Starting in WordPress version 5.2 there is a new feature called WordPress recovery mode. WordPress recovery mode occurs when the WordPress admin dashboard will not load because of an error. A WordPress technical error has occurred and a message is displayed on the screen:
“The site is experiencing technical difficulties. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions.”
The problem is that some WordPress sites are not able to send emails. Or the web developer is not setup to receive the email it is going elsewhere. The result is you are locked out of your WordPress site and cannot receive the WordPress recovery email. WordPress recovery mode can be very tricky to deal with.
What to do if locked out of WordPress & no Recovery Email
- Access your WordPress site files via FTP / SFTP access and look in the wp-content folder. You will see the plugins folder. Re-name the plugins directory to plugins2 or whatever you want. Then re-load WordPress admin login and try to login again. WordPress should automatically deactivate all of your plugins and you should be able to login. Then you can re-name your plugins folder back to plugins and start turning plugins back on one at a time.
- Sometimes when this issue happens you are getting directed to an error screen, but if you go up to your address bar and change your URL to /wp-admin/ and reload you can still login.
- You could be running out of memory. If you can increase your PHP memory to 256MB or 512MB via your HTACCESS file or thru your web host your site might start working again.
- Another method is to reconstruct the recovery link that you should have received in your email. If you are trying to get the email link you can just add this to the end of your wordpress domain name:
- The other issue we have seen is some wordpress sites won’t run on PHP7 and you get these error messages and can’t login. If your server uses php-fpm you can ask your host to run your site on PHP 5.4 or whatever older version of PHP so that you can login and fix your site.
- If this issue keeps happening you really need to look at your Error log and it will tell you which plugin is the problem and you can delete or re name the plugin via FTP access and then should be able to login. Normally what I see is one plugin causing the problem and the plugin can be identified by looking at the error log.
- More information can be found on this WordPress support forum thread
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