WordPress Stuck in Maintenance Mode?

Photo Credit: iqoncept

One of the nice features in the newer versions of WordPress is that you can update plugins as well as WordPress itself from within the WordPress admin area.

It’s nice, that is, until you run into the screen that tells you WordPress is in maintenance mode while it’s updating and you’re not able to access your admin to see what’s happening. *shudder* 

It’s a little like that moment when you see the end of the world spinning beach ball on your Mac, or blue screen of death with Windows.  Only this time you haven’t lost any files and it’s easy to get rid of if you know what to do.

If this happens to you, don’t panic. Here’s how to fix it:

  1. Login to your web space either with FTP or using a tool like cPanel’s File Manager
  2. Go into the www or public_html folder where your public website files are stored, or the folder where you have WordPress installed
  3. Look for a file named .maintenance
  4. Delete that .maintenance file
  5. Go back to your WordPress admin where you’ll be able to login
  6. Go to the Updates page to see the status of your attempted update
  7. You can try the update again at this point, or you can install the update manually

But the first 4 steps will get you out of maintenance mode jail.

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  2. Michelle,

    I guess I have been lucky so far. Recently I did all of 3.04 upgrades with no problem. But now I know what to do just in case. You never know.

    One thing I do recommend is that you run a back up of your blog just before any updates.

    1. Yes, good tip — always backup. I’ve seen a lot of weirdness happen with upgrades but probably only by the sheer number I help with for my hosting clients. :) Overall it’s a small percentage.

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