Support » Plugin: Wordfence Security » corrupt wordfence installation – careful it will lock everybody out!!

  • Resolved Dominik Vanyi


    [ Modereator note: de-capped. Please don’t use all-caps again, it’s considered rude. ]

    i run several blogs – all of which are protected with wordfence. basically i am very happy with wf. but the following has now alrd happened to me 3 times: when you move a wp site to a new ip address or re-install a site from a backup it can happen that suddenly wordfence gets corrupted and locks everyone out with the message fake google crawler. even sending the unlock code will not work. so to regain access to my site i have to ftp in my site and rename the wordfence plugin directory to regain access to my site. then i have to uninstall the plugin.
    but now comes the bitter part: even though you choose to uninstall the plugin and also also select to delete all its files it will leave some stuff in the database that it does not clean out when uninstalling. basically poor coding in the un-install routines of wordfence. consequently re-installing the plugin will not work because once re-installed it immedeatly locks everyone incld yourself out again…
    that is where i had to get a coding/mysql guy in who manually had to clean some tables in the db. only after such manual cleaning can you re-install wordfence again.

    which basically sucks because if you are like me not a guy who is comfortable cleaning tables and stuff in the wp database you need to hire someone to do this work.

    hence my request to wordfence: do a proper uninstall routine which also cleans the wp database of any traces of wordfence so that one can do a true re-install of wordfence from scratch.

    thanks – dominik

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Been there cursing that as I type this. I’ve never had ANY WordPress plugin melt things down so quickly and effectively. It seems to work OK for a number of people but after working OK initially it seems to have crashed and burned hard on three different sites and now I’m cleaning up the mess. What a complete and utter pain in the ass this plugin is.

    I would not be as negative as your are. Basically the plugin is working just and fine does a good job. I only get those problems when a site is moved to a new IP address or restored from a backup.
    And lets all hope that the author(s) of this plugin can remedy the problem.

    Cheers – Dominik

    Well, in your case the glitch is understandable. In my case, it was up and running fine and about an hour later it has locked me out completely on one site, a second site is now returning 503 and 404 errors and isn’t responding in any way-shape-form, and a third site had a failed install apparently resulting in a white page for the admin area.

    It is a bit laughable that it somehow flagged me as a fake Google bot for simple trying to log into the wp-admin area of the site (with correct credentials). It was literally a “what the h#ll?!” moment… there is clearly an issue with the Fake Google bot setting. I tried changing that option via the config file for Wordfence but it made no difference. Like you said, I was likely already blacklisted in the database as well.

    So I have three different sites on different servers all misbehaving. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, you know? I’m extracting it from the sites now and will keep an eye on the forums to see if some of these common issues get sorted out in time.

    I’d love it if it worked.

    Plugin Author Wordfence



    We already have full uninstall routines built into Wordfence. Please scroll to the bottom of the options page (The Wordfence options page) and check the box to remove all Wordfence tables on deactivation.

    THIS IS A RARE CASE BUT: If for some reason you can’t access your site because WF is blocking you and you’re in a situation that reactivation will block you – and you want to remove the tables, do the following: Just delete the wp_wfConfig table and then reactivate Wordfence. Then follow the instructions above to remove the data tables and deactivate.



    hi mark,

    with your suggestions i have been able to get the plugin working again. thank you !!! however, pls dont take this personal: a rare case it is not!! 3 or 4 cases of this problem within 2 weeks om 3 different sites , using completely different wp themes and different hosts. i would not call this rare!! once again this is not a critic and i am extremely thankful for this wonderful plugin !!!

    i will keep ya posted in case i get this kinda trouble again.

    once again thank you mark !!!


    For your information. After running smoothly for a day or so suddenly it locks again everybody out. Some background info: Nothing did change on the site. No installations of plugins, or new post or anything. Just out of the blue lockout. Some more info:
    The send me unlock feature does not work although email address is properly configured and I also looked into my email’s spam folder.
    This time I cant do anything other than renaming the WORDFENCE folder in the Plugins folder.
    I then tried to delete the Plugin in WP-Admin and that works. But whenever I try to re-install the WF plugin , once I press activate I right away locked out…

    Any suggestions ?

    Thx. Dominik

    I just had this problem at one of my sites (locking out all users). I got back in through the admin email to unlock access. I disabled the plugin pending some resolution.

    This site was moved, but prior to the plugin being installed.

    Based on an observation AFTER I had disabled Wordfence, I am wondering if Supercache is serving up a cached page from a recent lockout?

    The fake Google crawler routine has problems and presents a nasty lockout with false positives. I suggest that the default settings not have this option active.

    The Your access to this site has been limited

    Your access to this service has been temporarily limited. Please try again in a few minutes. (HTTP response code 503)

    Reason: Fake Google crawler automatically blocked”

    Good suggestion. But it is a shame that after well over a month still no fix / plugin update is available. It has happened to me again a few days ago. This time for no apparent reason. I every time have to post a job on elance to get someone to clean the database tables for Wordfence and then re-install the plguin… what a shame that this is not fixed!!!!!!!!!!!

    Unfortunately Wordfence does not clean up database tables after it confirms if you want to delete all files. This has been the case since this script was created.

    I suggest you grab a copy of Plugins-Garbage-Collector and remove any references to WF. Then re-install WF.

    Setup Suggestion for Option Settings:

    – Do not set firewall options
    – Do not set critical alerts – usually more of a nag than critical
    – Set auto scanning to: off
    – If you are in the States, IP blocking is not a good idea as a long term method of blocking


Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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