WordPress change admin email without confirmation

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Change WordPress admin email without confirmation

6 avril 2018 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f

When we build a new WordPress powered website, one of the very first things we do in the setup process is create the first admin user. The associated email address becomes the primary site administrator. You can see it under Settings > General:

wp-admin-email-settings-1024x455

This address is used for WordPress update notifications and in our case, default Gravity Forms notifications. That’s great during development, but what about once the site is live and you hand it over to the client?

TL;DR: Update in database

The WordPress Method

WordPress implemented this change late last year in version 4.9 and was done for security reasons. Here’s what was said during the announcement:

Some account security improvements have been made in WordPress 4.9. The intent is to make it more difficult for an attacker to gain control of a user account or site by changing the email address associated with the user or site, and also to reduce the risk that an erroneous or erroneous modification blocks you. out.

If you update the email from the WordPress admin area, the change is not immediately made. A series of emails are sent and a confirmation link must be clicked:

WordPress-email-pending-change-1024x160

Once confirmed, the new email address is set and the previous email receives a notification.

For most users, this is the preferred method to update the administrator email account.

Update without going through the confirmation process

We like to set the admin email on launch for the site owner. Launch day is usually a pretty hectic affair and adding another request to the owner’s list isn’t always easy or a good idea. So here is the simple way to do it without them confirming:

phpMyAdmin to the rescue

Like many things, the WordPress MySQL database is a good place to go for changes. The WordPress admin email can also be updated from the database. Here’s how:

  1. Connect to the database. phpMyAdmin is a good choice.
  2. Locate the wp_options table.
  3. Near the top, locate the admin_email option
  4. Edit the option_value field with the new email. This can be done either online or by editing depending on your version of phpMyAdmin
  5. Save your work if it was not autosaved

edit-admin-email-phpmyadmin-1024x394

That’s it!

categoryWordPress 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f

Bryan Hoffmann

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42 Comments

  1. adaa9febd1335c08c0573c71500d321f Daniel

    August 15, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Great! It working. Tks a lot.

    Reply

  2. 970de0fdc1b293f93d99e55356b563f8 Ameen

    August 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    yes it helped… specifically the database one 🙂 Cheers….

    Reply

  3. 606b6a36adf1349d2e589f4620b2c5f3 Brett Bumeter

    September 2, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    This is one of the more annoying updates to go into WordPress in many years. (Been working with WordPress since 2006)

    It’s a nice idea, but WordPress’s email php program is not terribly reliable, especially on some host platforms.

    This ends up creating a lot of work for no solid reason.

    Reply

    1. 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f Bryan Hoffman

      September 4, 2018 at 11:39 am

      Yes, it does feel like a brute force approach to security, much like a pat-down at the airport. I’ve never seen an attacker attempt to take over a site by changing the site admin this way. That said, it’s certainly possible to do and I have seen customers change the admin email by mistake. Until a better solution comes along, I’m okay with WordPress trying out security changes.

      I no longer bother the customer with an email volley on this. I’m in the database anyway and it’s a quick change.

      Reply

  4. 358289179c159bfc4661ab4e6b16f1fc Rick Beckman

    November 28, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    You don’t need to use a database editor for this. Browse to /wp-admin/options.php, search for the admin_email field, and update it there. This bypasses the confirmation check.

    (Just confirmed this on WP 4.9.2.)

    Reply

    1. 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f Bryan Hoffman

      November 29, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Thanks for the tip Rick. I don’t normally recommend editing WP core files, but if it works for you that’s great!

      Reply

    2. 594fc6b7994e4c1db1d4a6afd272a8d1 Kristina

      February 23, 2019 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks Rick I just did this because for over a month I have not been about to receive a confirmation email when trying to change it! Lets hope I will actually receive the emails since i bypassed the confirmation!

      Reply

    3. 4c316ea02274171716b67602ae0d380f Mushtaq

      July 26, 2019 at 3:48 am

      Worked for me nut all my emails going to the spam folder. how can I fix that issue?

      Thanks

      Reply

      1. 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f Bryan Hoffman

        July 26, 2019 at 12:56 pm

        Nothing in this post will cause all of your emails to go to spam. Must be a completely different issue.

    4. f04fe27334017ca9561ce5164ff872ff Lainey Odette

      August 18, 2019 at 7:13 pm

      Does not work. When I save in options.php, get error message:

      Not Acceptable! An appropriate representation of the requested resource could not be found on this server. This error was generated by Mod_Security.

      Reply

  5. a05179a51da1c361a98dfde13423a0b2 Kevin

    December 14, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Genius! Thanks. Been toying with that for some time.

    Reply

  6. 287bd40fce9712e5e5cc45804da40316 Carol

    December 31, 2018 at 9:36 am

    This fixed a long row of dominoes. First there is a plugin that updated, messed up things. Needed to make a backup but wanted it to go to the new email. Could not get the confirmation. Your help fixed that, now I can go back down the chain of problems without waiting hours or never. Thanks!

    Reply

  7. 1aab25f8a9570a61b20078bcb4ab4588 Scott DeLuzio

    June 25, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    FWIW, I recently had a typo when changing the admin email address. Since the address I entered wasn’t a real address (I typed [email protected] instead of [email protected]), the email was never delivered and I couldn’t confirm the change. I still was able to get emails sent to the old admin email though. If I had made the mistake in the database, it may have taken a while to figure out why emails aren’t being delivered. At first I thought this was a bit of a pain, but it’s actually a useful feature.

    Reply

  8. 6d15f3fa6cdc47fb40a36c748813636a Zack

    November 18, 2019 at 3:50 am

    There is a slight problem. How do I locate this wp_options table in the PHPMyAdmin? I’ve tried looking for a while now, but this table does not seem to exist at all. Of course, coding stuff can be considered a foreign language for me.

    I also cannot change that email because the old email does not exist any more, and WordPress will keep sending to that old email. Very, very, very annoying. They don’t provide a way to even get around this.

    Reply

    1. 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f Bryan Hoffman

      November 18, 2019 at 11:24 am

      Hi Zach. The wp_options table is required so it definitely exists. You may have a different prefix however, so look for xyz_options or similar. Changing the admin email via PHPMyAdmin is meant to solve the problem for those without access to the original email account.

      Reply

  9. fb901cc917f8991c003c4c312825e5cd Jack

    January 11, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Met hod 1 not work because not getting confirmation email Method 2 changing in DB Its showing up new email in Administrator email followed by message in bottom.

    This address is used for admin purposes. If you change this we will send you an email at your new address to confirm it. The new address will not become active until confirmed.

    but i am not getting any confirmation email yet

    Reply

    1. 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f Bryan Hoffman

      January 13, 2020 at 11:22 am

      If the admin email has been change to the you want, you can dismiss this message.

      Reply

  10. ca3d7daa6b4bf6d59db7b0ff259a1214 [email protected]

    January 21, 2020 at 12:38 am

    some databases dont state Wp-admin, but just Option. In case you cant find wp-admin

    Reply

  11. cfbc74a6ed3ef57711eac1a29f867aa6 Ted

    January 24, 2020 at 10:32 am

    I changed out the wp_options & wp_users with my new email but when I go back to General settings in WordPress the other email I do not want is still there.

    Reply

    1. 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f Bryan Hoffman

      January 27, 2020 at 10:05 am

      Hi Ted, you shouldn’t need to change anything in wp_users, try going back and following along again.

      Reply

      1. c898b214abe1773ac1e1bd2b2daa3b6d Suma

        October 5, 2020 at 4:41 am

        Hi Bryan,

        I changed the admin user using the wp_options from [email protected] to admin_email : dream******@gmail.com

        And also changed the user email using wp_users, Bcoz it was not my email id “[email protected]” so i changed in the wp_users to my email as user_email : dream******@gmail.com

        What happens if we change wp_users ?? do we face any further problem., as you mentioned you shouldn’t change in wp_users, please kindly explain.

        Thanks in advance

  12. ce7638c7eeed53d5a7a87e9aa117f201 John Dee

    February 12, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Great post! There is also a plugin in the repo that you can use to do this.

    Change Admin Email https://wordpress.org/plugins/change-admin-email-setting-without-outbound-email/

    Reply

  13. fb80f68256402d25eb10548a0e122eda Rajesh Laddha

    April 6, 2020 at 6:55 am

    Great pot Bryan. I was searching for an easy way to change the admin email id because, till now, I was using a plugin to change the admin email address and it was hurting my website speed as I need to install a plugin just to change an email id. But now as you mentioned that we can change the email from the database, it is the best way I think. However, we need to be careful whenever we are working with the database as it is very sensitive.

    Reply

    1. 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f Bryan Hoffman

      April 6, 2020 at 12:02 pm

      Good advice Rajesh. Care certainly should be taken when editing the database. Taking a backup before you edit is a smart thing to do.

      Reply

  14. 92818d976348ef369d9526dd82007eb1 Keith

    April 6, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Bryan, Thanks for this. It was super frustrating trying to change the admin email, and the other solutions I found involved installing plugins, and setting up SMTP servers, and were just nuts for the seemingly simple end goal of “change email”. You’re awesome!

    Reply

    1. 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f Bryan Hoffman

      April 6, 2020 at 7:07 pm

      Excellent, glad it worked for you Keith.

      Reply

  15. 9a54eeb35bddcf8053a83e87c0149874 Lara Whybrow

    June 13, 2020 at 3:55 am

    What a champion! Thanks so much for the fix and take care 🙂

    Reply

    1. 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f Bryan Hoffman

      June 18, 2020 at 12:03 pm

      Glad we could help Lara. Thanks for stopping by 😉

      Reply

  16. 45d9ca827371105f7fce962ce6403509 sri

    July 23, 2020 at 12:52 am

    Great! It working. Thanks for guidence.

    Reply

  17. 52aabc404d75bd1df895b68f80dd3212 Mohsin Alam

    July 24, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    That helps me, now I can change to any email address when client wants. Some client even don’t understand what is meaning of confirmation email and how to confirm it. So, this is better we change email going through Database, so no conflict with clients understanding. Thanks for this tutorial.

    Reply

    1. 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f Bryan Hoffman

      July 27, 2020 at 2:01 pm

      I don’t hardly bother customers with this any more. I’m struggling to remember if even one client has confirmed the change via email… Glad we could help.

      Reply

  18. annonce208dcb14261c6c4a7380f813b01d95 Ralph Smit

    February 6, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks for writing this tutorial, but for me it didn’t work. I successfully changed the address in the database, but when I look at the user profile, it still shows the old email. Or am I now confusing something? What about the situations where you have both an admine-mail and an admin user e-mail?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    1. 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3f Bryan Hoffman

      February 8, 2021 at 11:21 am

      I would double check that you actually did save the new address in the database. This is where that value is set so if it didn’t work, it wasn’t done quite right. I’m not sure what you mean by having both and admin email and an admin user email. Can you clarify?

      Reply

    2. 4bfc1d955d4c17f111b5a8f62bf97999 Josh

      March 9, 2022 at 9:34 am

      This happened to me too. After setting the e-mail address I wanted ([email protected]) in phpmyadmin, and confirming it was there I still saw the old e-mail ([email protected]) showing in settings. After fiddling around with it I found the trick was to use phymyadmin to remove the old e-mail and set it to a temporary e-mail you have access to ([email protected]). Then go to the settings page and change it to the e-mail you want ([email protected]) – you will get a confirmation e-mail at the temporary e-mail ([email protected]) and THEN it will be changed in settings.

      I don’t know why the settings page isn’t reading directly what we set in phpmyadmin – but I suspect the reason I had to use a temporary e-mail is the system rejects a change from [email protected] to the same address of [email protected] – which we bypass with [email protected]

      Reply

  19. a9c9ba19b18acc3f66803aa3e3894560 John Lawson

    February 10, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for the tip Rick!

    Reply

  20. f441b6a0c9ef6dfeb8b623f1cd456b97 williamnoah

    February 18, 2021 at 4:46 am

    is it possible? I was shocking before i read this blog. very helpful to me as wordpress developer thank you so much

    Reply

  21. 9cde1fd651e6dae64f66d37a21eb3138 Brad

    July 18, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Thanks for posting this. Its funny no wonder how long I work in WordPress I still forget where things are sometime and articles like this make it so much easier to jog ones memory. Thanks again.

    Reply

  22. 244b7d5b321a41a0a1229ee3265443e2 mj80x

    September 8, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Hello! I found your post doing a google search on how to fix this issue. I was able to log into the phpadmin via my host. Do you know how long it takes for the email to update in wordpress? It’s still showing my old email in the admin field. Thank you.

    Reply

  23. e82b106f811b32d8ad06f5dce64644aa Didar Singh

    February 17, 2022 at 4:05 am

    Ok, please add the plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/change-admin-email-setting-without-outbound-email/ Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » General page. Go to the “Admin Email Address” option and enter the new email address you want to use.

    Merci

    Answer

  24. 013a12afdac7c7f9c77c03dff9ce0fccSortie

    June 28, 2022 at 7:55 p.m.

    I was able to change the admin email via this method. However, in Settings > General it still says “The new address will only become active after confirmation”. Is it important? Is the new address active? How can I say?

    Answer

    1. 35f8d062a34afb9faeb64d0b0a480a3fBryan Hoffmann

      June 29, 2022 at 9:31 a.m.

      Hi Sally, if you changed it in the admin area, chances are the new email is now active. When you change it this way, WordPress will return emails that request the change, which means it thinks the new change is for the old email. I just rejected this message. As long as the correct email is in the admin field, everything is fine!

      Answer

  25. 935c78eb157a7d154515bcfddcdd6ea2Rajan Vijayan

    October 12, 2022 at 12:20 a.m.

    Bryan,

    Another simple solution without PHPmyadmin access

    Simply install the email-log plugin [https://wordpress.org/plugins/email-log/] before updating the new email address.

    All emails are stored on the email log page. So now you can change the email address and click the confirmation link without checking your inbox.

    Hope this helps. Thanks

    Answer

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