How to Fix “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” Error
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How to Fix “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” Error

Have your WordPress website stuck on the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.” page? In this article, we will show you how to fix this issue and reveal what causes the error in the first place.

What Triggers the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance.” Error?

This error is a leftover message caused by either the updating process of your WordPress core files or one of your themes encountering an issue 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. Check back in a minute.” page.

Usually, this file is automatically cleared when the update is finished, removing the notification page with it. However, there are some cases where the file is not deleted, making your site appear to be 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 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.
  • Your update was 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.” Error?

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 control panel or an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client:

1. Using Hostinger’s hPanel

If you’re using Hostinger, you can use the hPanel’s File Manager. However, the overall process is similar no matter what platform you’re using:

  1. Once you’re logged in to your Hostinger account, go to the hPanel and find the File Manager under the Files section.
  2. On the next page, choose the domain of your WordPress site and click Go to File Manager.
  3. Search for the .maintenance file in the root folder, as shown in the example:
    Deleting the .maintenance file in hPanel's File Manager
  4. To delete the file, select it and click the symbol of a trash can on the toolbar. Confirm that you want to delete the file, and once that is done, your site should be accessible once again.

2. Using an FTP Client

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

  1. For this tutorial, we’ll be using FileZilla. Here’s our tutorial on how to set up FileZilla with your Hostinger account.
  2. Once you have access to your files, search for the .maintenance file and delete it. Remember. the file’s directory is the same as you would be searching through the File Manager.
    Deleting the .maintenance file in FileZilla

If you can’t find the file, there’s a chance it’s marked as hidden. If that’s the case, click the Server button on the menu bar and choose Force showing hidden files.

How to Prevent the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” Error 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.

First of all, since low memory is one of the potential problems, you may want to upgrade to a better hosting plan that would offer 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 even further.

Lastly, be patient with the update process. Let it finish on its own and keep away from issuing any additional commands. Keep your browser open while it runs, and don’t make any changes to your hosting account.

Conclusion

When your visitors can’t access your website, even for a minute, your brand’s reputation could be hanging in the balance. So it’s important to notice any errors or issues early on and fix them accordingly.

In this article, you have learned how to fix and prevent the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error. If you have any more questions, feel free to leave a comment down below.

The Author

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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