Fixing WordPress “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” Error

Today I talk about how you can fix the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” problem for WordPress.

Summary of the Issue

While you are updating WordPress your website is taken down to stop anyone accessing it during the upgrade. This is to stop issues occurring during the upgrade.

Once WordPress has finished updating it will disable maintenance mode and allow access to your site.

Normally after a short period of time your site will be available however this sometimes takes longer. If your webserver times out running the update or another issue occurs it can get WordPress “stuck” in maintenance mode. This is characterized by the following message being stuck on your WordPress site.

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute

This will mean your site will stay inaccessible until this is resolved.

Turning off maintenance mode

To check whether WordPress should be in maintenance mode WordPress writes a small file with the name .maintenance. This is stored in the main directory of your WordPress install.

To turn off maintenance you need to delete this file in some way. This can be achieved in a number of ways:

  • Logging into your website via SSH and running rm .maintenance
  • Accessing your website with FTP and deleting the file using FTP
  • If you are using a web hosting company they may offer a file browser which will let you remove the file.

Once this file is removed your WordPress install will be accessible again. If you think the update failed in some way you will want to check to make sure if there are any more updates to install. If it went terribly wrong it might need a reinstall of WordPress to correct the problem.

Hopefully, that helped you restore your WordPress site, If you have any questions about how to fix this post below and I will endeavour to help you.

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