 pm

You need to contact your hosting provider to get the username. This is usually setup when creating the database, but if your site’s already up and running it’s already been created.

Signe
July 24, 2014 3:17 am

Hello. I am having a similar problem but only on my home computer. I try to log into the admin and repeatedly get the message “Username and Password do not match” I am able to log in on the computer at work, on my smart phone, on a friend’s computer just not on mine- which is where I need to in order to update content and photos. I did not build the Joomla site myslef. I am an artist who hired someone. He has reset my password for me and still I cannot login. I have tried Firefox, EI and Chrome. My home internet provider is Comcast Xfinity. We are both baffled. Do you have any suggestions?

Kimberly Alt
July 24, 2014 6:53 am

That’s a very strange situation Signe. Sometimes something as simple as clearing your cache can solve a problem like this. I’ve personally had this issue with signing into a site before and after I clear my cache it suddenly works. If this doesn’t help you please let me know and we’ll find another solution for you! Thanks for commenting.

Lauren
February 18, 2013 4:22 pm

Oh My God!! You are a super genius! Thank you sooooo much Alex for telling me how to fix this super administrator thing. I would have had to rebuild the whole website!!! I appreciate it soooo much. I would have gotten back to you sooner, but my laptop was having issues, so I couldn’t try it yet. If I had gone to school for programming like I should have I would have thought of it myself. You are a lifesaver!

I emailed We Rock Your Web in a horrible moment of need when I was locked out of my website I built in Joomla by a free application that I uploaded to it not working properly and overriding some code. Everyone knows Joomla does not offer any type of support, so I thought I was out of luck and had to rebuild the website from scratch, because I don’t know how to configure the backend in CPanel. Luckily in a message board I came across these wonderful people at We Rock Your Web.

Alex got back to me almost immediately and taught me how to fix my website, now with his help I will be able to do this myself next time if another problem arises! I cannot thank him and We Rock Your Web enough for helping me, they saved me time and problems with my client. I am eternally grateful! I would recommend them to anyone.

Lauren

New Orleans, LA

Joomla web designer

faizal
November 7, 2012 3:08 am

Hello, I missed the password and I sent the email address but I couldn’t receive any email from joomla (I am the administrator and I check this with as a registered user). If I want to do any configuration, can anyone please provide step by step instructions?

Thank you.

Simone
November 2, 2012 11:32 am

Hello, I changed the access level administrator and now when I make a login I do not see the menu, can anyone help me? I am using joomla 2.5.

Thanks, Simone

Anonymous
October 16, 2012 6:39 pm

I cannot login to my control panel for my joomla site. My domain is mattmarcone.ca and i cannot figure out how to reset the password. Please help.

a web rocker
August 19, 2012 3:36 pm

totally not helpful, no database entry exists as described or any other username appears in _users – also the configuration.php method does not even explain what password to use once the file has been modified. Waste of even more time now.

Anonymous
August 8, 2012 5:34 am

I think if I tried to count all the different sites and accounts that I have to remember passwords for it kind of makes my brain go numb. Just for my job I think I have about five or six that I have to use on a regular basis. I pretty much have to reset one of them a month because each account has a different requirement for passwords that I have to adhere to. These requirements always seem to get more complex too, requiring a certain amount of characters, using certain types of characters, and not allowing certain strings of characters to be used. It can be very confusing.

For that reason I really appreciate the tip on how to reset a password for a Joomla account that is ultra-tight on security when it comes to accessing this kind of information. It definitely is not as easy or intuitive as some of my more simple accounts so I needed the help.

In the future, I will make a more comprehensive list of all my passwords that I can reference more easily.

Anonymous
July 28, 2012 5:56 am

Joomla is one of the coolest content management platforms online. However, it is not quite as well known as others, like Word Press. Nevertheless, Joomla has a lot of great features that make it an attractive option. Many people are drawn to the fact that it is free and open source. Therefore, nothing about it is proprietary. Many people who manage content online really hate the fact that many of their tools actually tie them to a particular vendor. Joomla does not.

Also, Joomla is pretty easy to learn. There are all kinds of resources and helps available. Better yet, since it is free and open source, there is a large community of users who are eager to help and can provide all kinds of support. It is almost like a family.

You can search online for articles and classes about how to perform almost any type of function in Joomla. This includes things like resetting the super admin password, which was one of the main points in this article. There are also a number of video training tools that can teach anything about Joomla.

Guest
July 30, 2012 11:51 pm

Thank you so much for this article. This site has some really amazing resources and I am glad I found it. When I get done here, I am going to do some more reading and see what other issues I can resolve around here on my own by following your advice.

I am new to Joomla. I am not a very technical person. I know how to use my computer and I can usually navigate my way through new software, but when it come to things like this, I am very lost. I lost my password and I had no idea what to do about it. I would have even called someone if I could. It was very frustrating.

I also love how you put things in layman’s terms. Not everyone know the ins and outs the technical word and I get tired of trying to understand what the really technical people are saying. It is just not my thing. I have my own set of skills, but the details of computers and so forth is not among them.

Anyhow I finally got in, thanks to your advice. So I just wanted to say thanks and keep up the good work. We appreciate it out here!

a web rocker
July 29, 2012 7:22 pm

Thanks for providing this documentation – you saved my butt.

Anonymous
July 21, 2012 6:55 am

My first impression after reading this article title was, “Huh, what happened?” But now that I reread the title, I kind of understand, it’s just resetting a password for something. However, when I hear or read the word Joomla, my brain just stops listening most of the time. I have no experience in Joomla and a very limited understanding of it. But one thing that I truly love about your blog is that you cover everything web related, from the simple things to the highly technical coding types of stuff. You also cover both hardware and software in an audience friendly manner.

Though I don’t think that Joomla is really ever going to be something that I’ll use in my life, it’s good to know that you have tutorials and trouble shooting articles like this one. As I read further into it, I realized that your instructions were so simple that I could easily do what you were instructing me to do.

I run into people that can use information like this all the time, and now I know that I can always refer them to WeRockYourWeb,com

JJ
July 20, 2012 3:35 pm

I still can’t reset my super admin password and I have been doing this for the last 3 days. I’m about to go nuts!… I’m pretty new at this stuff and can’t understand some of the lingo tutorials use which is making it to difficult for me.

I can’t find a human been at the Joomla page to help me and I feel so frustrated with all this. Is there an Angel out there to help me?

Greetings from Ecuador
JJ

Alex Schenker
July 20, 2012 3:38 pm
  JJ

Hi Juan,

We can try to go in and reset the password for you (we would need your hosts login credentials), or lead you through it step by step. What version of Joomla are you running?

Please don’t post any login credentials here. Use our contact form to communicate with us directly.

Tanush
December 7, 2014 11:28 pm

Hi Alex,
I’m using Joomla 2.5 here, I would like to reset my password. If I try to reset my password using my email, it says “Reset password failed: A Super Administrator can’t request a password reminder. Please contact another Super Administrator or use an alternative method.” So, a password reset might be the thing I need.
Thank You.

JJ
July 24, 2012 2:12 am

Good to hear from you.

Thank you very much for contacting me but I have great news. I found the missing password!!.. Yipii…

Sorry about that… After I send you the message, I sat down and wrote all the possible word combinations I would use as a password and after 4 hours or so, finally did it.

Thanks for your time and support. I owe you one.

Greetings from Ecuador.
JJ

Anonymous
July 16, 2012 3:24 am

Joomla is one of the best and most function content management systems available on the internet today. This software is actually much more than a program. It is an entire platform which can help to run a website, database or any number of other functions. Learning Joomla will enable a webmaster to go from running ordinary functions, to having complete power and control over their site.

Best of all, it is really not that hard or difficult to become a Joomla master. There are all kinds of tools and helps today which can enable anyone to really learn this program right from the comfort of their own home. For example, this article. It shows a number of different ways in which someone (presumably the webmaster of a site) can go about resetting their super admin password.

You can also go out and find a number of video trainings and other courses. These are all over the internet. Most of these resources are free or very low cost. Since there is a large community of other Joomla users, there are a great many articles and tips freely available.

Anonymous
July 11, 2012 4:17 am

Joomla is one of the best content management system platforms and software on the market today. One of the best things about it is that since it is open source, it is free. This also means that there is a strong and very active community of people who stand behind it and offer help and support. Someone who is interested in using Joomla to host their website will be able to perform just about any function they wish.

One of the more pesky problems that a Joomla administrator may face is having to reset their super admin password. This is sort of like the master password. It allows the administrator to get inside the system and make any type of changes that may be needed. Of course, if you are needing to change this, it might be due to the fact that you have forgotten the password itself!

Fortunately, this article provides a variety of ways for an administrator to get back into the system and find or even change the password. Most of these methods seem to be pretty easy and anyone should be able to follow.

Guest
July 9, 2012 6:21 pm

You have no idea how much I appreciate articles like these. I had to reset my Joomla password and had no idea how to go about doing it. I had several people offer me advice, but nothing that they said to do worked when I tried it. I spent hours trying to figure out how to do it before I ended up here. I have the problem fixed now, thanks to the information you gave me here, which I tried with great success. But really, it should not be so difficult to do. Of course, if I had kept my things in order to begin with, it would not have been a problem.

I even tried looking in several forums as I have had good luck getting technical advice on those, but sometimes I find that there is some superior attitudes to be found on there I am not an idiot just because I am not a tech genius. I am really just the average person who does not happen to have a book to help me translate tech language into terms I can understand. So thank you for putting this information into terms just about anyone can understand. It is much appreciated from this corner of the world.

Anonymous
July 6, 2012 7:05 am

What is Joomla? Many people who have been online for some time may have the word Joomla, but without any real understanding about what it is. Joomla is one of the most powerful, functional and easy to use content management systems available. It is a platform which can be used to store and manage all of the content for a website or any number of other functions. One of the best things about this program is the fact that it is open source. This means that there are all kinds of new things being created for it and that there will always be a large community of users to help and support each other.

If you are interested in learning more about Joomla, there are a lot of resources available. You can search for articles written about specific aspects or even find full blown courses. Better still, there are a number of excellent (and free) videos online. Watch a few of these and you could even become a Joomla master in no time at all, designing templates and backing up sites.

guest
July 3, 2012 6:20 pm

I am ever grateful to you for giving us all the information you presented here. I could not get into my Joomla until after I came in here and applied some of the things you offered here. Thanks for putting everything in such basic terms. It is frustrating enough not being able to get into your system without the added stress of trying to interpret the instructions on how to get into the system when you find them.

I did want to mention that I did have to use all lowercase letters to create a new password. I tried several other ones, but they did not work, so I resorted to the simplest method possible. Also, I’ve noticed a trend in software that does not allow for special characters or mixed lower and uppercase letters. Some won’t even allow you to mix numbers and letters. While I find this interesting because it seems like an advance system would be able to handle these combinations, it’s not really a big enough deal for me to do anything significant about it. I just think that people should be aware of that since I have already had a few problems with more than one software program. If all else fails, just keep it simple.

Anonymous
June 29, 2012 5:52 am

This article gives users a lot of different ways and ideas for changing their super administrator password in the Joomla content management system. However, what I found the most valuable part was the extra information about Joomla itself. As a total beginner, about all I knew regarding this program was that it is a way to help manage content for a web site.

It turns out that Joomla is one of the premier versions of open source content management system software. It competes with platforms such as Word Press, Drupal and TypePad. It is also known to be very user friendly without needing much in the way of customization.

Since this is an open source version, there is quite a lot of support and help available. There is a fairly large community of users available which is great if there are ever any questions or issues. Additionally, there are all kinds of other resources available online for anyone interested in learning how to use Joomla (or use it more effectively). The author also points out that there is a very helpful series of video tutorials.

Guest
June 24, 2012 12:39 am

Thank you so much for putting this information out there. I had no idea how to change my Joomla password. I did try everything but nothing I did worked and I was getting so frustrated that I was ready to give up on the whole thing. And the idea of calling someone to come do it for me was more than I really wanted to think about. IT services never come cheap, no matter how small the job is.

I am glad you mentioned something about not being able to retrieve the password too. All this time I just thought I must be totally missing how to do it. It is nice to know that it is no reflection on my own capabilities. It is simply the way the program works. At any rate, it was also a great reminder that I need to make note of every password I use with every program I use. I use quite a few programs and sites in the course of a day and there have been quite a few times when I could not remember my password. I find that it is always a good idea to have them written down somewhere just in case I could not remember them or something happened to the computer. The Joomla one is one I really need to write down.

Anonymous
June 17, 2012 5:08 am

Remembering back to when I first started using Joomla, I have often wondered what would have happened to me if I lost or forgot my super admin password. Fortunately, the author has chosen to share a number of different methods to resetting a Joomla super admin password. They all seem rather easy to me.

One of the best suggestions the author provides is to back up your database before attempting to reset the password. To that I would only add that a database backup should be done before any type of work is done on it. Not doing so is just asking for trouble.

You can reset the password very easily by using cPanel. You simply have to log in using the SQL tab and run a query. Anyone who is familiar with SQL and cPanel should not have any trouble doing so.

I am no tech wizard, but I am sure there even more ways to easily change or reset your password. The author also points out that there are all kinds of videos available for anyone who is really interested in learning the Joomla program.

guest
June 13, 2012 8:03 pm

I find the whole issues of the alpha numeric characters to be something that really gets under my skin. We are supposed to be at the height of the technology era, but there are plenty of devices and programs still out there that cannot deal with the mixture of characters. Some of them can’t deal with capital letters either, which I find to be totally ridiculous.

The thing that really irritates me the most about the whole issue is that some companies do not tell you about this until you have gotten to the point where you just want to tear your hair our because you have tried everything and still nothing works. And who would think of that? I mean, the first time it happened to me, my first thoughts were that I should probably get ready to get a whole new device. If it wasn’t sophisticated enough to handle mixed character, it probably wasn’t going to be able to perform the tasks I needed it to do. And even if it was, the program already seemed outdated and wasn’t going to last long anyhow, but that was a particular device which shall remain nameless…

Anonymous
June 10, 2012 5:19 am

The point about the invalid session error is the real key. I have often logged on and off an effort to see my updated password and data take effect, without realizing the larger causes behind such a sign. Like the article says, either your permissions are messed up or your need to do some cache clearing in order to make sure your browser is accepting the change properly, too. And sometimes it just takes a little bit for the changes to take effect.

Joomla may be an open source platform, but that doesn’t mean that things happen instantly through it at all times. Also, sometimes commands can go through subtle changes that could make all the difference in the world. If your commands are returning errors or not working, then look at the latest Joomla posts and updates. See if you are missing a change that has been implemented in the latest version of the platform, or if perhaps you need to download the latest version of the platform yourself to ensure everything is working properly. Remember, changing your password is a key step to good security!