How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error on WordPress

How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error on WordPress
How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error on WordPress

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Are you facing the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error in your WordPress? If so, just it is normal, and hacking has occurred on your site. Instead, your website is updating either your theme, plugins or WordPress core, hence getting in maintenance mode.

This article covers all you need to know and fix the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error. 

What is the cause of “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error on WordPress?

During the update process of either themes, plugins, or core software, WordPress puts your website in maintenance mode.

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 In technical terms, the maintenance mode page is not an error. Instead, it is a notification page displayed as “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check-in a minute.” It does so for the safe update of the relevant files.

At this time, WordPress downloads all vital update files to your Server. In turn, it extracts them followed by their installation. 

WordPress triggers the maintenance mode notice by creating a temporary .maintenance file in the root folder of your site. It deletes this file after a successful update. 

Therefore, WordPress automatically enables the maintenance mode, carry out the update, and then disables the mode. In most cases, the process is so swift, taking a few seconds. You might not notice any change in your website. 

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Nevertheless, sometimes the update process might take longer or crush because of these reasons:

  • Slow server response. 
  • Memory problems.
  • Script timeouts.
  • When the maintenance file thinks it needs to finalize some updates first.

In such a case, WordPress is unable to move your site out of maintenance mode. Thus, you must use the manual method to fix this issue.

If the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” message continues to display, it means the .maintenance file not deleted. Alternatively, you might be using a WordPress maintenance mode plugin. Thus, the error message continues to show even if you have rectified all possible errors, as the plugin is running. 

How to Fix the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error

As stated earlier, your WordPress website gets into the maintenance mode when updating a plugin, theme, or core software. Besides that, it creates a .maintenance file in your WordPress site directory. The automatic deletion of this file occurs after a successful update process completed. 

Nevertheless, in case the update process gets interruption by any of the above reasons, WordPress lacks sufficient time to delete this file. As a result, the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” message is continuously displayed. 

Among the quickest and easiest methods of rectifying this problem is manual deleting of .maintenance file from the WordPress directory. 

01. Method 1: Using FTP

You use FileZilla to log into your WordPress directory in case you are using the FTP program. 

The WordPress directory is a type of folder that has different files and folders like WP-Includes, WP-Content, and WP-admin. 

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Here, look for the .maintenance file and right-click on it. After that, choose “Delete.” Once you did, refresh your website and examine if everything is usually working or not. 

NB: If you cannot locate the .maintenance file, use the FileZilla menu to move to Server, and select “Force Showing Hidden Files.”

02. Method 2: Use SSH

The other way of deleting the .maintenance file from your WordPress directory is by applying a command line. 

Here is how to do it:

  • First of all, You need to make an SSH connection to your Server. 
  • Next, go to your WordPress directory. If you did not install it in another folder, it is in the public_html folder. If not, you must navigate through the cd public_html folder. 
  • Ensure you are in the appropriate directory. Also, apply command Is –a for file listing.
  • With this command, it is easier to find the .maintenance file and then delete it. 
  • After that, refresh your website. 

03. Method 3: Use of File Manager

If you are familiar with FTP or you cannot access your ServerServer through FTP, you can fix this error using this method. 

Here is how to use File Manager to access the WordPress directory:

  • First, log in to your hosting account. After that, click the File Manager icon. It moves you to a new page. Here, click the “Upload Files Now” button for access of the “File Manager.”
  • Next, locate the .maintenance file in your site’s WordPress directory.
  • Right-click on the .maintenance file and select the delete option.
  • Refresh your website and check if all is well.

04. Method 4: WP-Activate.PHP

In case all the above methods fail to work for you, then you can test this method. To start, go to your WordPress directory and download the wp-actvate.php. 

Next, use the Atom to open wp-activate.php and locate the “define (WP_INSTALLING,’true” line. 

Now, substitute the variable true with false in the code line to appear as “define (‘WP_INSTALLING,’ false).’

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Next, save the changes you made and then upload wp-activate.php back to the WordPress directory. 

To determine if the error fixed, refresh your website. 

Tips on How to Avoid the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance…” error in future

01. Upgrade to a higher hosting plan

As stated earlier, low memory problems on your ServerServeror slow server response are the major causes of the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error. Thus, the most accessible means to avoid this error is to upgrade to a better and higher hosting plan. You can use any of these top WordPress Experts.

02. Avoid updating all your themes and plugins at the same time

Rather than updating all your topics plugins at the same time, update each at a time. Alternatively, reduce the number of updates you are running at a time. For example, update your themes and plugins whenever they are available, instead of waiting to update them all together. 

03. Do not close the browser tab when running updates

Any time you use the WordPress update functionality, ensure you leave the browser tab open until updating finished. You will see a “Disabling Maintenance mode….All updates completed” message. 

You can now close your browser tab safely. 

04. Ensure themes and plugins are compatible

Before you make any update, ensure the theme or plugin you want to update is compatible with your WordPress version. 


You should not panic if your WordPress website displays the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance, check-in a minute” message. It is not an error, but an update is running. If the word does regularly occurs, delete the .maintenance file and troubleshoot it with the wp-activate.php file.  

Nevertheless, you can avoid this issue by applying the above tips. If you are still facing the WordPress maintenance mode issue, choose any of the Helpbot WordPress Care Plans. Our professional support with any WordPress maintenance problem. 

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If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, use our comments section.

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Written by Editorial Team

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