Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance

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Is your WordPress stuck in maintenance mode?

The maintenance message will be:

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

Cause of Maintenance Mode

WordPress automatically puts the site into maintenance mode when an upgrade is done to the WordPress core, a plugin or a theme.

If for any reason the process fails or is stopped halfway through, WordPress cannot turn off the maintenance mode again and then the message remains stuck on your screen.

Fix the Scheduled Maintenance Message

There are two possible ways of fixing this:

1. Wait It Out

The good news is that the maintenance mode will only remain active for 10 minutes, even if it’s stuck. So if you are stuck on this scheduled maintenance mode message, you can wait for 10 minutes to pass and it will automatically go away.

It says “Check back in a minute.” but it really means 10 minutes.

2. Fix It Immediately

To remove the scheduled maintenance immediately, login to the root of your WordPress installation via FTP or some file manager tool like the ones included with hosting control panels.

You’ll see a file named .maintenance. Simply delete this file to fix the issue.

Most operating systems have these dot files as hidden files so you may not see it immediately. If you don’t see it but you know it is there due to the message on your WordPress website, follow instructions to show hidden files on Mac OS X and Windows respectively.

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More About the .maintenance File

The WordPress .maintenance file is automatically created when an upgrade is done to the core, a plugin or a theme.

It’s content consists of PHP code which is an $upgrading variable with the timestamp at the time of creation. Here is the content that goes into it:

When WordPress loads, it will check if a .maintenance file exists.

If it does and the timestamp is not older than 10 minutes, WordPress will die, outputting a scheduled maintenance message.

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