I manage the WordPress installation at my job but I'm not the first to occupy it. I've inherited this responsibility from a guy who no longer works here.

Right now, we use and AD plugin that is dangerously out of date and is no longer being supported. So I'm in the process of adding a new AD plugin to replace it. However, I'm finding that the only way (or, at least, the best way) to do it is to have the original login information so that I'm not (as I am right now) dependent on the outdated AD plugin. I need to be able to delete the old plugin and configure the new without using any kind of AD login information.

How can I find the original login information in the DB so that I can login without using AD? I'm talking about the first email and password that was used to configure the installation when we first installed it years ago.

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    You won't be able to recover the password, it's encrypted. You'll need to use one of the methods here to reset it: codex.wordpress.org/Resetting_Your_Password Jul 25, 2018 at 15:11
  • Hi @Jacob. I'm not talking about resetting my password. I'm talking about finding the original username and password that was used to log into the installation before the AD was set up using the first AD plugin. Does that make sense? Jul 25, 2018 at 18:49
  • I told you: You can't recover the password. It's encrypted in the database and you can't turn it back into a readable form. Unless you wrote it down, in which case no where here can tell you where you did that, you have to reset it. Jul 26, 2018 at 1:18

1 Answer 1


Jacob Peatie is quite right (as always) - that said the following may help (your qn is unclear I've no idea what an"AD" plugin is and how it locks you out)

Check your wp_user table. Users have numeric IDs, passwords, email addresses etc. ID is incremented for each new user - on install first user (admin) will have an ID of "1". You cannot recover clear password but you can edit (back-up table first) the email to one of yours (maybe enabling you to be emailed reset options by AD plugin?), and/or change password using reset instructions mentioned by Jacob.

If ID "1" does not exist: (Often the first action on a new install is to create a new admin usually ID "2" or other low number, and then delete the original admin with ID "1".) Then one of the low number ID's is likely to be your "primary" admin for "AD" and can be similarly edited.

I don't know what the AD plugin does or your issues; there are probably simpler solutions such as just adding a new admin user and/or disabling the "AD plugin" by deactivating via WP dashboard, or by renaming the directory where plugin is installed.

Update following comment:

On Multisite you can identify super admins from "site_admins" in wp_sitemeta table - you will still need to refer back to wp_users table.

You could also try editing database to make your own WP user a super admin (I assume the plugin won't reset you to non admin). Edit wp_meta to change you to an admin (see step 4 here); and then edit wp_sitemeta table to similarly add your user to site_admins serialized data.

An alternative approach would be to identify the "primary super admin" username which should match an account and email address on your servers, if active contact the user, if not, reset the password to gain access to MS and WP as admin (I assume plugin access is not affected by resets).

However; I suspect the bigger issue will be maintain user access to WP when migrating from old to no, or new, plugin.

I doubt if I'll be able to suggest anything more I have little experience of MS Server and effectively none of AD.

  • Thank you for your help. When I said "AD", I mean Active Directory. There's an active directory plugin installed that enables us to use our work email and password to log into our WordPress installation. That way, we don't have to remember a second email and password. I also forgot to mention that our install is a multisite installation. Jul 26, 2018 at 19:23

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