wp-cli is great. But it's not clear how I can quickly change a user password with it.

How to change a user's password programatically can probably help to figure this out.

Although wp user update username --field=password is not gonna cut it, apparently md5 is deprecated so it should go through wp_set_password.

4 Answers 4


This does the trick:

wp user update USERNAME --user_pass="PASSWORD"

(Found it here.)

  • 3
    Hmmm, that's the example used on the wp user update page in the wp-cli docs.
    – Pat J
    Jun 30, 2015 at 15:34
  • 5
    Security Pointer: Add a space in front of this command to make sure you're not including a plaintext password in your bash history. Sep 17, 2020 at 13:36

first check the user name:

wp user list

then change password without leaving traces in history

wp user update admin --prompt=user_pass
  • 3
    Leaving a space before the command will ensure it is not added to the bash history if someone requires something non-interactive. Sep 17, 2020 at 13:39

Just to append one minor thing; sometimes the password may start with the = character. I prefer using this notation, just because of that.

wp user update USERNAME --user_pass="PASSWORD"

I have found that sudo definitely changes the path, so I have tried using --allow-root without sudo and the commands work

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