So you are updating your WordPress website and feeling good about keeping everything up to date when a “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.” page appears. You wait a minute and press F5 to refresh … still there. You wait a few more minutes and it is still there. You force refresh with CTRL+F5, you clear your cache and it IS STILL THERE. You start to panic a little … did you break your website?

The good news is you can calm down – it is quite a common and easy to fix Error in WordPress. Usually (sorry).

How to fix “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.”

You will need access to FTP. Login to your site’s FTP and navigate to your main directory (the one where your -content, -admin and -includes directories are located. Usually it is the /public_html folder. Find and delete a file named .maintencance.

Go back to your website url and refresh. Your website should be there again.

What to do if the above does not work?

First have a little patience. You may need to refresh a few times or clear your cache. Try that first.

It could be that something went wrong with an automatic update of WordPress. There are ways to Update WordPress Manually. The WordPress Codex can lead you through this process. Visit this page and follow the instructions.