Depending on your site configuration and your browser, fixing this might take more than one step. The following should resolve many of these kinds of problems.
Step 1: Deactivate the WordPress-HTTPS plugin
Since you can't log into Admin, you need to do this behind WordPress's back. The simplest, brute-force way to do this is to rename the plugin's folder.
- Using FTP, a shell prompt, or your web host's file manager (e.g., the one available through cPanel), navigate to
- Rename the plugin folder
It doesn't really matter what you rename it to. WordPress just knows that a plugin called "WordPress-HTTPS" is active and that it's stored in a folder called "wordpress-https". By renaming the folder we hide it from WordPress so that the plugin's code won't run.
A more elegant, and possibly safer, way to do this is to use WP-CLI. This is a command line interface that lets you do most WordPress administrative functions from the Linux/Unix shell. But not everyone has shell access (for example via SHH), and not every host as WP-CLI installed. If it is installed:
- Enter the command
wp plugin list to confirm the plugin is there and active
- Enter the command
wp plugin deactivate wordpress-https
Step 2: Clear all caching
In theory WordPress-HTTPS is inactive now and won't cause login problems. But some browsers and web hosts have caching enabled that could remember the redirection that happened earlier.
To make sure you're really getting 100% current access to the site:
- If you have caching plugins enabled (e.g., W3 Total Cache), disable them. Some can be disabled through your web host's control panel (e.g., SiteGround's SuperCacher), and others you'll need to deactivate as above.
- If your web host does caching outside of WordPress, disable it. This can normally be done through your web host's control panel.
- If you have a Content Delivery Network enabled (e.g., CloudFlare), disable it.
- Clear your browser's cache and cookies.
- Shut down and restart your browser.
Step 3: Log in
With any luck, you can now.
Step 4: If it still won't work, temporarily switch your site to
Your site's settings probably say to use https for the site and home URL. If your problem is really just because of the "force admin" setting, this probably isn't a problem. But as a final step you can try switching this off for the whole site.
These URL settings are defined on the Settings > General page, which you can't reach right now. But they're stored in the WordPress table
wp_options. You can override them in one of two ways:
- As described in webaware's answer, define a couple of constants in wp-config.php, remembering to remove those constants once you're done.
- Edit the database directly with phpMyAdmin or your own PHP code. These two settings are "siteurl" and "home", and are the first two in the wp_options table. Switch them to use
http instead of
Step 4: Remove the settings that caused your lockouts
Skip this step if you plan to stop using WordPress HTTPS altogether. In that case you can just delete the
But it's a very useful tool when SSL is enabled, so you might want to reactivate it once you can log in. If you do that right now, though, you'll probably have login problems again.
We need to delete WordPress-HTTPS's settings from the WordPress options table. This is essentially like installing it from scratch. There are two ways to do this.
Option 1: Delete them directly from the database
All of the settings are in your WordPress database, in the wp_options table, and all of them begin with "wordpress-https". Deleting those rows from the table resets WordPress-HTTPS. It should now be safe to reactivate.
Option 2: Use the plugin's "reset" flag
As you described in your question, you can define the
WPHTTPS_RESET constant. The next time WordPress HTTPS runs it will see this flag and clear its settings. It's possible this didn't work for you because of the caching issue mentioned above.