WordPress Tutorial

How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance WordPress Error

How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance WordPress Error

WordPress undoubtedly is the most powerful content management system today. All thanks to its easy to use interface and simple to manage back-end. However, the problem arises when your WordPress website or blog gets stuck, and keeps on showing ‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute’ error.

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

As a result, the site shifts into maintenance mode leaving you stuck amid an important post update, in addition to interfering with your website’s traffic. But, fret not! In this article, we will tell you what to do when WordPress is stuck in maintenance mode.

Why does the Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance error occur?

Technically speaking, the maintenance mode page is actually not an error, but a notification page which tells you that a certain update is going on. During the update, WordPress downloads the corresponding update files to your server. They are then extracted and installed. It is for this period, that WordPress creates a hidden .maintenance file and puts your website in maintenance mode and displays a message “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.”

Generally, this message is displayed only for a few seconds. However, at times, the web server starts reacting too slowly or a memory issue pops up which leads to an interruption in the update process. This is when the problem starts. As a result, the update process may timeout and WordPress gets no chance to take your website out of the maintenance mode.

Until and unless the required script is executed, your website would display the error and would remain stuck in the maintenance mode.
This primarily happens when:

  • Your web server is responding slowly
  • Your website is running out of memory
  • Script times out or is interrupted

So what’s the solution? Let’s find out.

Fixing Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance Error

WordPress Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance error can be fixed by deleting the .maintenance file manually. .maintenance is a hidden file which is generated by WordPress in your main directory every time an update happens. In a normal scenario – WordPress automatically removes this file when the update is completed. But if the process is interrupted, you may have to do it manually. There are three ways of doing this, let’s check them out:

Option 1 – Using FTP

Follow the below-mentioned steps in order to delete the .maintenance file by using FTP:

  1. Use an FTP client like FileZilla and connect to your hosting account.
  2. Find the .maintenance file in the list. You will find it in WordPress installation directory.
  3. Right click on the file and delete it.
    FileZilla Delete WordPress .maintenance File

And voila! Your site is active again.

Option 2 – Using Hostinger File Manager

You can use Hostinger file manager to access your site’s files located in the server. Even if you are not using Hostinger, file manager provided by your host should not be very different. Thus, you can still follow the instructions below. In case you face a problem, contact your host for specific directions.

  1. Access Hostinger control panel and click on File Manager.
    Hostinger File Manage Icon
  2. Locate the .maintenance file.
  3. Right click on the file and choose Delete.
    Hostinger File Manage Delete .mainetance File

Option 3 – Using SSH

The third option to delete the .maintenance file is by using command line:

  1. Establish an SSH connection. You can find a detailed guide on how to connect with Putty here.
  2. Navigate to your WordPress installation folder. Usually, WordPress is installed in public_html folder:
    cd public_html
  3. In order to make sure that you are in the correct directory and see all the files in it type:
    ls -a
  4. In order to delete the .maintenance file type:
    rm .maintenance

And you’re done.


We hope the above-mentioned tutorial would help you in bringing a WordPress website out of the maintenance mode. If you have any queries, do let us know in the comments.

About the author

Domantas G.

Domantas leads the content and SEO teams forward with fresh ideas and out of the box approaches. Armed with extensive SEO and marketing knowledge, he aims to spread the word of Hostinger to every corner of the world. During his free time, Domantas likes to hone his web development skills and travel to exotic places.

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