How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

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How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

Hello people! I am here again. This time with a WordPress help article. And it is about how to fix the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error. Usually, this error message pops up when you are updating WordPress core, plugins, or themes. You will be stuck in the maintenance mode as the WordPress site fails to finish the update. In this article, I am going to explain to you the causes of the error, a simple fix, and measures to avoid the same error in the future.

Reasons for the Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

Actually, the maintenance mode is not an error. It is a notification. When WordPress is updating, it downloads various update files to your server. Then extract them and install them. Simultaneously WordPress activated the maintenance mode and shows you the message saying “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance.  Check back in a minute.” Additionally, WordPress creates a temporary  .maintenance file in order to display that particular notification.

How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

This notification will disappear in a few seconds if there are no other issues. And once the update is successfully completed the .maintenance file will be deleted deactivating the maintenance mode.

But a slow WordPress hosting server response or a low memory issue may lead to the timeout of the update script. So that there will be an interruption to the process. As a result, WordPress won’t be able to disable the maintenance mode and the maintenance notice will be showing continuously. You need to fix this manually.

How to fix WordPress Maintenance Mode Error?

In order to disable the maintenance mode you just need to delete the .maintenance file which is placed in the root folder of your site. You can do this with the help of FTP.

Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress
How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

What to do if you can’t find the maintenance file in your WordPress root directory? Just check whether the FTP client is allowed to show hidden files.

If you are using Filezilla you can show hidden files by clicking on Server > Force showing hidden files from the menu bar. Your site will be released from the maintenance mode when the .maintenance file is deleted.

Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress
How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

What if I don’t know how to use FTP? Yes. That is a good question. You can delete the file by navigating to the file manager in the WordPress hosting control panel. Then delete the .maintenance file within the file manager.

How to avoid WordPress Maintenance Mode in the Future?

As you already know the reason behind the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error, the simplest way to avoid it is by upgrading to a higher hosting plan. I recommend you to go with managed WordPress hosting companies that give you super hosting performance.

But, what if upgrading to a higher hosting plan is not an option for you? You can perform plugins and theme updates one by one. Usually, users click on the update link of each plugin very quickly. So that WordPress staggers the update order. However, even a tiny delay in the connection may result in some issues leaving your site in maintenance mode. So you just have to click on the update links patiently.

Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress
How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

How to Customise Maintenance Mode Notification

Another solution to prevent displaying the default maintenance notification is to manually put the site on maintenance mode. Especially before installing updates. You can do this by installing and activating the SeedProd plugin. Nowadays it is the most famous maintenance mode plugin for WordPress.

How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress
  1. You just have to navigate like this.
  2. Settings > Coming Soon Pro page > check the box next to “Enable maintenance mode” option
  3. As the next step just click on  ‘Edit Coming Soon/Maintenance Page’ button. So that tge SeedProd theme customizer will open. You can select a theme as you like to customise the maintenance mode page for your site.
  4. If you don’t want to manually put the website in maintenance mode each and every time you update, you can create a maintenance page in WordPress without a plugin.
  5. This is how. You can create a new file called maintenance.php on your desktop and paste the below code inside.
<?php
$protocol = $_SERVER["SERVER_PROTOCOL"];
if ( 'HTTP/1.1' != $protocol && 'HTTP/1.0' != $protocol )
    $protocol = 'HTTP/1.0';
header( "$protocol 503 Service Unavailable", true, 503 );
header( 'Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8' );
?>
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<body>
    <h1>We are updating the site, please check back in 30 minutes.</h1>
</body>
</html>
<?php die(); ?>
  1. Then upload this particular file to your WordPress site’s wp-content directory. After this WordPress will show you this page whenever you are updating your website. If you are planning to customise this page you can use CSS.

Troubleshooting WordPress Maintenance Mode Error

I have explained other measures you can take if the above solutions don’t work.

WordPress still stuck in maintenance mode after the update and fix above?

  • You can try updating the wp-activate.php which is located in your main WordPress folder. That is the same location as the .maintenance file.
  • Just open the file using the hosting company file manager or download it using FTP.
  • Now you have to find the code: define (‘WP_INSTALLING’, true) and change the true to false as in this example.
define ('WP_INSTALLING', false);
  • As the next step save the changes and upload the fule to the hosting server via FTP. Or else save the file if you’re using the hosting company file manager.

My site is broken after I fixed the WordPress Maintenance Mode Error. How do I fix it?

Sometimes an unfinished or interrupted update may cause issues when the maintenance mode is disabled. If you experienced the error while updating core software, you can read our guide on how to update WordPress using FTP manually.

Similarly, if the error appeared while you were updating a WordPress plugin you can temporarily deactivate all WordPress plugins using FTP. So that the corrupted plugin will be disabled. Then login to the WordPress dashboard and activate one plugin at a time and you will be able to identify the culprit plugin. Once you have identified the troublemaker, try installing the plugin update manually.



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