“A Super Administrator Can’t Request a Password Reminder” Error in Joomla

Note: This post only applies to Joomla 2.5.

We got an email very early this morning from one of our regular customers. Here’s the email (minus, of course, our customer’s information):


I’m not able to reset my password. When I try to reset it using the password reminder tool I get the following error:

A Super Administrator can’t request a password reminder. Please contact another Super Administrator or use an alternative method.

Can you help? (as usual!)”

Clearly, it was a frustrating issue – if a super administrator can’t reset his password, who can? And what are these alternative methods?

Unfortunately for our client, he was the only super administrator on the website (he didn’t give super administrator access to anyone else, which is a good practice for small websites), so he can’t just ask another super administrator to reset his password through the backend. But fortunately, he has us, and we know that there are multiple alternative methods to overcome this issue.

Method #1: Get rid of the error

Yes, you can get rid of the error and allow a super administrator to use a password reminder. Here’s what needs to be done:

  • Connect through FTP to the website.
  • Open the file reset.php which is located under the components/com_users/models directory.

  • Comment out lines 340-343 in that file by adding /* at the beginning of line 340 and */ at the end of line 343. So these lines will look like the following:

    /* if ($user->authorise('core.admin')) {
    return false;

  • Save the file reset.php and upload it back.

  • Try to reset your password using a password reminder (it’ll work).

  • Revert back the changes that you made to the reset.php file once your password is resetted.

This method is good, but requires changing a native Joomla file – something that we recommend our customers to avoid when there are better alternatives.

Method #2: Reset the password through a script

This method means that the website owner must develop a PHP script that connects to his database, gets the id of the super administrator, and updates the password field with an md5 hash of his selected password.

If you don’t understand the above line, then this method is not for you. Read on!

Method #3: Reset the password through phpMyAdmin

This method is the easiest one so far. If you’re familiar with phpMyAdmin, then here’s what you need to do:

  • Go to your database’s phpMyAdmin.
  • Open the table jos_users. (Replace jos_ with your database’s prefix defined in your configuration.php file)

  • Search for the row that has your information (your username) and open that row for editing.

  • Choose md5 from the drop down next to password. (See Figure 1 below)

  • Enter your password (we chose the password to be itoctopus in our example below) and then click on Save at the bottom of the page

Update the user's password in phpMyAdmin

Figure 1: Updating the user’s password through phpMyAdmin (by using md5 as hash function)

Method #4: Call some Joomla experts

If you don’t have the necessary technical skills, then we suggest you ask for help, and in the Joomla world, help is easy to find. All you need to is to contact some Joomla experts and they’ll gladly do the above for you.

If you’d rather go with Method #4, then all you need to is to contact us! We have been working on Joomla for many years now and we know it inside out! Our code is solid, our estimates are real, and our rates are very affordable, and we’re the friendliest programmers on this planet! What are you waiting for?

One Response to ““A Super Administrator Can’t Request a Password Reminder” Error in Joomla”
  1. Comment by Nathanael Shergold — October 26, 2016 @ 12:41 am

    Thanks for a great write up on this. Realised a few months after developing a site I’d misplaced the password. Whoops! Not just an issue that clients run into :)

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