How I recovered the lost password and email address for my WordPress blog

If you now have this problem, I know your pain!

August 21st I prepared an entry and when I tried to log in my password didn’t work.  I have been blogging daily for years so I knew that the password was right.

I decided to wait a while figuring that maybe it was some glitch with WordPress.  Nothing changed.

I then decided to try and get another password but suddenly realized that the email address that goes with the blog is one I no longer use.  I would not be able to retrieve a password that way.

I attempted to get the internet provider to restore that email address so that I could use it.  They tried but while they could enable me to send from that email address they were never able to allow me to receive an email.  So that was a frustrating dead end.

Trying to get help from WordPress was even more frustrating.  My instincts were to go into their forums and ask for a solution from the forum members.  However, without a working password you can’t get into the forums!

I also noticed on their home site that only members with upgrades could get any support from WordPress.  I contemplated upgrading but again without a password you can’t get anywhere.

I tried Google searches but the suggestions I found there for my problem were too technical or looked like some sort of hacking.  I wasn’t that desperate!

What worked?  I went into one of the WordPress home pages and found a topic entitled, “suspended blogs.”  I thought that maybe I had written something on one of my four blogs that had crossed some WordPress line.

More important, I figured that if I could get some live-body response from someone working for WordPress I could explain the problem I was having and get their help.  Well, that is exactly what happened.

I had to provide proof that I was the owner of the blog to get them to enable me to be able to log in.  The confirmation happened when I got from PayPal a transaction number for a payment I had made to WordPress last November to upgrade to No-Ads.

I was unable to blog for two weeks.  If you’re a daily blogger as I am that seemed like two years!  However, it did give me time to reflect on changes I would make in my blogging habits if I was able to do it again.  (I actually decided to give up one of my blogs entirely.)

I asked my WordPress helper Erica, after I was back blogging (September 4th), if there was a better route that I could have taken to solve my “no-password, no-email address” fiasco.  Below is part of the answer she sent me:

Hi Peter,

Thank you so much for sending your feedback on your experience. I’m sorry that you had a difficult time and for any frustration.

In terms of contacting support when you cannot log into your account, your best option is to search in the support forums for a direct email to WordPress.com or to temporarily create a new username that you can use to post in the forums. While the latter option requires more steps, it is also likely to be the fastest as WordPress.com support will see your question if you post in the Staff Answers forum.

We are always in the process of changing and updating the support experience at WordPress.com, so it’s likely you will see changes around this in the future. Along the same lines, in terms of proving your account ownership, there may be other methods for doing so in the future as well. In the meantime, I do really appreciate your patience along the way and know that you can send us a direct email at any time.

Best,

Erica
WordPress.com | Automattic

I hope this helps any out there struggling with this problem.

God bless!
Peter

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