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How to Fix Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress?

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Unavailable for scheduled maintenance error is an error that you will see when you are updating the website. We will see how you can fix the issue with just a few clicks. It will hardly take 5 minutes of your time.

So, there is nothing to worry about. Further, we will also see how you can prevent this error from coming in near future. We will see the simplest techniques that you can use. These are the tricks/advice that you must follow if you don’t want to see this error.

Overview of the Maintenance Error

This is a common error that you will see.

Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error

It is displayed in one of the following ways.

  • Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance
  • Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance. Check back in a minute

The error is caused when there is an update going on.

For example, when you clicked on the update button and then by mistake, you left the update page. Now, if you open the website, it will show you the Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance error.

When you are updating the plugins or themes, it will first enable the maintenance mode. Then WordPress will update all the plugins and themes. Thereafter, it will disable the maintenance mode.

That’s the procedure for the update.

In simpler words, if you open the website anywhere between the procedure, it will show you the error.

The error will simply say that Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance. There will be no other thing listed on the website.

Now, we will see how you can solve this error in no time.

Fix Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance

We will see how you can fix Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance.

The Easiest Way – WAIT

First, we will see the easiest way to solve this error. All you have to do is just wait for a while.

Usually, when you exit the page, it will show the error. It doesn’t mean that the update is paused.

In other words, the updates are continued. You can wait for a couple of seconds.

The update process usually takes a minute or two. Therefore, you can wait for 2 minutes. Even the error says the same thing. So, you can wait for 2 minutes and then reload the page again. This will usually work.

Usually, it is completed within a few minutes. However, it is highly recommended to wait for at least 5 minutes if you have more than 20 updates pending.

Sometimes, even if you didn’t press the update button, you will see this error. This is because of the auto-update feature. The auto-update feature will automatically update the plugins, themes, and WordPress version whenever a new version is available. Therefore, you will see this message. Don’t worry, in case of an auto-update, it will disappear within a few minutes (seconds in some cases). Just reload the page after the count of 20. It will work as normal.

You don’t need to worry about anything here. However, if you have waited for a couple of minutes and still it doesn’t work, then you can go on to the next method. In the next method, we will force stop the update process. We will simply disable the maintenance mode which will pause the update process too.

Just like this one, the next method will also take a few minutes. If you are aware of the file manager, it will hardly take 60 seconds to complete the entire process. So, there is nothing to worry about.

Alternative Way

We will now see another way to solve the Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance error.

Whatever you see on the screen is because of a code file. Therefore, if you want to remove the error, you can simply delete that file. Don’t worry, we will see step by step guide to do so.

First, you will have to open the file manager from the cPanel. Open your WordPress directory from the file manager.

Now, you will have to open the “Settings” option from the top. Inside the settings option, you will see an option to select “Show hidden files and folders”. Just click on it and then hit the ok button.

Once you hit the OK button, it will show some extra files and folders too.

You will need to find a file named .maintenance. Once you find it, you will need to delete that file.

Yes, that’s right. You will have to delete that file. Right-click on it and then hit the delete button.

Don’t worry, the file will still be saved in thrash.

Now, you can try reloading that page, and you will see that the error is gone and the website is accessible again.

Please note that you will have to update the themes, plugins, and all the things again.

Now, this was all about how you can remove the error once it has occurred. Now, we will see what you can do to prevent this error from happening again.

No doubt, as this is an update error, there is a good chance that you will see the same error again. So, here are some of the tips that you can use to make sure that the update process goes smoothly without any errors.

Prevent Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error

To prevent this error, here are some of the tips that you need to follow. If you follow all of these, you will face very little to no errors in the update process.

Never close the tab during the update: You might have pressed the update button and then you thought it’s a server-based process, let it be completed itself, right? You should never do this. Never close the tab while the update process is going on. You can surely change or switch the tab.

Don’t update too many themes or plugins: Never update more than 5 things at once. If you have many pending updates, you can surely update 5 plugins at a time. This will make sure that the process is slow and it won’t hang the process. In this way, your website will be safe and you won’t see any Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance errors.

Check the Compatibility: You can surely check the compatibility of the plugin before you update it. All the plugins in the WordPress directory will tell you whether it is compatible with the latest version of WordPress or not. So, you can check it out and only update the version if it is compatible.

Keys and License: If you are using any of the paid tools then you need to keep this in mind. Make sure that the key or the license you entered is correct. If it’s wrong, some plugins will just wait for the update. Although, most of the plugins will directly show you the failure error. However, it’s always better to check the key before pressing the update button.

Maintenance Mode

The next thing you can do is have a specific time when you are updating your website. You can check the traffic of your website and then update the website at such a time when there is the least number of visitors. In this way, very few people will go through the error. So, make sure you choose a time when you are updating the plugins and themes.

Further, what you can do here is enable the maintenance mode if it going to take you long. There are various plugins available for maintenance mode. If you have more than 20 plugins or 15 plugins, then you can surely enable the maintenance mode. In this way, the user will know that the website is under maintenance. You can display a beautiful page for the same thing.

This is a pretty useful thing that you can do. Having a maintenance page means that you can have a timer. For example, if you want to make a couple of changes on your website, you can have the maintenance timer for 10 minutes. In this way, the users will know about the maintenance mode.

Therefore, you can also try this. In the same way, if you want to change the text, you can simply change the text in the .maintence mode file that we saw earlier. You will see the text that is displayed, you can change the text there. The line will be there, you can add or remove the words as per your wish.

That’s pretty much it.

Final Words

To conclude, this is how you can fix Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress with just a few clicks. Both of the mentioned methods will hardly take 5 minutes of your time. Assuming you spent 5 minutes reading this, the total is 10 minutes. Your error is solved within 10 minutes. Here, you don’t need to create a backup of your website like we do in solving others. As we aren’t making any changes here, you can directly implement the methods without the need for backup. You can start the method directly and solve the error. Make sure you follow the tips given at the bottom.

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Alexey Seryapin
Founder of WPServices