How to recover a lost Joomla admin password

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joomla_big_logoI administer a few Joomla sites so from time to time I discover that I lost the admin password for the one I hadn’t had to update for a long time. There is no way to find out what that password was because they are stored as a one way MD5 but since I usually use random characters anyway I reset the password with a new one. For that you need access to the mysql database of that Joomla site.

You can access your database either through a tool like phpMyAdmin or from the command line. Anyways, how to access your database is beyond the scope of this article.

The password is stored in the MySQL database jos_users table password field. (obviously if you changed the default jos_ database prefix the name will differ) Find the record for the admin user and change his password with the MD5 value of a known password. You can use the following samples or generate your own using an online tool like this.

  • 123456 – f96b697d7cb7938d525a2f31aaf161d0
  • default – c21f969b5f03d33d43e04f8f136e7682

Either method you choose I strongly suggest changing the password to something secure immediately after logging in.