How to Fix WordPress Blog Stuck in Maintenance

Written by newmediamike

Topics: Blog

I’m stuck on WordPress as my blog platform of choice because of it’s ease of maintenance. With a few clicks I can maintain not only the core WordPress CMS but also plugins and a myriad of themes.

This morning however I had a bit of a panic. I logged on to newmediamike to approve some comments and I saw that a number of plugins needed to be updated. So I checked them off and clicked on “update”. Simple enough. I walked away to refill my coffee and when I came back I absent mindedly clicked away from the update page.

I went to login again but was greeted with the message “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.” I tried going directly to the login page, the plugin page even just the blog itself.  Nothing.  Just the message “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.”

I was locked out of my blog. That’s when the panic set in. I figured something in one of the plugin updates had messed up and needed to be undone. I logged into the root directory and there was the culprit. A brand new file only minutes old called .maintenance.

Where did the Maintenance Message come from?

wordpress-blog-stuck-in-maintenance-modeDuring an upgrade, WordPress places a file in the blog root directory called “.maintenance” to prevent visitors from being confronted with pages that are not complete during the upgrade process. It’s a great feature, but if the upgrade gets interrupted (by absent-mindedly clicking away from the page) or fails for any other reason, the file doesn’t get deleted. This means no access to your blog.

This is likely the simplest fix you will ever encounter. Simply delete the .maintenance file from the blog root directory. That’s all it takes to get your blog stuck in maintenance mode fixed. After the files have been deleted you should be able to access the site without any problems.

Step by step instructions on how to fix WordPress Blog stuck in Maintenance Mode

Step 1 – Log into your root directory
Step 2 – locate the .maintenance file as illustrated above
Step 3 – delete the .maintenance file
Step 4 – log out – you’re done.

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