How To Fix “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” Message in WordPress

Not too long ago, WordPress alerted me of an outdated plugin. It was Yoast SEO and it wanted me to upgrade to its latest version, so some clicks later I let WordPress do its thing and soon after was stuck on a “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” page.

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance in WordPress The image above shows a screenshot of the maintenance message.

Fixing “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” in WordPress

There are three ways that can solve the issue :

  1. Waiting until the maintenance is over.
  2. Deleting a file (scroll down to learn how to do it).
  3. Making a file edit (scroll down to learn how to do it).

Waiting until the maintenance is over

Sometimes you just have to wait it out. In my case, the maintenance was over but the message stayed for a whole minute. After that minute, my WordPress page was back to normal. If you can’t afford to wait it out or waiting doesn’t help at all, try one of the two solutions below instead.

Deleting a file

In the root directory of your WordPress install (directory with wp-content, wp-admin and wp-includes), you should come across a .maintenance file. Deleting it and refreshing your WordPress page should fix the issue. On the odd chance you do not find the .maintenance file, try the next solution below.

Making a file edit

If none of the above works, locate the file called wp-activate.php in the root directory of your WordPress install (same directory with wp-content, wp-admin, etc). Open the file (in an editing mode) and find the following line :

define( 'WP_INSTALLING', true );

Change "true" to "false" and save the file.