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

last updated in Categories Howto

So I ran into this problem. No matter what I did my WordPress installation displayed a stupid error that read as follows:

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.

Fig.01: How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress
Fig.01: How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

Here is how to fix this problem with WP.

What is the hell is a .maintenance file in WP?

When you upgrade WP or plugin, it creates a .maintenance file WordPress installation directory. You can see this file with cat command:
$ cat .maintenance
Sample outputs:

<?php $upgrading = 1490382161; ?>

From the WordPress source code:

* Checks for a file in the WordPress root directory named “.maintenance”.
* This file will contain the variable $upgrading, set to the time the file
* was created. If the file was created less than 10 minutes ago, WordPress
* enters maintenance mode and displays a message.

So you need to wait for 10 minutes or simply delete this file using rm command or using ftp/sftp session to get rid of this annoying problem:
$ cd /var/www/html/
$ ls -l .maintenance
-rwxrwxrwx 1 www-data www-data 33 Mar 24 19:02 .maintenance
$ rm -v .maintenance
removed '.maintenance'

And my problem was solved.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

7 comment

  1. I waited for 10 minutes nothing happened. I logged in using FTP and deleted the file. It started working again.

  2. @All, yes it was a typo (or was it? lol). I guess I was to frustrated when I wrote this due to this stupid bug my site was offline for an hour.

  3. Are you sure to delete /var/www/html or do you wanted to change directory using the cd command? ^^

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