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Understanding WordPress Recovery Mode

WordPress is a powerful content management system, but like any software, it can encounter issues. One such issue is the need for recovery mode, a built-in feature that helps users troubleshoot and resolve problems. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into what WordPress recovery mode is, why it’s necessary, and how to use it effectively.

What is WordPress Recovery Mode?

WordPress recovery mode is a safety feature that was introduced in WordPress 5.2. It’s designed to help website owners resolve errors on their site without needing extensive technical knowledge. When a fatal error occurs on your site, WordPress will attempt to detect it and pause the problematic plugin or theme.

Once the error is detected, WordPress enters recovery mode and sends an email to the administrator with a special link to access the site. This link allows you to access the backend of your site, even if the frontend is broken, giving you the opportunity to fix the issue.

Why Do You Need WordPress Recovery Mode?

WordPress recovery mode is essential because it allows you to maintain control of your site, even when things go wrong. Without recovery mode, a fatal error could render your site inaccessible, leaving you unable to resolve the issue.

Recovery mode provides a safe environment where you can troubleshoot and fix issues without affecting your visitors’ experience. It also provides detailed error messages, which can be invaluable in diagnosing and resolving the problem.

How to Use WordPress Recovery Mode

Entering Recovery Mode

When a fatal error occurs, WordPress will automatically enter recovery mode and send an email to the site administrator. This email contains a special link that allows you to access your site in recovery mode. By clicking on this link, you can access the backend of your site and begin troubleshooting.

If you don’t receive the email, you can manually trigger recovery mode by adding the following line to your wp-config.php file: define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true);. Remember to remove this line once you’ve resolved the issue.

Identifying the Problem

Once you’re in recovery mode, WordPress will provide detailed error messages to help you identify the problem. These messages will tell you which plugin or theme caused the error, and will often provide a specific error code that you can use to diagnose the issue.

It’s important to note that while these error messages can be helpful, they can also be complex and difficult to understand if you’re not familiar with PHP or WordPress development. If you’re unsure about what the error message means, it may be best to seek help from a professional.

Resolving the Issue

Once you’ve identified the problem, you can begin to resolve it. This usually involves deactivating the problematic plugin or theme, and then reinstalling it or replacing it with a different one.

If the issue is more complex, you may need to edit your site’s code or consult with a developer. Remember to always back up your site before making any changes to your code.


WordPress recovery mode is a powerful tool that can help you maintain control of your site, even in the face of fatal errors. By understanding how to use this feature effectively, you can ensure that your site remains accessible and functional, no matter what issues you encounter.

Remember, while recovery mode can be a lifesaver, it’s always better to prevent issues from occurring in the first place. Regularly update your plugins and themes, back up your site frequently, and always use trusted sources for your WordPress tools and resources.

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