Manually re-enable user accounts


I have a Confluence self-hosted installation that I am currently locked out of. We use the SAML SSO plugin to allow AD domain users to login to the server. As the license we are using is for a limited number of users I had disabled the non-SSO admin user. To make matters worse we temporarily switched the licensing to an unlimited user trial license. Now that the trial license is over, nobody is able to login, including the admin account.

How do I regain control of the server to apply a new license? Is there a manual way to install a license? Can I re-enable the user somehow? Perhaps modify the database directly?

1 answer

0 votes
Ann Worley Atlassian Team Jan 05, 2018

Hi Jefferson,

You may re-enable the internal administrator account by following these instructions: Restore Passwords To Recover Admin User Rights

Then you can log in and apply a new license.

If you are using Confluence 6.5.0 or previous, the instructions are different, so make sure and use the older instructions in that case:

Restore Passwords To Recover Admin User Rights

I wish you a smooth login and license update experience. Please let us know any follow up questions.





Hi Ann,

Thank you for your response. I have tried the enabling the recovery mode just as the instructions describe but I am still unable to log in.


This is what my file looks like.

CATALINA_OPTS="-XX:-PrintGCDetails -XX:+PrintGCDateStamps -XX:-PrintTenuringDistribution ${CATALINA_OPTS}"
CATALINA_OPTS="-Xloggc:$LOGBASEABS/logs/gc-`date +%F_%H-%M-%S`.log -XX:+UseGCLogFileRotation -XX:NumberOfGCLogFiles=5 -XX:GCLogFileSize=2M ${CATALINA_OPTS}"
CATALINA_OPTS="-Djava.awt.headless=true ${CATALINA_OPTS}"
CATALINA_OPTS="-Datlassian.plugins.enable.wait=300 ${CATALINA_OPTS}"
CATALINA_OPTS="-Xms1024m -Xmx1024m -XX:+UseG1GC ${CATALINA_OPTS}"
CATALINA_OPTS="-Dsynchrony.enable.xhr.fallback=true ${CATALINA_OPTS}"
CATALINA_OPTS="-Dorg.apache.tomcat.websocket.DEFAULT_BUFFER_SIZE=32768 ${CATALINA_OPTS}"
CATALINA_OPTS="-Datlassian.recovery.password=passw0rd123 ${CATALINA_OPTS}"
CATALINA_OPTS="-Dpassword.confirmation.disabled=true ${CATALINA_OPTS}"
Ann Worley Atlassian Team Jan 22, 2018

That looks correct but the recovery mode is a new feature of Confluence versions higher than 6.5.0. If you are using an older version you will need to use SQL queries as described in Restore Passwords To Recover Admin User Rights

To check your version, search the <confluence_home>/logs/atlassian-confluence.log for the phrase, "Starting Confluence". The startup entry will include the version of Confluence.
If there is a custom authenticator in <confluence_install>/confluence/WEB-INF/classes/seraph-config.xml that is used by the SSO plugin, please comment it out and comment in: 
<authenticator class="com.atlassian.confluence.user.ConfluenceAuthenticator"/>
Confluence will need to be restarted to pick up changes to configuration files or the database.

Going the SQL route worked. I was able to enable and reset the admin password. Thank you for your help!

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Community showcase
Posted Oct 24, 2018 in Confluence

Atlassian Research opportunity with Confluence templates

Do you use templates with Confluence? Take part in a remote 1-hr workshop. You'll receive USD $100 for your time!   We're looking for people to participate in a   remote 1-hr workshop...

1,521 views 25 14
Join discussion

Atlassian User Groups

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find a group

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find my local user group

Unfortunately there are no AUG chapters near you at the moment.

Start an AUG

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local meet up. Learn more about AUGs

Groups near you