Fixing the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” Error

27th June 2023


WordPress is an open-source content management system that powers over 40% of the internet. It is a powerful platform that allows anyone to create and publish content online. However, like any other software, it requires regular maintenance to ensure it runs smoothly. One common issue that WordPress users encounter is the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error. In this article, we will explore why this error occurs and how to fix it. 

Why Does WordPress Show a “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” Error?

This error message is displayed when WordPress updates its core files, themes, or plugins. Throughout this procedure, WordPress generates a temporary file named “.maintenance” in your website’s main directory. This file serves to notify visitors that your website is currently undergoing maintenance and will be accessible again soon.

However, sometimes this process can get stuck, and WordPress fails to remove the “.maintenance” file after the update is complete. As a result, visitors to your website will continue to see the error message even after the maintenance is complete.

How to Fix the Error

Fortunately, fixing the error is relatively easy. Here are the steps you can take to resolve the issue:

Step 1: Connect to Your Website Using an FTP Client

To access your website, use an FTP client like FileZilla. After connecting, go to the main directory of your WordPress setup.

Step 2: Locate the “.maintenance” File

In the root directory, look for a file called “.maintenance”. If you can’t find the file, make sure that your FTP client is set to show hidden files.

Step 3: Delete the “.maintenance” File

Once you have located the “.maintenance” file, delete it. This will remove the maintenance mode from your website, and visitors will be able to access your site again.

Step 4: Clear Your Browser Cache

After deleting the “.maintenance” file, it is a good idea to clear your browser cache to ensure that the error message does not continue to appear. To do this, go to your browser settings and clear the cache.

Preventing the Error

The “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error can be prevented by performing regular WordPress maintenance. This includes updating WordPress core files, themes, and plugins as soon as new updates become available. Additionally, it’s wise to frequently create backups of your website, so you can promptly recover your site if any problems arise.

If you are not comfortable performing it yourself, you can consider using WordPress maintenance services. These services provide regular updates and backups, ensuring your website runs smoothly and is protected from security threats.


The “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error is a common issue that WordPress users may encounter. It is caused by a temporary file called “.maintenance” that WordPress creates during updates. While this error is easy to fix, it can be prevented by performing regular WordPress maintenance and backups. If you are not comfortable performing maintenance yourself, consider using WordPress maintenance services to ensure your website runs smoothly and is protected from security threats.

At ThriveWP, we help you run your WordPress website smoothly and protect it from security threats. As UK-based experts in WordPress support, site care, and management services, we provide regular updates and backups to keep your site running at its best. Contact us today for our professional WordPress maintenance services.

Gavin Pedley

Gavin Pedley

Gavin is the guy behind the award-winning ThriveWP. He has over 18 years of experience creating, developing, hosting and managing WordPress websites.

Gavin regularly shares his expertise via the ThriveWP blog and Youtube channel, where he creates informative and helpful WordPress tutorial videos.

Connect with Gavin on FacebookLinkedin or Twitter.

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