Restore Passwords To Recover Admin User Rights

If you're unable to log in to Confluence as an administrator (for example, you've lost the administrator password) you can start Confluence in recovery mode to recover your admin user rights.

If you know the admin username, and it has a valid email address, you can reset the password using the forgot password link on the log in screen. We'll send a link to your admin email account to reset your password.

On this page:

As an administrator, you may find yourself locked out of Confluence because:

  • You've imported a site from Cloud, and it does not contain a system administrator account.
  • You've forgotten the password to the administrator account, and don't have access to the email address associated with it.
  • You're using an external directory or Jira for user management, have disabled the built in user management, and your external directory is not currently available. 
  • You need to make a change to the configuration of an external user directory in Confluence while that directory is not available. 

In any of these situations you can use recovery mode to restore administrator access to Confluence. 

Using Confluence 6.5.0 or earlier? You'll need to use the database method to recover your admin user rights. See the earlier documentation.

Use recovery mode to restore access

Recovery mode works by creating a virtual user directory with a temporary admin account. You set the password for this admin account when applying the system property.  Users can continue to log in and access Confluence while it is in recovery mode.

To recover administrator user rights:

  1. Stop Confluence.
  2. Edit <installation-directory>/bin/setenv.sh or setenv.bat and add the following system property, replacing <your-password> with a unique, temporary password. 

    -Datlassian.recovery.password=<your-password>


    See Configuring System Properties for more information on using system properties.

  3. Start Confluence manually (don't start Confluence as a service).
  4. Log in to Confluence with the username recovery_admin and the temporary password you specified in the system property. 
  5. Reset the password for your existing admin account, or create a new account and add it to the appropriate administrator group. 
  6. Confirm that you can successfully log in with your new account.
  7. Stop Confluence. 
  8. Edit <installation-directory>/bin/setenv.sh or setenv.bat and remove the system property. 
  9. Restart Confluence using your usual method (manually or by starting the service). 

Good to know:

  • Remove the system property as soon as you have restored admin access. 
  • Don't leave Confluence in recovery mode, or use the recovery_admin account as a regular administrator account.  
  • Your temporary password should be a unique. Don't use an existing password or the one you intend to use for your admin account. 
Last modified on Sep 20, 2018

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