“You have been locked out due to too many invalid login attempts” – What to do?

iThemes SecurityRecently I had a problem using iThemes Security, because I got the following error message whenever I tried to login: “You have been locked out due to too many invalid login attempts. ithemes security.” I read around on the Internet looking for a solution, but did not really find one. Do you face the same problem?

What can you do if you face the same problem? I read different solutions to the problem, and one solution was to create a new user in WordPress and transfer all written posts and articles to that user, and then delete the old one. In that way the problem could be solved. However, it did not do it for me. There are some general problems, for example the fact that I could not login to create a new user, because I always got this error message.

Login attempts

What an annoying error message!

Solve the problem in PhpMyAdmin

You can for example disable all plugins using PhpMyAdmin, and in that way you will be able to log in to your WordPress Dashboard again, and if you want to do so, search for the following pressing the “SQL” button in PhpMyAdmin:

SELECT * FROM wp_options WHERE option_name = ‘active_plugins’;

Press edit on the result and delete what is in the search result. It will probably look something like this: a:3:{i:0;s:19:”akismet/akismet.php”}

Once this is disabled you can do the necessary changes in the dashboard, create a new user and delete the old one. This is one sort of solution.

Solve the problem with FTP

Another way to fix the problem is to connect to your server using FTP. Go to the Wp-Content/plugins folder and rename WP Better Security folder to something else. This will disable the plugin and log in will work again. If you are fed up with the plugin, simply delete it!

Since I ran iThemes Security on a multisite, meaning it actually was on lots of WordPress sites simultaneously, it was not just to change the user. I tried quite some stuff, but whenever I activated iThemes Security again, I was at once locked out of the system. That is why I in the end deleted the entire thing and installed another WordPress Security plugin named Wordfence.

That was my solution to the problem. This might not have helped you a bit at all, but if it has, I am happy about it!


  1. Wesley Fryer

    Thanks so much for posting this – I used the technique to rename the plugin directory via my CPANEL file manager and it worked great. I have been using iThemes Security as well as WordFence on multiple sites for the past six months and am liking WordFence better at this point.

  2. mattgdavison

    Thanks for this, I have been locked out soooooo many times!


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