Stuck in Maintenance Mode? How to Safely Exit in WordPress


Maintaining a website is like maintaining a car – it requires regular check-ups and occasional fixes. If you’re a WordPress website owner, you might have encountered the dreaded “Maintenance Mode” at some point. This temporary state is necessary for updates and changes to be made behind the scenes. However, getting stuck in maintenance mode can be frustrating. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of safely exiting maintenance mode in WordPress, ensuring that your website is up and running smoothly.

Understanding Maintenance Mode in WordPress

Maintenance mode is a feature in WordPress that displays a message to visitors when updates are being made to the site. It prevents users from accessing the site during this period, ensuring that changes can be implemented without interruptions. However, sometimes the site can get stuck in maintenance mode due to various reasons, leaving you perplexed and wondering how to get it back online.

Common Causes of Getting Stuck in Maintenance Mode

There are several reasons why your WordPress site might get stuck in maintenance mode. Some common causes include:

  • Interrupted Updates: If a WordPress update is interrupted, it can lead to the site being stuck in maintenance mode.
  • Plugin or Theme Issues: Incompatible plugins or themes can trigger errors during updates, causing the maintenance mode to freeze.
  • Low Server Resources: If your server doesn’t have enough resources to complete updates, the maintenance mode might become stuck.

Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Exiting Maintenance Mode

Getting your site out of maintenance mode requires a systematic approach. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Check if Maintenance Mode is the Issue: Confirm that the maintenance mode is the reason behind the downtime. Check for error messages or notifications related to updates.
  2. Access Your Website Files: Use an FTP client or a hosting file manager to access your website’s root directory.
  3. Locate the .maintenance File: In the root directory, you’ll find a file named .maintenance. Delete this file to exit maintenance mode.
  4. Clear Browser Cache: After removing the file, clear your browser’s cache and cookies to ensure you see the updated site.
  5. Test Your Website: Open your website in a new browser tab to ensure it’s running without issues.
  6. Update Plugins and Themes: Outdated plugins or themes might have caused the initial problem. Update them to prevent future hiccups.

Troubleshooting: Bold the Heading of the Second Table

Common IssueSolution
White Screen of DeathDeactivate recently installed plugins or switch to a default theme.
Error 500Check server logs for specific errors and follow recommended actions.
Database ErrorsRepair the database using tools like phpMyAdmin or contact your hosting provider.

Precautions to Prevent Future Stuck Maintenance Mode Issues

To avoid finding yourself in maintenance mode limbo again, consider these precautions:

  • Backup Your Site: Regularly back up your website so you can restore it if something goes wrong during updates.
  • Test Updates in a Staging Environment: Use a staging site to test updates before implementing them on the live site.
  • Monitor Server Resources: Ensure your hosting plan provides sufficient resources for updates to avoid interruptions.

The Importance of Regular Website Maintenance

Maintenance mode issues often highlight the importance of regular website maintenance. Keeping your WordPress core, plugins, and themes updated ensures better security, performance, and compatibility with the latest technologies.


Safely exiting maintenance mode in WordPress might seem like a daunting task, but with the right steps and precautions, you can get your website back on track. Remember to troubleshoot any issues that arise and keep your site well-maintained to prevent future disruptions. By following this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to handle maintenance mode hiccups like a pro.


  1. Can I exit maintenance mode without deleting files? Yes, you can try deactivating all plugins using FTP or a file manager as an alternative solution.
  2. Why does the maintenance mode screen persist even after removing the file? This could be due to cached data. Clear your browser cache and try again.
  3. Is it possible to customize the maintenance mode page? Absolutely! There are plugins available that allow you to design a custom maintenance mode page.
  4. What happens if my site crashes during an update? In such cases, having a recent backup will be a lifesaver. You can restore your site to the previous working state.
  5. Can I schedule automatic updates for WordPress? Yes, you can schedule automatic updates for WordPress core, themes, and plugins to ensure you’re always running the latest versions.

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