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Is your WordPress site stuck with a “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error message? This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to fix this …

How To Fix WordPress Stuck On "Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance" ErrorThis tutorial is part of our FREE WordPress Management training and WordPress Troubleshooting tutorial series.

In this series of step-by-step tutorials, we show you how to troubleshoot and fix common WordPress errors.


Important: Always do a backup of your WordPress site (files and data) before modifying any files or performing any upgrades or installations! 

If you don’t want to do manual backups, then consider hiring the services of a professional WordPress provider, or use a WordPress backup plugin.

Normally, when you update your software, plugins, or themes, WordPress will temporarily go into “Maintenance Mode.”

What can sometimes happen when performing WordPress upgrades, especially if using automated solutions, is that WordPress can get stuck in Maintenance Mode and your site will then display a “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.” message as shown in the screenshot below instead of your regular web content …

WordPress Stuck On "Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance"

(WordPress Stuck On “Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance”)

More likely than not, if you find yourself in this situation, you will not be able to log into your WordPress site or access any other page of your site.

Here is a simple way to fix this problem:

Log into your server using FTP software or via cPanel > File Manager and locate a file in the root folder called “.maintenance” …

How To Fix WordPress Error: Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.

Delete this file from your server …

How To Fix WordPress Error: Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.

The “failed update” message should be removed the next time you log into your WordPress administration area, refresh your browser, or open up a new browser window and type in your site’s URL.

In addition, you should find your site restored and working again …

How To Fix WordPress Error: Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.

Sometimes, if the error happens in the middle of the WordPress software upgrade procedure, you may be presented with a “Database Update Required” dialog box like the one shown in the screenshot below …

WordPress Database Update Required

(WordPress Database Update Required)

If the above screen comes up, just click on the Update WordPress Database button to complete the upgrade process.

You may also want to try changing the permissions of your /upgrade/ directory. WordPress uses the wp-content/upgrade/ directory to create a temporary file used during the installation process …

WordPress Troubleshooting Tutorials

For the temporary WordPress file to be created, the /upgrade/ directory needs to be writable by the server. To check if this is what is causing the issue, try setting the directory permissions to 777 (or CHMOD equivalent) and retry the auto-update process.

To learn how to set server file permissions, see the tutorial below:

Important Info

Note: Always use the most restrictive permissions possible for your server files. This may require a little research, experimentation and assistance from your web hosting provider, but it will ensure the security of your files and your website.

If you’re still experiencing problems or errors using the auto-update features, here are some additional configuration settings you may want to ask your web hosting company to test or check to see if your issues can be resolved:

  • Safe Mode turned off
  • Define FTP Variables in wp-config.php
  • Server not running suPHP

In addition to the information above, check out this video on how to fix the WordPress “Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance” error from the team at MyThemeShop:

(How to fix the WordPress “Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance” error. Video: MyThemeShop)

More WordPress Troubleshooting Tutorials

Refer to the tutorials in the section below if you experience additional problems or errors with WordPress:

How To Fix WordPress Stuck On "Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance" Error

(Source: Pixabay)


“These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know.” – Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

Disclaimer: WordPress and its related trademarks are registered trademarks of Automattic, Inc. This site and the services and products offered on this site are not associated, affiliated, sponsored, or endorsed by WordPress, nor have they been certified, reviewed, or tested by WordPress. The owner, contributors and/or advertisers may derive financial benefit from sales of items reviewed, linked to, or advertised on this site.


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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for non-techies and beginners. provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!

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