How to Solve Error 500 after Updating WordPress

Sometimes we encounter error 500 after trying to update wordpress to a newer version. When such error occurs, the front page of the website and admin panel can not be accessed normally because wordpress is still in the maintenance position.

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

All web pages are blank and error message above appears. This error usually occurs in wordpress with lots of plugins in it. How do you solve this problem? Don’t be confused. First thing you have to do is disabling all wordpress plugins using FTP and then removes status maintenance mode by removing .maintenance file, then try to update again if the previous update is failed. Here are more detail steps:

  1. Open the FTP program and then go to the folder wp-content

  2. In the wp-content folder there is a folder called plugins. Rename plugins to be plugins.hold

    In the wp-content folder there is a folder called plugins. Rename plugins to be plugins.hold

  3. After all plugins are non-activated, go to the base directory (directory or folder that contains wp-content, wp-admin, etc) of your website.

  4. Delete .maintenance file

    Delete .maintenance file

  5. WordPress would not be in maintenance mode again, try to check your wordpress version by opening page

  6. When wordpress is updated with the most recent versions, then proceed to step 7. But, if wordpress has not been updated with the most recent version, then try to update again. I am sure that the wordpress update process will run smoothly this time without error because all plugins are disabled.

  7. Go to wp-content folder and then rename plugins.hold into plugins to reactivate all the plugins.

  • Carol

    I tried to follow the guide but I failed to fix the problem (I am not a WordPress expert) so I contacted my web host ( and their stuff fixed the problem in few minutes. Thank you.

  • Excellent. It works!
    I updated plugin through FTP without deactivated and WordPress stopped working. Website was showing 500 Error but I resolved this issue by above guidelines and fixes. Thanks!