Joomla User Manual

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Admin Password Recovery

Lost Super User Password

Normally a Super User can add, edit and delete users and passwords from the Users list. In some situations this may not be possible. For example, the person who knew a Super User password is no longer available. Or maybe the Super User has forgotten the password that was used.

In such cases there are two methods available to allow a site Administrator to login as a Super User.

Method 1: Edit the configuration.php File

If you have access to the configuration.php file for the Joomla installation on your server, then you can reset a Super User password or create a new Super User if you can login as a Manager or Administrator.

You need to open the configuration.php file in a text editor. First change its file permissions to 644. Your site management tools, such as cPanel or Plesk (there are others), usually allow you to do this online. If not, you may need to use FTP to download the file, change it locally and upload it again.

Add this line at the foot of the file but before the closing curly brace:

    public $root_user='myname';

where myname is a username with Manager or Administrator group access that you know the password for. A username that is in the Author, Editor or Publisher groups will not work because those groups do not have backend access.

This user will now be a temporary Super User.

Login to the back end and change the password of the Super User you don't have the password for or create a new Super User account. If you create a new user you may want to block or delete the old user depending on your circumstances.

When finished, make sure to use the Select here to try to do it automatically link that appears in the alert box to remove the line that was added to the configuration.php file. If using the link was not successful, then go back and delete the added line from your configuration.php file using a text editor.

If you have no users who know their passwords you may need to make a change in your database.

Method 2: Edit the Database

If the methods above did not work, you have two other options, both of which require working with the MySQL database directly.

Change a Password in the Database

The simplest option is to change the Super User password in the database to a known value. This requires that you have access to the MySQL database using phpMyAdmin or another client. These instructions show how to change a password to the word secret.

This method will work only if the selected user is in the Manager or Administrator groups.

Make sure you change the Super User password once you regain access!

  1. Open phpMyAdmin and select the database for the Joomla! site. This will show the database tables on the left side of the screen.
  2. Find and select the #__users table where #_ is the table prefix for your site.
  3. In the Browse view find the user whose password you want to change and select the Edit icon for this row.
    • if the list is long select the SQL button at the top and use this query:
      SELECT * FROM xxxxx_usersWHEREusername = 'username'
      where you use your database prefix to replace xxxxx and the username you need to find in place of username.
  4. In the edit form change the password to
    and select the Go button at the bottom of the form. phpMyAdmin should display the message Affected rows: 1. At this point, the password should be secret.
  5. Log in with this user and password and change the password of this user to a secure value. Check all of the users to make sure they are legitimate. If you have been hacked, you may want to change all of the passwords on the site.

Add a new Super User

If changing the password does not work, or you are not sure which user is a member of the Super User group, you can use this method to create a new Super User.

  1. Open phpMyAdmin and select the database for the Joomla! site.
  2. Select the SQL button in the toolbar to run an SQL query on the selected database. This will display a field called "Run SQL query/queries on database xxxxx".
  3. Delete any text in this field and copy and paste the following query. Remember to replace xxxxx with your own database prefix.
    INSERT INTO `xxxxx_users`
       (`name`, `username`, `password`, `params`, `registerDate`, `lastvisitDate`, `lastResetTime`)
    VALUES ('Administrator2', 'admin2',
        'd2064d358136996bd22421584a7cb33e:trd7TvKHx6dMeoMmBVxYmg0vuXEA4199', '', NOW(), NOW(), NOW());
    INSERT INTO `xxxxx_user_usergroup_map` (`user_id`,`group_id`)
    Select the Go button to execute the query and add the new Super User to the table.

At this point, you should be able to log into the back end of Joomla! with username admin2 and password secret.

After logging in, go to the User list and change the password to a new secure value and add a valid email address to the account.

If there is a chance you have been hacked, be sure to check that all users are legitimate, especially any members of the Super User group.

Alternative Temporary Passwords

Warning: The password values shown on this page are public knowledge and are only for recovery. To avoid being hacked be sure you change a temporary password to a secure value after logging in.

password = "this is the MD5 and salted hashed password"
admin  = 433903e0a9d6a712e00251e44d29bf87:UJ0b9J5fufL3FKfCc0TLsYJBh2PFULvT
secret = d2064d358136996bd22421584a7cb33e:trd7TvKHx6dMeoMmBVxYmg0vuXEA4199
OU812  = 5e3128b27a2c1f8eb53689f511c4ca9e:J584KAEv9d8VKwRGhb8ve7GdKoG7isMm