Joomla 2.5

How to Reset Super Administrator Password in Joomla 2.5

After installing Joomla 2.5 (just yesterday), I already forgot my super administrator password and username.  It must be signs of getting old.  So I went out to try to figure out how to change and reset my super admin password, and successfully retrieved both without having to reinstall.

Steps to Reset Your Joomla 2.5 Super Administrator Password:

Joomla 2.5 Click on Forgot Password
1. Joomla 2.5 Click on Forgot Password

1.  Forgot Password Link

Forgot Password Link Will NOT Send Super Admin Password.  After clicking on the ‘Forgot Password’ link, I entered in the email address for the Super Admin and got this message:

Reset password failed: A Super Administrator can’t request a password reminder. Please contact another Super Administrator or use an alternative method.

There goes the easy way.  So jump to 3, to find out how I reset the Super Admin Password.

Joomla 2.5 Cannot Retrieve Super Admin Password
1. Joomla 2.5 Cannot Retrieve Super Admin Password

2.  Forgot Username Link

Joomla 2.5.1 Retrieve Super Admin Username
2. Joomla 2.5.1 Retrieve Super Admin Username

Since I also forgot my Super Admin username, I went to the Frontpage and clicked on the ‘Forgot Username’ link.   Joomla 2.5 will send you the super administrator username to the email address you created the account with.    Below is the message you get:

Reminder successfully sent. Please check your mail.

3.  Reset Password in phpMyAdmin

For this step, you will need to access your web hosting and to know your MySQL database username and MySQL database password.  You will also need to access and modify your backend database ‘user’ table.  Below I will show you how to do this:

Note: I am using Dreamhost, but the same logic applies to any web hosting provider.

Dreamhost Database Name and Database User
3a. Dreamhost Database Name and Database User

a.  Find my MySQL Database Username/Password?

  • Login to your Webhosting provider account i.e., Dreamhost
  • Click on ‘MySQL Databases’
  • Scroll down to ‘Databases on this Server
  • See your database name, and in the middle column is your Database username
  • If you forgot your password, you can click on the Database username and next screen will allow you to enter in a new password.
Access Database phpMyAdmin
3b. Access Database phpMyAdmin

b.  Access phpMyAdmin

  • Still in Dreamhost, in ‘MySQL Database’ screen
  • Scroll up to ‘Hostnames’ and click on phpMyAdmin.
    • *** In other web hosting, there should be an icon that says phpMyAdmin.  You can just click on that.

      In phpMyAdmin - Click on your Database name
      3c. In phpMyAdmin - Click on your Database name
  • Enter in the Database username and password you got from step 3a.

c.  Access the Users Table in phpMyAdmin

  • On the left, you will see 2 links, click on your Database name (same database name from Step 3a.  Not the same as your database username).
    • ***These are list of tables in your Joomla 2.5 installation that keeps all the information and manages your site.  Do not delete or change any of the tables if you do not know what you are doing.  You can potentially corrupt your database, lose information or delete your whole database.

      phpMyAdmin Access Users Table
      3c. phpMyAdmin Access Users Table
  •  You will see all the table names are prefixed with some letters, i.e. adfa_
  • The table names are on the right of the Underscore.
  • Scroll down to the table  xxxx_users
  • Click on the ‘Browse‘ tab

d.  Change the Super Administrator Password

Click on Pencil to Edit the Super Administrator User
3d. Click on Pencil to Edit the Super Administrator User
  • Click on the ‘Pencil‘ to edit your Super Administrator user.

    Click on 'Browse' users Table in phpMyAdmin
    3c. Click on 'Browse' users Table in phpMyAdmin
  • The next screen is where you can change your password, See the password field:
    • Change the password drop down to ‘MD5’
    • Enter in a new password in the text box beside it
  • Also as a security measure:
    • change your user ID 42 to another number not already being used.
    • Change your Username Admin to another username not already being used.
  • Click on ‘Go’
See the screenshot below of how your _users table should look like.  Please change the values according to your own website data.
phpMyAdmin Change Password in Users Table
3d. phpMyAdmin Change Password in Users Table

After that your password is changed.  You will see on the next screen that the password field changed to a bunch of letters and numbers that you didn’t enter.  That’s ok, because that’s how MySQL stores your password.

Go to your Joomla 2.5 Administrator screen and try out your new username and password you entered in from Step 3d.

Hope that helps you.



  1. Tam Ngo

    Really helpful, Shared it on my Facebook. Sure people will love it. Forget password must be signs of getting old. So I’m too old 🙁

    1. Elaine

      Hi Tam,
      Thanks for referencing my site on your facebook page. Your fb page is very useful. I will check it out to get some tips too. 🙂
      Thanks for your visit,

  2. MACStaff

    THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! For some reason when I changed my password there was an error and I was locked out of my site. Your directions worked PERFECT! Thank you again!

  3. Head

    Unfortunately I got “Your username and pass doesn’t match or you haven’t registered yet” or like this.
    Yep, MD5 and all other as needed – isn’t my first time. But this one is different – I still cannot login.
    Probably site builders changed md5 to somethin’ other at setup time…

  4. Kris

    It doesn’t work for me I have this info after password change.. :

    Username and password do not match or you do not have an account yet.

    Please help.


    1. oded

      I had the same Problem. After reviewing some more articles i added 1+1 and found the solution:
      if you change the userid, you have to change the _user_usergroup_map table also.
      I mean, there is a record that says user id 42 is type 8 (=super user). once you force the change of user id as mentioned in this article, you have to map it again as a super user. simply change in _user_usergroup_map the record 42==>8 into the_new_id_number==>8, and problem solved. good luck…

  5. Zarina

    Hi Elaine

    Trying to make new user in phpmyadmin, i see it there but its not allowing me to access the backend of the website when i try to log into admin backend with the new details.

    Can you kindly assist.

  6. Zarina

    Hi There Jacques

    I have tried every angle from that document. When I try it on another domain
    running the Joomla platform, then it works.

    Is there anyway that I can export all the content ARTICLES AND CATEGORIES.
    There is not a lot of content on the website so I am able to quickly rebuild
    the site if I am unable to proceed further.

    I can create a user in phpmyadmin but its not allowing me to log into the
    site administrator panel.

    I have added you to skype.


  7. Jeff

    I could not remember my password to log into the administration of my Joomla 2.5 site. I went in the MYSQL database as shown here and changed the password. Once I did that, my website will not connect. I get Database connection error (2): Could not connect to MySQL. This is all I changed. I looked in the configuration.php file and the the database got the database password there and went back in MYSQL and reset it to match. Still, I get the same error. I did not change the user from admin though. I just reset the password (which was suggested from another instruction website that I found before this one). I am not sure what to change or what to do now. Again, the only thing I have changed is the admin super admin in the MYSQL jos_users
    Any help is great appreciated

  8. mb

    Thanks v much for your help and detailed instructions on this. Had used your great instructions for migrating to 2.5 in 2012, so thanks for that as well!

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