Briefly Unavailable

How to Fix “Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance. Check Back in a Minute.” error 

The message usually appears when your WordPress core, plugins, or themes are being updated. The message disappears as soon as the update is over. Sometimes, updates go wrong, and that’s when your website shows the maintenance mode error.

You might be surprised to learn that the ‘Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance. Check Back in a Minute.’ error is not really an error, it’s a notification. It appears when the core software, plugins, or themes of your site are being updated.

During an update, a lot goes on in the background. WordPress downloads updated files into your site’s server. It extracts the files and installs them on your website.

So you can imagine, when updating your website, some of your website’s functionalities are affected. This could lead to a bad user experience. And you could end up losing precious user data.

To prevent these issues from occurring, WordPress creates a temporary file called the .maintenance file and puts your site in maintenance mode. This file generates the ‘Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance. Check Back in a Minute.’ message and shows it for as long as the website is being updated.

WordPress takes only a couple of seconds to run updates. Once the update is complete, it automatically deletes the .maintenance file and your website goes back to normal.

Sometimes, however, WordPress fails to delete the file and that’s when your site gets stuck in maintenance mode.

So why does WordPress fail to delete the .maintenance file?

WordPress could have failed to delete the .maintenance file due to any of the following reasons:

  • You closed your browser in the middle of an update
  • Your server timed out while running updates because it was overloaded. This can happen when you update too many plugins and themes together
  • Some of your themes and plugins are incompatible with your WordPress version or with each other

How to fix the ‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.’ error

To fix the error, you will need to delete the .maintenance file from your site’s root folder. There are two main ways to access the root folder:

Fix maintenance mode via cPanel File Manager

If your host uses cPanel, you can fix the WordPress maintenance mode error using cPanel’s File Manager tool rather than needing to connect via FTP.

Log into your hosting account and go to cPanel → File Manager → public_html → .maintenance. Right-click on the .maintenance file, select Delete and check your site. It should be back to normal.

How to avoid getting stuck in maintenance mode in the future

1. Don’t close your browser while running updates

2. Avoid updating too many plugins & themes at the same time

3. Check for plugins & themes compatibility issues

4. Upgrade to a better hosting plan

Posted by Edgar Hovhannisyan

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