I am trying to run the wp-cron.php manually by calling it that way:


Disabling the auto cron function with :


produces the same error.

What could be the issue?

  • The question we have to ask upfront: "Why are you calling it manually?".
    – kaiser
    Nov 25, 2012 at 16:34
  • Is "invalid secret string" the exact (!) error message? If so, the error isn't caused by WordPress. And what is the parameter "?doing_wp_cron" for?
    – Ralf912
    Nov 25, 2012 at 17:40

3 Answers 3


If you're launching wp-cron manually you don't need the "doing_wp_cron" parameter. The fact that you have it and haven't given it a value is very likely to be what's causing your error.


Edit wp-config.php and add the secret key. A good spot is right after the Authentication Unique Keys and Salts. Please be sure to update the secret to be your own.

define( 'WP_CRON_CONTROL_SECRET', 'qUhYNCrdHSHOPwPgrdyY19yi0' );

Then you can run


Where the part after the & is the secret key which you created with the define statement in wp-config.php


For others with this issue, make sure you don't have a plugin like WP-Cron Control enabled (source).

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