How to reset the admin password in Joomla! 2.5
Lost or forgot the password of the super administrator user in your Joomla! 2.5 installation? Follow the instructions below to reset it.
Some may ask why reset and not recover it? The answer is in the way Joomla! 2.5 stores user passwords. It stores them in an encrypted format that is not designed to be decrypted for security reasons. The way to recover the password is to actually set it to something standard, then login and change it to a more personal password of your choice.
Short answer for advanced users
Open the table "xxx_users", locate the row for the administrator and set the value of the field "password" to
Your admin's password is now set to "password". You can login and change it to something else.
More explanatory answer for regular users
In order to change the password you need to have access to your MySQL database. Most of the web hosting companies offer "phpMyAdmin" which is a tool that gives you access and control over your database. If you have some other software instead of phpMyAdmin you may use that.
You have to be very careful with that tool. The changes you make may be irreversible. If you make a mistake it may not be undone, so you do need to have a backup before editing your database. If you don't have some basic training, you'd better let someone else do it for you.
If you can find phpMyAdmin move to the next paragraph. If not, open the notes you have regarding access to your web hosting service. Most of you have a system called either "cPanel" or "Plesk" to manage your hosting service. Open that, and look for "phpMyAdmin", "Database" or "MySQL". You should now be able to find the phpMyAdmin control panel.
Open phpMyAdmin and look at the column on the left. You must be looking at a long list of tables. The first ones should be:
Notice that I use an "xxx" in front of table names. Each Joomla! 2.5 installation has a random prefix for tables, so the xxx stands for the special prefix you have in your installation.
If you don't see that list of tables then probably your setup has many databases and the left column shows them instead. Click on each of the databases until you find the one with the long list of tables as described above.
You should now be able to see that long list of tables. Go down the list, find the table "xxx_users" and open it.
The users table is now open, so the main part of your screen lists the users in your database. If not, make sure you click the "Browse" button on the top, not the "Structure" button.
Normally the first record (line) of that table is for the main user of the system, the super administrator. If you are not sure of what you see, the main user usually has the field "id" set to "42" and the field "username" to "admin".
Click the "Edit" link in the record (line) for admin.
Find the field "password" and use the text box to set the new password record. Set it to
Click the "Go" or "Save" button on the bottom of the page.
That's it. Your admin's password is now set to "password".
You should now be able to login. When you login you should go to Joomla's user manager and change that password to something else that only you know.