Are you frustrated by the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” error? You’ll agree this error causes panic since you are probably thinking your beloved WordPress site has been hacked.Example of Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance. Check Back in a Minute. Error

As a beginner, this error costs you time as you search for solutions and affects the performance of your website in terms of lost traffic and sales. Both of these situations don’t elicit the best of feelings.

Well, if you’re facing this error, go easy on yourself since we show you exactly how to fix it without breaking a sweat.

What Causes the “Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance. Check Back in a Minute.” Error?

Whenever you update a plugin, theme or WordPress core. WordPress goes into temporary maintenance mode during the update process.

The briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance page alerts your web visitors that you’re indeed updating your site and they should check back in a minute.

If you’re updating a plugin and someone happens to visit your site, they will see this notification. This message is normal WordPress behavior, and usually clears on its own after the update process is complete.

Oftentimes though, the update process is crashes because of slow server response, memory issues and script timeouts.

When this happens, your WordPress site stays in maintenance mode and you the see the error persistently.

Now, without the maintenance mode, updating a live WordPress site causes more harm than good, but when you’re stuck in the process, this friendly notification becomes a cause for concern and source of dread.

How to Fix The “Briefly Unavailable” Error

To go into maintenance mode, WordPress creates a .maintenance file inside your WordPress directory. Normally, this file is deleted automatically when the update completes.

If there is an interruption of the update process, WordPress doesn’t get the chance to delete this file and the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.” message doesn’t go away.

Delete .maintenance File

The quickest fix to this problem is deleting the .maintenance file from your WordPress directory manually. There are several ways of killing a rat deleting the file and we will look at each.

Using FTP Program Such as FileZilla

  1. Login to your WordPress directory using an FTP program such as FileZilla:Connect to FTP with FileZillaThe WordPress directory is usually the folder where your site lives – where you’ll find folders wp-admin, wp-content and wp-includes among other files. It is usually the public_html in most server environments and can be anything else depending on where you install WordPress.
  2. Locate the .maintenance file, right-click on it and choose Delete:deleting the .maintenance file from WordPress directory
  3.  Refresh your site and pat yourself in the back now that things are back to normal.

If you cannot find the .maintenance file, click Server on FileZilla’s  menu bar and select Force showing hidden files:

force showing hidden files in filezilla

Using File Manager

If you don’t have FTP access to your server or don’t know how to use FTP, you can always access your WordPress directory using File Manager. The procedure is usually the same for a majority of hosts, not just 000webhost.

Login to your free 000webhost hosting account and click the File Manager icon at the top:

file manager icon in 000webhost

This takes you to a new page. Here, simply hit the Upload files now to access the File Manager:

accessing the file manager in 000webhost

Locate the .maintenance file within your WordPress directory, right-click on it and select Delete:

000webhost File Manager delete maintenace file

Next, confirm that you want to delete .maintenance file and hit the Delete button. Refresh your site.

Using SSH

Thirdly, you can use command line to delete the .maintenance file from your WordPress directory.

  1. Establish a SSH connection to your web server.
  2. Next, navigate to your WordPress directory. In most cases, the WordPress directory is usually the public_html folder. If you installed WordPress on a different folder, navigate to the appropriate folder:
    cd public_html
  3. To list all files and ensure you’re in the right directory, use the command:
    ls -a
  4. If you’re in the right directory, you can go and delete the .maintenance file using the command:
    rm .maintenance
  5. Reload your site to confirm if this solution fixes the error

Just a quick heads up, 000webhost free hosting doesn’t support SSH, but you can enjoy the full power of SSH access to your server with our high-quality range of premium hosting.

Edit wp-activate.php

If the error persists even after trying the solutions above, download the wp-activate.php file from your WordPress directory to your computer via FTP or File Manager:

download wp-activate.php from WordPress directory

Next, open wp-activate.php using Atom or  your favorite code editor, and locate the line that goes like define ('WP_INSTALLING',true); as shown below:

open wp-activate.php in code editor

Change the variable true to false such that the line reads define ('WP_INSTALLING',false);.

Save your changes and upload wp-activate.php back to your WordPress directory overwriting the existing one:

upload wp-activate.php to server via FileZilla

Refresh your site to confirm if the error disappears.


The “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance. Check back in a minute.” error seems scary at first, but rest assured, it is one of the easiest errors to fix in WordPress.

Have you ever encountered this error before? Did using these solutions fix it? Have you ever fixed this error using a different method? We would love to hear your thoughts, questions and suggestions, so please don’t hesitate commenting below.

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