Sometimes you can’t log in to your Joomla Administrator Panel (your website’s backend). This can happen for several reasons. Maybe your website got hacked and the users and passwords have been changed; maybe someone else was in control of the passwords and you are no longer in contact with them; or maybe you just forgot your password.
Whatever the reason, the fact is that you aren’t able to login to your Joomla backend and need to find a solution. The only solution is to reset your password.
In most cases of resetting the password, you would simply need to login to your Joomla backend and reset the password in the User Manager, but how do you do this if you can’t login to change it?
The most common fix is to reset the password in the MySQL database, using PHPMyAdmin. For this you will need access to your website’s hosting control panel.
1. Log in to your hosting account and locate the link to access PHPMyAdmin (or MySQL Databases). Some hosting companies will offer you direct access to PHPMyAdmin, while others may require you to click into MySQL Databases before PHPMyAdmin.
2. You should see a list of databases associated with your hosting account. More than likely there will be a link to PHPMyAdmin next to each database. If not, click into the database and you should see this option. Either way, you need to find that link to access PHPMyAdmin.
3. When PHPMyAdmin loads, select the database you need to edit, and it will load a list of all the database tables associated with that website.
4. Find the table for _users. It must be noted that each table has a prefix, so the table you are looking for will be named something like: myprefix_users. You need to click into this table (either by clicking the name, or there may be a browse button).
5. You will now be presented with a list of users on your website. Locate the user whose password you want to reset and click Edit.
6. A form will display showing all the data for that particular user. You will notice that the password field doesn’t contain the actual password: instead, it contains a long string of characters that probably doesn’t make any sense to you. This is a form of encryption that gives you an extra layer of security. When you set your password in Joomla, it gets stored in the database as an encrypted, MD5 hash.
Similarly, when you reset your password using PHPMyAdmin, you need to input the encrypted code into the password field, rather than the actual password, so we need to find a way to convert your desired password into an MD5 hash.
7. Just perform a quick Google search for ‘MD5 generator’ and you will be given plenty of options. When you click into one of these, all you need to do is enter your desired password, and the website will generate the MD5 code for you.
8. Copy the MD5 hash and paste it into the password field in PHPMyAdmin. Click save, and login to your Joomla backend with your new password.
How to Reset your Joomla Administrator Password: Simplified
- Login to your hosting account and click into PHP MyAdmin
- Select the database you want to edit
- Click into the _users table
- Select the user you want to edit
- Use an MD5 Generator website to encrypt your desired password
- Paste the encrypted password into the password field in PHPMyAdmin, and click Save
- Login to your Joomla website
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