How to Fix (Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance: Check Back in a Minute)
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How to Fix (Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance: Check Back in a Minute)

WordPress’s message “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” shows your site’s temporary unavailability.

A WordPress site shows the message when a site’s core infrastructure is updated automatically.

This resource teaches you how to fix WordPress, which shows messages that are briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. It also contains information on WordPress maintenance mode, types of WordPress updates, and plugins used for WordPress maintenance.

Introduction: Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance

WordPress updates have two types – automatic and manual updates.

Automatic Updates

When WordPress automatically initiates an update, it refers to a WordPress automatic update. During automatic updates, WordPress creates a .maintenance file in the site’s root, causing WordPress to show a message: Briefly unavailable for Scheduled maintenance.

Manual Updates

When a WordPress site’s admin initiates an update, it refers to manual updates in WordPress. In this case, WordPress shows maintenance mode caused by a plugin, such as SeedProd.

Note: While WordPress is updating its Core, visitors may still see “Briefly unavailable for Scheduled maintenance” after WordPress has finished an automatic update – causing frustration for WordPress admins.

In such scenarios, fixing WordPress helps admins stop losing visitors, revenue, and business. As described above, fixing WordPress showing Briefly unavailable for Scheduled maintenance is the purpose of this write-up.

How to fix “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance: Check Back in a Minute” message in WordPress?

WordPress keeps showing an unavailability message if removing the .maintenance file fails after an update process has finished.

Here are a few reasons why WordPress keeps showing Unavailable message(s) – after it has finished updating its Core package.

  • Slow-loading sites can create server-response issues, which can cause unavailability issues on WordPress sites.
  • If your site’s hosting memory is Full, you may experience WordPress unavailability issues. Log into your hosting cPanel for more information, or contact your hosting support channel.
  • WordPress has a race condition, which causes WordPress to think some updates need completion. Such scenarios occur when too many updates are manually initiated or interrupted while WordPress runs automatic updates. In this case, a race condition refers to when a system or CMS struggles to get multiple actions done while their status, priority, or management creates Technical confusion.
  • Updating multiple assets at once can cause WordPress conflicts. For example, if more than one update is initiated, WordPress can experience conflict issues, which can cause unavailability.
  • If manual routines in WordPress are observed, such as maintenance routines or dealing with database values, you may experience WordPress showing unavailability messages. In this case, WordPress may restore standard scenarios once the process has finished. Otherwise, specific scenarios demand the immediate attention of WordPress admins.

Let’s learn how to fix WordPress showing unavailability messages.

Method (1) – Clear your Browser’s Cookies

The apparent reason, Browser’s cookies – may cause WordPress to show an unavailability status – after an update has finished.

There is no specific reason for the WordPress unavailability message in this case. However, browser cookies may cause old users to see a message about unavailable WordPress.

Head over to clearing your browser’s cookies and see if the problem has been solved.

For more information on clearing cookies in different browsers, follow the instructions in this detailed resource.

Clearing your browser’s cookies sometimes doesn’t fix WordPress unavailability issues. In this case, the server’s cache may also cause issues persistence. Contact your Hosting support channel for more information on clearing the cache on the web server.

Method (2) – Remove the .maintenance File (Manually)

Let’s learn how to find, remove, and manage the .maintenance file in the WordPress root directory.

There are two ways to log into the WordPress site’s root: an FTP client or Hosting cPanel File Manager.

Note: In the case of an FTP client, you’ll need to create an FTP account in cPanel options and download the FTP client, such as File Zilla. Similarly, to log into Hosting cPanel, use the credentials supplied after you’ve purchased your site’s Hosting plan.

FTP

Find and remove the .maintenance file with FTP – (File Transfer Protocol). In the coming days, you’ll learn how to create an FTP account using cPanel options and download the FTP client – File Zilla.

In this case, FTP is the standard protocol for transferring files between two systems: a client’s browser and a server.

First, create an FTP account by logging into Hosting cPanel options. Once logged in, look for an option that says FTP Accounts, as shown in the screenshot below.

briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance

Once opened, you can create an FTP account in minutes. You can create an account at your site’s domain by entering a username and password for a new FTP account – as shown in the screenshot below.

briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance

Note: To this line, you should have created an FTP account. Remember—creating an FTP account requires access to the Hosting cPanel interface. Also, hosting companies’ interfaces may differ from one place to another. Put, you may experience a difference between Hosting interfaces; however, the primary interface and workflow are identical.

Now – let’s learn how to proceed and download an FTP client – File Zilla in this case. Head over to its official website and download a package for your platform.

After you’ve installed File Zilla, you can enter the credentials for an FTP account you created in the previous step—as shown in the screenshot below.

briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance

Note: If the login process has gone normal, you can see File Zilla showing your site’s files – as shown in the screenshot below.

briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance

Now, you’re ready to proceed. Take the following steps to find and remove the maintenance file.

After you’ve logged into File Zilla, under the Remote site, browse to the Public_HTML directory. Once loaded, you can see the directory’s content below – as shown in the screenshot above.

In the Files list, find and remove the .maintenance file. You can right-click on the file and choose Remove or Delete from the short menu.

Once the .maintenance file has been removed, you can check your site’s home page to see – if the problem has been fixed successfully.

Note: As usual, you should see your site’s home page on success. The message showing Briefly unavailable for Scheduled maintenance has gone.

Hosting cPanel File Manager

If you don’t prefer using FTP, your site’s Hosting web interface helps you access WordPress Root.

In this case – you’ll need to use your site’s Hosting credentials. If you’re facing issues, look for a post-purchase email from the Hosting Company. You can also contact the Hosting support channel for assistance.

Depending on the hosting interface, you may experience differences between the hosting portals. However, as described above, the basic workflow is similar.

Let’s proceed and learn how to log into the hosting cPanel interface, find File Manager, and access your site’s Root directory in the web browser.

Head over to the official website of the site’s hosting company. Look for a Sign In or Login option to proceed.

After a successful login, you should see a pack of options called the cPanel area, as shown in the screenshot below.

briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance

Here, look for an option that says File Manager. Once the File Manager has loaded, you should see a list of files and directories on the screen.

Now, click Public_HTML and find the .maintenance file on the next screen. Once located successfully, you can select it and click on Delete on the top bar.

Note: After you’ve removed the .maintenance file, you can proceed and see if the problem has been fixed successfully. Visit your site’s home page to see if it has been restored to its original status.

Note 2: If you don’t see the .maintenance file, ensure you have shown the hidden files. Clicking on the Settings icon helps you show hidden files in the Public_HTML directory, as shown in the snapshot below.

briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance

Method (3) – Edit the WP-activate.PHP File

If, for example, you can’t find the .maintenance file in WordPress’ root directory – the Public_HTML, you can fix the Briefly unavailable for Scheduled maintenance message by making changes in the WP-activate.PHP file.

Let’s learn how to find and change the WP-activate.PHP file in the WordPress root directory, Public_HTML.

Note: For an updated list of files in the Hosting cPanel File Manager, we recommend logging into the Hosting cPanel interface and getting into the Public_HTML directory from scratch.

Once you locate the WP-activate.PHP file, select and click on the Edit option on the top bar. This option allows you to make changes to the File’s content.

Inside the file’s content, look for a line that says define(‘WP_INSTALLING’, true). This will help you make the necessary changes to the file.

Next – change the value from TRUE to FALSE – as shown in the screenshot below.

briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance

Ensure you’ve saved changes after making the necessary changes in the WP-activate.PHP file.

Note: Head to your site’s home page and see if the changes have fixed the problem.

Professional Tips: Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance

Here is a list of Tips and best practices while you’re making intelligent moves handling briefly unavailable for Scheduled maintenance messages in WordPress.

  • Always clear your browser’s cookies before fixing the WordPress unavailability message. After you’ve made changes, check your site’s home page for approval before proceeding.
  • Ensure you’ve turned off the plugins’ automatic updates to avoid brief unavailability issues in WordPress. See the Plugins page for more information on turning off automatic updates.
  • Don’t close the browser’s windows if a WordPress update hasn’t finished yet. In this case, incomplete updates can cause WordPress maintenance issues, such as file updating errors, maintenance updation and removal, and conflicts between WordPress assets.
  • Use a staging site for updates before making changes live on WordPress. In this case, a staging site helps build a testing environment for updates, changes, and WordPress maintenance. Once the changes meet expectations, you can go online with recent changes if approved on a staging website.
  • Always – take your site’s backup before you make changes to the WordPress infrastructure.
  • Don’t initiate multiple updates at a time. For example, clicking manual Updates for various plugins at a time can create WordPress maintenance issues.
  • As clarified above, WordPress initiates automatic updates. However, you should check your site’s assets more often To see if a specific Theme or Plugin needs updating. Such maneuvers help admins avoid issues like briefly unavailable for Scheduled maintenance. Simply put, you should take proactive measures to prevent WordPress from falling victim to unavailability issues.
  • You can also check if file permissions, low memory, or culprit scripts are causing WordPress issues regarding maintenance. In this case, contact your Hosting support channel for assistance if Things seem strange. You can also log into Hosting cPanel for more information on memory usage, file permissions, or error logs.

Note: Last but not least, don’t change WordPress if you don’t know what you’re doing. In this case, contact your Hosting support channel for assistance. You can also contact your site’s Support Team for more information on how to deal with specific scenarios in WordPress, such as FTP issues, unavailability messages, or dealing with the browser’s cache.

How to Turn on WordPress Maintenance Mode?

While clearing ground for manual updates, you can put WordPress on maintenance mode in two ways: create a manual page for maintenance mode or use a WordPress plugin.

Create a Maintenance Page manually

Creating a maintenance page manually is handy but requires little knowledge of Hosting cPanel and HTML.

In this case, once you’ve logged into the Hosting cPanel area, you must use the Create a New File option in the WordPress root directory.

Here – while adding content to the File, you can write a message That lets visitors know – your site is going through scheduled maintenance – as shown in the snapshot below.

briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance

Note: After creating a new File, save it with an HTML extension. In this case, the final name of the File should look like index.html.

Note 2: Once you create a manual maintenance page, your site’s home page will show your message for maintenance routines. Similarly, once the maintenance routine is over, you can remove the index.html file.

Use a WordPress Plugin for Maintenance mode

If you don’t prefer manual routines, use a plugin for WordPress maintenance mode.

In this case – you can choose between diverse candidates for maintenance mode, including WP Maintenance Mode, Manage WP, and Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode.

Most plugins are available in the WordPress official directory. Users can easily install one by going to the Dashboard -> Plugins page.

Once you’ve installed a plugin, you can follow the on-screen instructions to create a maintenance message page for WordPress visitors.

In this case, the plugin’s built-in options are point-and-click, which helps you quickly create and set up maintenance mode in WordPress. You can choose from available templates, make changes, and save changes.

Here is a list of Top plugins for WordPress maintenance mode. If you’re a Support Team and need maintenance mode regularly, you can also sign up for a premium plan, helping you gain more options for turning on WordPress maintenance mode.

Maintenance

The Maintenance plugin is available in the WordPress plugins directory – which helps users quickly set up maintenance mode in WordPress.

The plugin helps admins set specific errors – too. For example, you can apply errors like 503 Service Unavailable along with entire background colors.

See the plugin’s page for more information.

Light Start

Another free option for small site owners, Light Start, helps users quickly set up maintenance mode, a coming soon page, or a custom page in WordPress.

Light Start provides full customization, coming soon pages, landing page templates, and SEO options.

The famous Themeisle Team develops Light Start. You can obtain more information on its official page in the WordPress directory.

CMP – Coming Soon plugin

CMP has unique options that help users set up maintenance mode in WordPress.

In this case, CMP provides enabling maintenance mode on specific pages in WordPress. Along with basic features, CMP can put your site in maintenance mode with a single click.

Read about CMP’s features and options on the WordPress official plugins directory.

Note: After working in WordPress, you can remove the maintenance page by deactivating the plugin. If you’d like to remove the plugin, you can proceed.

Wrapping up

Fixing WordPress unavailability issues is undeniable if WordPress has finished updating its Core with automatic updates. Especially – if your site is getting traction, you can lose business, revenue, and conversions.

To this line – you’ve learned how to fix briefly unavailable for Scheduled maintenance messages in WordPress. In this case, the message doesn’t pose severe complexities in WordPress; however, it requires immediate attention from WordPress admins.

In this case, pay attention to best practices regarding how to deal with WordPress unavailability issues. For more information on fixing WordPress issues, maintenance gaps, or access-level errors, contact our support channel for assistance, one-time fixes, or to initiate a live chat on request.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Maintenance mode in WordPress?

WordPress maintenance mode freezes WordPress sites and helps visitors understand if they are undergoing maintenance routines.

Once a site is put on Maintenance mode, users see a message, warning, or coming soon page – instead of a regular home page. In WordPress, such scenarios are referred to as Maintenance mode.

How can we enable Maintenance mode in WordPress?

By default, WordPress doesn’t provide maintenance mode to regular users. However, if putting WordPress on maintenance mode is undeniable, users must go through the manual or WordPress plugins-way procedures.

For example, users can create a manual page for maintenance mode – as described above. Similarly, users can use a plugin for maintenance mode to put their WordPress sites on maintenance mode.

How do you turn off Maintenance mode in WordPress?

Removing the manual page for maintenance mode turns off WordPress maintenance mode. Similarly, if you’ve used a plugin, you can deactivate it or remove it, which also helps you turn off Maintenance mode in WordPress.

How do I fix briefly unavailable for Scheduled maintenance messages?

In simple words, deleting the .maintenance file helps you fix the message briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. As described above, you can find the mentioned file in the WordPress root directory on the web server.

In the above lines, you’ve learned how to fix the message with FTP, cPanel File Manager, or make changes to the WP-activate.PHP file.

Why does my site say Briefly unavailable for Scheduled maintenance?

When a WordPress site runs automatic updates, it shows the message (Briefly unavailable for Scheduled maintenance).

Users are presented with the message when they visit the WordPress site’s home page. After WordPress has finished updating its Core, the message is turned off automatically; the way is turned on automatically.

How can the WordPress message (briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance) be prevented?

WordPress automatically shows an Unavailable message. However, users can avoid such scenarios by checking the WordPress dashboard for updates.

In this case, the more quickly you can update WordPress assets manually, the more WordPress wouldn’t be able to run automatic updates.

How to fix WordPress issues, maintenance gaps, and errors?

WordPress issues are best handled with maintenance routines, updates, and assistance from support specialists.

For example, you should regularly update and take care of WordPress assets, security, and management, helping you avoid WordPress errors and gaps. On the other hand – if you’re not technical enough, you can ask for support from WordPress specialists.

wp tech support

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