How to Recover your Administrator Password for Joomla!

       2/15/2013        Hacking , Joomla , Programming

I had a problem earlier with a previous client who asks me to recover their password because the admin forgot her own password.

That client is also a friend of mine, so I tried to help him even if our contract with them has already ended a long time ago. I tried to access the superadmin account (of which I used as my own access aka developer's access) but unfortunately the project was two years ago and all I have is the old admin's password that doesn't seem to work now. I also tried all my superadmin accounts's password that I can remember but nothing seems to work too.

Since Joomla!'s login page doesn't provide a "Forgot the Password" feature. There is nothing left for me but to go to CPanel and access the database.


Joomla! uses a one-way salted MD5 hashing to its password. That means recovering it would be a bigger issue. Instead of doing that, I just replace it with another password of which I can use.

Fortunately, Joomla! FAQ's already offered hashed strings that can be used since this issue has already happened before.

passwordMD5 hash of password
admin21232f297a57a5a743894a0e4a801fc3
secret5ebe2294ecd0e0f08eab7690d2a6ee69
OU8127441de5382cf4fecbaa9a8c538e76783

To reset the password of your superadmin account

  1. Open your MySQL database. You can use phpMyAdmin or any MySQL utility that you are using.

  2. Open your database and look for PREFIX_users where PREFIX is the table prefix you set for your tables.

  3. Look for the administrator account. The name should be Super User with a username of admin. The tutorials over the net says it has an ID of 62, but I found my record has an ID of 42


  4. Edit it and replace the password with the hash as shown on the table above. Take note that you should copy the MD5 hashed string and not the password itself.

  5. Save the record.

  6. Now that the password has been updated, go to the login page and try your new username and password.

  7. Once you have logged in, make sure that you update again your password with a real and safer password.


As for the problem I had, it seems that both superadmin and admin's password are both changed for some reason. I'm not sure if the clients were the one who accidentally changed it. Anyway, thanks to them that I now know that "Forgot password" in Joomla! login page doesn't exists, I didn't noticed that before. :D




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