WordPress Fix: ‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute’

WordPress Fix: ‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute’


Is your WordPress website displaying: ” Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute”? And you can’t access your WordPress dashboard or even the backend?

This is easy to fix.

This error usually pops up when you are updating core or any part of it, such as plugins or themes or at times when you are installing a new plugin.

Your website is stuck in the maintenance mode.

When you use the WordPress updates feature, your website sometimes goes into maintenance mode for a brief period (usually a few seconds) to facilitate the updates.

How To fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

When you update WordPress (core, plugins, themes or anything else), WordPress automatically adds a file called .maintenance in the root of your installation. This file is responsible to show the message briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance.

By default, as soon as the update is finished, .maintainance file is removed automatically. Sometimes it won’t happen automatically and you need to delete the .maintainance file manually from WordPress directory. Below are the few ways to perform this task.

Using FTP

  • If you’re using FTP program, just log in to your WordPress directory using FileZilla:

The WordPress directory is a kind of folder where you can find various files and folders such as WP-admin, WP-Content, WP-Includes.

  • Find the .maintenance file, right click on it, and select ‘Delete’.

  • Refresh your site and check whether everything is back to normal or not!

Note – If you are not able to locate the .maintenance file, go to Server On Filezilla’s menu and choose ‘Force Showing Hidden Files’.

Using File Manager

If you don’t have FTP access to your server or you are, not enough familiar with the use of FTP, you can pick this method to fix this error.

You can access WordPress directory using File Manager.

  • First, you need to login to your web hosting account and then hit the File Manager Icon. It will move you to a new page, where you have to simply click ‘Upload Files Now’ button to access the ‘File Manager.’
  • Now find a .maintenance file in your directory.
  • Do right click on .maintenance file and choose the delete option.
  • Now refresh your website.

Using SHH

You can also use Command Line to delete the .maintenance file out of your WordPress directory.

The procedure is as below:

  • First, create an SSH connection to your web server.
  • Now navigate to your WordPress directory. You can easily find it in the public_html folder in case you have not installed it in another folder. Otherwise, you will have to navigate another appropriate folder: cd public_html.
  • It is important that you are in the right directory. To list the file use command ls -a
  • Using this command, you can easily locate the .maintenance file and delete the same.
  • Now refresh your site.


If the above methods are not working, you can give this method a try. You need to download wp-activate.php available in your directory to your computer through the File manager.

Now, open wp-activate.php using Atom and find the line “define (‘WP_INSTALLING’, true)”.

Replace the variable true with false in the code like this: “define (‘WP_INSTALLING’, false);.

Save the changes you have made and upload wp-activate.php back to WP directory.

To confirm error has disappeared, refresh your website.


Such kind of errors are common and the solution is easy as well. It is one of the easiest errors to fix in WordPress platform. I hope this article will be found helpful to WP owners, who encounter this issue.

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