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changePassword.php can be used to change the password of a user on your wiki. Passwords must be at least 10 characters.


php changePassword.php --user=target_username --password=new_password

An example:

php changePassword.php --user=JohnSmith --password=Secret12

Usernames and passwords can have spaces, which will need to be protected from your shell (be it bash or cmd.exe; see Troubleshooting, below):

php changePassword.php --user="Anna Graham" --password="fierce sea ceasefire"

To display a help message:

php changePassword.php --help


  • --user (the user's name)
  • --password (the user's new password)
  • --help (displays help message)


  • If your MediaWiki installation uses a memory cache, such as APC, memcached or Redis, then the user object is cached. Thus after making SQL changes you must flush the cache before a user can log in with the new password.
  • Windows has special challenges with parsing double-quoted strings, as when a username or password contains spaces in the second example above. You may find some illumination on this issue here (—or it might just make your brain hurt.
    • Occasionally triple ("""quoted string""") and quadruple sets of double quotes will solve your problems with Windows' command shell, cmd.exe. You may be happier, though, to try Cygwin and follow the Unix conventions for quoting strings, which are a bit more sane.
  • There are no spaces between the parameter=value in the command line.

This will cause a cryptic error:

php changePassword.php --user = username --password = newpassword

Removing the spaces will fix the problem.