How to reset your Joomla admin password using a custom PHP script

This tutorial will take a different approach than usual. It will show, step-by-step, what it takes to write a custom PHP script that will change your Joomla admin password. This is useful to know in case you ever forget it

This tutorial is meant mainly for technologically curious Joomla users. If this subject doesn't interest you, then instead watch the accompanying tutorial that shows how to perform the same task using phpMyAdmin

1) Open your favorite text editor


Follow along with any typing you see exactly


2) Every PHP script should start and end like this

3) Next, we're going to store our username and the password we want to change ours to


This is done using variables that can be used later on in the script instead of typing the information there


Next, let's include the Joomla configuration file, since we'll need to access the Joomla database to change the password


The keyword require is generally used to include files that must be included in order for the script to function. If a required file cannot be found, PHP will cease processing the script


This line will allow us to access the settings found in configuration.php



With this line, we are now connected to the MySQL server


This will tell MySQL that we're going to be working with the Joomla database


Next, it's time to write the important part of the script -- the query that will update the user's password


The first part of the query lets MySQL know we want to do something with the users table


Joomla stores its passwords as a hash. This is an irreversible form of encryption. Specifially, it uses an algorithm called MD5


So, this second part says to set the password to the MD5 checksum of the contents of the $password variable

4) Finally, specify that only the user with the given username should have its password updated

5) This last line closes the connection to MySQL

6) The PHP script is complete! Save it, then upload the file to the Joomla directory on your web server


Make sure that the extension of the file is .php -- otherwise, you probably won't be able to run it


Once you've done that, type the URL to your Joomla site followed by the name of the PHP script. For example,


Now that you've uploaded and run the script, let's go to Joomla and check that it worked


7) Log in




Now let's change our password in Joomla, since it stores extra information along with the MD5 hash of the password


8) Click Site


9) Go to User Manager


10) Click on the user

11) Change the user's password

12) And click Save


That's it! Your Joomla administrator password has now been updated


For obvious reasons, it would be best to delete your script from the server now that you've regained access to Joomla

  • 0 Users Found This Useful
Was this answer helpful?

Related Articles

How to back up your Joomla database using cPanel

Backups are an essential part of any active website. Not making regular backups can be a disaster...

How to back up your Joomla database using phpMyAdmin

Backups are an essential part of any active website. Not making regular backups can be a disaster...

How to change the default Joomla favicon

A favicon is a small image that shows up next to the website's name. Here is the default Joomla...

How to change the Joomla directory using cPanel

This tutorial assumes you are already logged in to your cPanel account 1) Click File Manager...

How to download the latest Joomla version and install it on your server

1) For this tutorial, you will need to open your web browser and go to