How To Get WordPress
Out Of Being Stuck In
“Scheduled” Maintenance Mode
Finding your WordPress blog stuck in a state of “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” after a plugin upgrade can make you want to pull your hair out!
This can happen when a plugin or other upgrade does not successfully finish the upgrade, often due to internet connectivity issues.
Why does this occur?
Since a site can appear “broken” while in the middle of an upgrade, WordPress enables the maintenance mode screen at the beginning of an upgrade and … if everything works as it should… disables it at the end of the upgrade. Generally speaking this is third seconds to two minutes duration, usually less.
This prevents our visitors from seeing a broken site and encourages them to refresh the page in a few minutes. (See image below for an example of the maintenance mode being enabled and disabled on wordpress automatically and properly.)
Well that’s all fine and dandy except for when an upgrade hiccups and the disable step is not completed!
Fortunately the solution is relatively straight forward and quick if you know what you’re looking for….
Because you are essentially “locked out” of the site, you will need to connect to your hosting server via either FTP or the hosting company’s File Manager. (If you’re on a good host like Host Gator that uses CPanel, simply log into CPanel and locate File Manager and open it.) Use whichever you are most comfortable with, as the solution is the same.
Once you are connected to your hosting server, select your Public_HTML folder (GoDaddy only calls this the HTML folder). Open it and look inside.
Inside the Public_HTML folder, you are looking for a little file named “.maintenance”. Yes there is indeed a dot in front of the word maintenance.
Select the .maintenance file and delete it.
That’s it, as soon as the file is deleted, wordpress will be out of maintenance mode and you can re-attempt the plugin upgrade.
Generally if it was a plugin upgrade you will find WordPress stable enough you can re-attempt everything from the dashboard again. However, if you were to get stuck in this during a WordPress version upgrade, you may need to finish the upgrade manually from the server depending on its current stability state.
This is one of those little quirks that hopefully you never have to solve, but if you do, now you know how!
WordPress getting stuck in scheduled maintenance mode can feel tricky because there is no “how to fix it” explanation built in, but hopefully now you know where to turn if you ever encounter this little hiccup! And if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can always give me a shout with a support request!