WordPress Website Stuck In Maintenance Mode? Here’s How To Fix It

The WordPress automatic update system getting stuck in maintenance mode is a common and surprisingly easy issue to fix. So for this tutorial, we’ll be explaining how to manually exit maintenance mode.

What Is WordPress Maintenance Mode And Why Is It Stuck?

WordPress core has a built-in maintenance mode that it activates whenever you update your software, themes, or plugins from the WordPress dashboard. This displays a message that lets visitors know you’re working on something so you can perform updates without worrying about the impact on user experience.

Most of the time, when you run an update, maintenance mode only lasts for a few seconds.

But sometimes, there’s a hiccup.

Closing out of your browser session while the website is updating, updating several plugins and themes at once, incorrectly configured updates from the developer, slow server response or low memory can all result in WordPress timing out which interrupts the update process.

When this happens, WordPress will kick you from the admin dashboard and redirect you to a page with the following message.

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.

This page is what visitors usually see when you’re making changes to your site. 

How to Disable WordPress Maintenance Mode Manually

When WordPress enables maintenance mode, it does so by creating a file named .maintence in the root folder of your WordPress installation. This file tells WordPress to put your site into maintenance mode and contains the information needed to display the message that your website is undergoing maintenance.

Usually, WordPress will delete the .maintenance file after a successful update. But in this case, a failed update will result in WordPress failing to do so.

To fix this issue all you need to do is access your server files using one of the three methods below, find the .maintenence file and delete it.

Once you’ve accomplished this and you’ve cleared the cache for your website, everything should function normally again.

Access Your Server Using FTP Credentials

Using an FTP client or the file manager provided by your web host, connect to the FTP server and navigate to your WordPress root folder. This folder is usually under Public HTML or httpsdocs and will contain your WordPress installation files.


Once you’ve done this locate .maintenance and delete it using your FTP client. Once you clear your browser cache and reload your website you should be good to go.

Access Your Server Using A Web Hosting File Manager

By far the easiest method of these three, is accessing your files using your web hosting control panel. Most web hosts use some variation on Plesk or Cpanel and will often provide documentation on how to access their version of the console.,


Once you’ve accessed your hosting control panel click on the File/File Manager option. From here you will be able to access your Public HTML or Httpsdocs folder where your installation files are kept.

Access Your Server Using An SSH Connection

If you have, (or know how to), set up an SSH connection you can use it to navigate to the root folder of your WordPress website. Once you’ve done this you should be able to delete the maintenance file using the following line of code:
rm .maintenance



How To Prevent WordPress From Getting Stuck In Maintenance Mode Again

While this issue is pretty easy to fix, there are a couple of things you can do to decrease the likelihood of a repeat incident.

First, ensure that the new plugin and theme updates are compatible with your version of WordPress.

Secondly, avoid updating all of your plugins and themes at once. Keeping up with updates as they’re released is an easy way to minimize the number of updates WordPress will need to execute at one time.

It’s important to note that updates play a critical role in keeping your website secure and healthy. They can also add new features to your current setup that can improve your websites overall functionality. Which is why executing new updates should be a key part of your maintenance schedule.


And lastly, if you’re not using one already, create a child theme before updating to protect your changes.

Want To Keep Your Site In Good Shape?

Regular maintanece ensures your website is operating at peak performance. And in the event of an emergency, you’ll have the support you need to get errors fixed quickly and easily.

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