How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance WordPress Error

How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance WordPress Error

Running a WordPress site, and have it stuck on the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” page? Don’t worry. In this article, we will show you how to fix the issue and uncover what causes the error.

What Triggers the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” Error?

What your site experiencing is a leftover message caused by the updating process of your WordPress core files or themes experiencing some issues during the process.

During the update, WordPress will create a temporary .maintenance file on your site, which will put it into maintenance mode and display the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” page.The error message of "Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance." issue.Usually, the file is automatically deleted when the update is finished, removing the notification page with it. However, there are cases where the file is not removed, getting your site stuck in maintenance mode:

  • Low memory. PHP scripts run every process in WordPress, including the updates. So, when you’re low on storage, the scripts running the installation may fail to delete the .maintenance file.
  • Slow server response. WordPress has a limit on how long a script can run. If the server has is slow to respond, the update may take too long, and the scripts will be terminated before they get a chance to disable the maintenance mode.
  • Compatibility issues. If a theme or plugin update is not compatible with your WordPress version, it may cause a bug that stops the update process early. It’ll result in failing to disable maintenance mode.
  • The update is stopped or interrupted midway. Disabling the maintenance mode is the last step of the update process. That’s why it’s important to wait for the update to finish before running any other commands.

How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance?

The solution to fixing the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error is simple – delete the .maintenance file created during the update. You can do this by accessing the WordPress directory through the file manager of your hosting’s control panel or an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client:

Method 1 – Using the Hostinger File Manager

If you’re using Hostinger you can use the hPanel’s file manager:

1. Open File Manager

After you log in to your Hostinger account, go to the hPanel and find the File Manager in the Files section.The file manager menu on hPanel.On the next page, choose the domain of your WordPress site and click Go to File Manager.

2. Delete the .maintenance File

Search for the .maintenance file in the root folder, as highlighted in the screenshot.The .maintenance folder in file managerTo delete the file, select it and click the trashcan symbol on the toolbar. Confirm that you want to delete the file, and once that is done, your site should be accessible once again.

Method 2 ‒ Using FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

If you know your way around an FTP client, you may prefer this method for deleting the .maintenance file and getting rid of the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error.

1. Install an FTP Client

First, you need to install your preferred FTP client. For this tutorial, we’ll be using FileZilla.

2. Connect to Your WordPress File Directory

Now, to access the file directory of your site through FileZilla, you need the following credentials from your hosting account: host, username, password, and port.

Go to your control panel, look for the FTP Accounts menu under Files. You will find the information you need on the right side of the page.

Copy that information and paste it to FileZilla and click Quick Connect.

3. Delete the .maintenance File

Once you’re in, you will see the file directories of your site similar to how they’re displayed on the file manager. Search for the .maintenance file and delete it.The .maintenance file shown in FTP client.If you can’t find the file, there’s a chance it’s marked as hidden. If that’s the case, click Server on the menu bar and choose Force showing hidden files. Try finding and deleting the file again. Once done, the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error should be gone.

How to Prevent the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” in the Future?

Fixing the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error is quite easy. However, it’s best to avoid it altogether by addressing the previously mentioned causes before an issue comes up.

First of all, since low memory is one of the potential problems, you may want to upgrade to a better hosting plan that offers more resources.

It’s also recommended to check if the plugins or themes you’re about to update are compatible with the current WordPress version you’re using. This will help prevent the compatibility issue.

Lastly, be patient with the updating process. Let it complete without issuing any additional commands, keep the browser tab open while it runs, and don’t make changes to your hosting account.


In this article, you learned how to fix and prevent the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error. It wasn’t that hard, was it?

It’s always best to focus on prevention. When your visitors can’t access your website, even for a minute, your brand’s reputation could be hanging in the balance.

The Author


Domantas G. / @domantas

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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Nicole Reply

February 07, 2019

this was so helpful, thank you!

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