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How to Fix the Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error on WordPress

Have you come across a ‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance’ error in WordPress? This error appears basically while updating WordPress core, plugins, or themes. And it is, unfortunately, possible that your site can get stuck in maintenance mode if updates fail to complete.

In this knowledgebase article, we’ll walk you through how to fix the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” error.

What Does the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” Error Mean?

Maintenance mode is a notification page and technically not an error. When the update process takes place the WordPress downloads necessary update files to the server extracts them and then installs the update. During this process, WordPress puts your website in maintenance mode and displays a “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” notification.

A new file called .maintenance is created by WordPress in your website’s root directory during the maintenance process. If everything works smoothly, then this notice will probably be displayed for only a few seconds. Once the update is successful, WordPress will automatically delete the maintenance file to disable maintenance mode. 

What Causes the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” Error on WordPress?

Problems occur when the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back again in a minute” message is displayed even after the update is completed. This most often occurs with WordPress core updates, and some of the reasons are as follows:

  1. Slow Response time of the server.
  2. Low Memory
  3. The update script timeouts due to some interruptions.
  4. You are using a maintenance mode plugin.

When the above situations arise then WordPress does not get a chance to take your website out of the maintenance mode.

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

As discussed earlier as soon as the update is finished, the .maintenance file is removed automatically. However, if it didn’t happen automatically you need to delete the .maintainance file manually.

The easiest way to fix this message is by manually deleting the .maintenance file. Depending on your hosting provider, there are two methods you can use to do this:

  1. Using a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client.
  2. Using cPanel and File Manager.

We recommend taking a backup of your website before you try out any of the methods.

1 Using a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client

In order to access your website’s root directory via FTP, you’ll have to use an FTP client such as FileZilla. Once you’re connected to your server, find the .maintenance file under the public_html folder. Right-click on it and select Delete. Once the .maintenance file is deleted, your site will come out of maintenance mode, and the error should be fixed.

If you can’t find the .maintenance file listed in your website’s directory, there is a possibility that it’s hidden. If so then click on Server > Force showing hidden files at the top of the FileZilla window and you should be able to locate the .maintenance file.

2 Using cPanel and File Manager

Login to your hosting dashboard and look for File Manager. Then click on File Manager and you can browse the root directory. Simply delete the .maintenance file and the error should be resolved.

Such kind of errors are common in WordPress and there are solutions for these errors as well. We hope that this tutorial has helped you to solve the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” error. If you have any queries please feel free to contact our support team and they’d be more than happy to assist you further.

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