Remove WordPress message: "This website is temporarily unavailable due to maintenance work"

Wordpress help

WordPress is actually a relatively robust blog system that I like to use again and again for new websites. The updates of plugins and of the WordPress core can be installed at the push of a button and in the vast majority of cases this runs smoothly. In the other cases, however, the update sometimes hangs up and you only get this message when you call up the website:

This website is temporarily unavailable due to maintenance work. Check back in a minute.

And if you come by in a minute, you will notice that the error message is still there and the website is closed for updates. But unfortunately the matter then becomes chronic, because this message simply does not leave the place voluntarily.

The solution: delete the .maintenance file

Wordpress helpI have to admit, when I had this case for the first time, I was pretty puzzled about how to get back on top of my WordPress website. After trying unsuccessfully for a few minutes on my own to find a solution to the problem, I gave up and checked it out on Google.

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The solution I found is delightfully simple and easy to implement if you have FTP access to the website. If the term "FTP" doesn't mean anything to you, the best thing to do is to contact the support of your host, who is responsible for hosting the WordPress blog. He can either give you the FTP access data or fix the error.

Instructions: This is the best way to proceed

The message "This website is temporarily unavailable due to maintenance work. Please check back in a minute." is triggered by a file called ".maintenance", which is located in the main directory of the WordPress installation. This file is preceded by "." often invisible in the file name when you look into the directory with the FTP program. In almost all FTP programs, however, there is the option in the settings of files with "." at the beginning (hidden files) of the file name.

In my program "Transmit" from Panic software This option is not available, but the files are always displayed.

In the main WordPress directory you will find the .maintenance file, which you have to delete to get rid of the error message.

In the main WordPress directory you will find the .maintenance file, which you have to delete to get rid of the error message.

If you have found this ".maintenance" file in the main directory, you can mark it and delete it. A backup is unnecessary as it is not an important file for WordPress, it just triggers this message that you want to get rid of.

Once you have deleted the file, you can go to the main page of your blog or the admin area again as usual and restart the update or check the "Updates" page to see which updates are still pending.

Wordpress help for bloggers: I will help you if your blog is nagging and no longer wants to!

WordPress help for bloggers: I'll help you if your blog is nagging and no longer wants to!

If you need support, it might be mine WordPress Help Offer interesting for you. I offer my help for bloggers for free if you then write a short article about my offer of help to make it a little better known.


Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership or at Patreon would support.


  1. Anna says:

    Hello Sir Apfelot,
    Thank you very much for your article. It just saved my WordPress life.
    Deleting .maintenance went without any problems.

  2. Nina says:

    Hello Sir Apfelot,

    You just saved the life of my website - and it was so easy, thank you very much!

    What exactly is to blame for that? Do I have to delete any plugins or something?

    Best regards!

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Nina! Well, good question. It always happened to me when I made plugin updates, but then impatiently clicked away before the updates were all through. Then WordPress misses the chance to remove that little file, which in turn cripples the whole blog.
      And no, you don't have to do anything else. The plugins can all stay in there. LG!

      • Nina says:

        Hm, well, it may well be that I was a little too fast with my click away ... :-D Then I'm reassured. And from now on more patient.
        Thanks again!
        LG Nina

  3. Christin says:

    Thanks for the tip :-) I also impatiently clicked away and was just panicking.

  4. mari says:

    Thanks! That just saved my day. The dear impatience: D

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Yes, you really mustn't click away too early. :) It still happens to me ... but now I'm not as panicked as I was the first time. : D

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