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Locked Out?: Reseting the Joomla! Admin Password

safe_175pxOn occasion it may become necessary for you to reset the Super Administrator password for your Joomla! Web site. Maybe your Webmaster left or was let go under less than amicable circumstances. Whatever the case, here is the method for gaining access to your Joomla! site's Super Administrator account.

Author's note: If you have Joomla!'s Global Configuration/Server/Server Settings Force SSL parameter set to Entire Site, and you find that when you attempt to login to your administrator area you keep getting redirected to the Home page even after resetting your admin password — as directed below — the solution is to modify your var $live_site setting in your configuration.php file to include the "https".

As the site owner, you should have received an email from your hosting provider that included the access credentials to your site's Web hosting control panel. Go dig that information out from that safe place you put it in. Log in to the control panel and look for any tools for managing your site's MySQL database. On many Linux systems running the cPanel hosting control panel — including Azurelink — you will see an icon for the phpMyAdmin database manager under Databases. Click the icon to launch your database manager.

  1. Select the database for your site. Hopefully, whomever set up the database used a name that is obviously related to your site. Or you can check your configuration.php file for the name in the following parameter: $db = 'database_name';
  2. Scroll down the list of tables to the jos_users table (Joomla 1.5) or #_users (where "#" is your custom prefix in Joomla 3.x) and click it to display the list of your site's Users. Find the Super Administrator user ID = 62 (Joomla 1.5). It's usually the first one, though in Joomla 3.x it can vary. In phpMyAdmin, click the pencil icon at the left to edit the Super Administrator's record.
  3. Change the name, username, and email values to whatever you want them to be, if necessary.
  4. Change the password as follows: The passwords in the the #_user table are encrypted using an MD5 has, which is why it looks like a mess of random mess of numbers and letters. Delete the old encrypted password from the field and copy and paste the following characters for the password "admin" in the password field:

    For Joomla 1.5:
    21232f297a57a5a743894a0e4a801fc3     = "admin"

    For Joomla 3.x:
    d2064d358136996bd22421584a7cb33e:trd7TvKHx6dMeoMmBVxYmg0vuXEA4199     = "secret"
    (The above is an MD5 and salted hashed password.)
  5. Click the Go button to save the change(s).
  6. Open another browser window and go to your site's administrator area.
  7. Login using the username you entered and the password admin.
  8. Change the password to a strong password of your choosing and save it in a safe place. I recommend a random combination of letters, numbers and symbols between 8 - 16 characters long.

That ought to do it. I hope that helped. You can get more info about resetting your admin password here.

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