How to fix “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. check back in a minute.” in WordPress

Are you seeing the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. check back in a minute.” message on your WordPress website? In this article we will share how you can fix the error.

What does the message “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. check back in a minute.” mean?

This message is shown whenever you use the built-in WordPress update system from your admin dashboard to update the WordPress core files, plugins or themes.

During the updation process, WordPress puts your website in maintenance mode. This is done to prevent your visitors from seeing something unwanted or any part of the update process. The message “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. check back in a minute.” is shown whenever WordPress turns the maintenance mode On.

To display the message WordPress creates a temporary .maintenance file in the root directory of your website. Once the updation process is completed successfully it deletes the file.

This message is completely fine if it doesn’t stay up for more than a few seconds on your website. But even after a few seconds if the message is still showing means something went wrong during the updation process due to which WordPress wasn’t able to delete the .maintenance file.

Steps to fix the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. check back in a minute.” in WordPress

The steps to fix the error message are very easy and can be done in a few steps.

  1. Using FTP navigate to the root directory of your website.
  2. Locate the file named .maintenance. If you can’t see the file then make sure that you have selected the show hidden files option in your FTP client.
  3. Now delete the .maintenance file.

Once the file is successfully deleted, your website should stop showing the error message.

Some tips to prevent the “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. check back in a minute.” message in WordPress
  1. Upgrading to a higher hosting plan can help in preventing this error message in the future. Many times due to a slow or low RAM server the updation process can timeout. A high specifications server will make the updation process smooth and prevent any unnecessary errors.
  2. Never close the browser tab when the updation process is running. Until you see the  “Disabling Maintenance mode…All updates have been completed” message, it’s best to keep the tab open.
  3. Check compatibility of the theme or plugin before updating them. Many times the themes and plugins are not compatible with the current version of your WordPress. It’s best to check if the theme or plugin is compatible before running any updates.
  4. Avoid quickly updating all the themes and plugins at the same time. Clicking on the update button of all the plugins and themes quickly can lead to a conflict which can put the site under maintenance mode indefinitely.

Final Thoughts

The above steps should help you fix the error message “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. check back in a minute.” in WordPress. There can be numerous reasons for the website getting stuck in maintenance mode. You can follow the above tips to prevent such errors in the future.

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