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

fixing maintenence in wordpress

Very often, while working on WordPress, we see a message like ‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance.’ This message appears specifically when you are working with WordPress core, plugins, or themes. To be more specific, the ‘briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance’ message appears when you are trying to update the plugins or themes that you have already installed. When the WordPress website fails to complete the update and gets stuck in the maintenance mode, then the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” message is shown. 

In the following article, we will shed light on how you can fix the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” issue with ease. Along with that, we will discuss the reason for showing this message and the quick fix so that you can avoid receiving the message in the future. 

Why “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” is Shown on WordPress?

“Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” is not actually an error. This is rather a notification. While you are trying to update the theme or plugin on the WordPress platform, WordPress downloads the required files on your server first. Then those files are extracted and the updated version is installed on the website. While the website is going through the process of storing and extracting the required files, it shows the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” message on the screen. So, the reason for showing this message is to notify you regarding the process of the update.

Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance

In order to generate the maintenance mode notification, WordPress automatically creates a file named .maintenance in the root folder of your website. This file is a temporary file, and it will be deleted after the update process is completed. In a normal update process, the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” is shown for a brief amount of time. After the update is completed, it will delete the maintenance file, and the maintenance mode will be disabled. 

However, if the WordPress hosting server takes a long time to respond or is suffering from the low memory issue, the update script will timeout and hamper the process. As soon as this happens, WordPress does not get the room to take your website out of the maintenance mode. 

This will keep on showing the maintenance mode notice of “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute,” and you will have to fix it manually. 

How to Fix the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” Error?

In order to get your site out of the maintenance mode, the first thing that needs to be done is to remove the .maintenance file. As we mentioned already, the .maintenance file will be available in the website’s root folder. You can remove the file by using FTP. 

delete .maintenance file from sarver

If you face trouble in finding the .maintenance file, ensure you checked the FTP client to show hidden files. With Filezilla, you can change the settings to see the hidden files. You will have to navigate to Server > Force showing hidden files from the menu bar. 

After removing the maintenance file, the website will be out of maintenance mode and the error will be fixed. On the other hand, if you are not aware of how to use FTP, you can still remove the file. You will have to navigate to the File Manager in your WordPress hosting control panel. Once you are in the file manager, you can look for the .maintenance file and remove the file from the file manager. 

force show hidden files ftp

After you delete the file from the file manager the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” issue will be solved. 

How to Avoid “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” in the Future?

As we already mentioned that one of the reasons for “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” can be caused by a slower response from the server or by a low memory issue in the website hosting provider’s end. To deal with this issue easily, you can upgrade the hosting plan to a better package. By updating your hosting capacity, you can get rid of this issue easily.

If you are not willing to upgrade to a new package, then you can avoid this issue by updating your plugin and theme one at a time. This will give the website hosting more room to breathe and the error is not likely to occur again. 

Another error that is often done by many users is quickly clicking on the update button of all the plugins. This puts an unwanted load on WordPress and a minute amount of delay might render your WordPress site to maintenance mode. Avoiding this practice will also keep your website away from this particular error in the near future.

How to Customize Maintenance Mode Notification

There is another way around to dodge this issue. You can avoid this by putting your WordPress site on maintenance mode manually before installing any updates. If you install the SeedProd plugin, the task will be a piece of cake for you. With the help of this plugin, you can easily customize the notification. 

Once you have downloaded and activated the plugin, navigate to Settings > Coming Soon Pro page and click on the checkbox of the ‘Enable maintenance mode’ option.

enable maintenance mode on seedprod

Then click on the ‘Edit Coming Soon/Maintenance Page’ button, and it will lead to the SeedProd theme customizer section. You can easily choose a theme and modify it accordingly to create a creative maintenance mode page exclusively for your website. You can pick from the different available templates to get started quickly. 

Troubleshooting WordPress Maintenance Mode Error

Even after you apply the above-mentioned methods, and you still face similar problems, then there are also other ways to get around this issue. In the following, we will note down a few common problems that are faced by many users. Let’s get into the details.

WordPress Still Stuck in Maintenance Mode after the Update & Fix Above?

If the problem sustains after applying the fix and updates above, you will need to do the following. 

Navigate to your main WordPress folder and update the wp-activate.php file. This is the place where the .maintenance file is also located. 

After that, you will be required to access the file using the file manager of your hosting company or download the file using FTP. Then, find the following code:

define ('WP_INSTALLING', true)

and replace the true with false.

The final version of the code will look like this:

define ('WP_INSTALLING', false)

Save the changes made and upload the file to your hosting server with FTP. In case you are using the file manager of the hosting company, then just save the changes mode and you can get out of the maintenance mode. These are the steps and updates you need to apply in order to fix the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” issue. These are the fixes that generally solves the problem. We hope this article on the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” issue was helpful.

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