How can I reset Two Factor Authentication on my Joomla site?

Details- A few months ago I got a new phone as my old one died. Stupidly I had TFA using Google Authentication and therefore lost access to everything protected with TFA. All but 1 item I could recover: Joomla. I had to mess around using phpMyAdmin following random instructions to things I don't understand involving tables and settings things to 0 from 1 which I did. That didn't solve my issue and then I renamed random folders from within CPanel. That worked!

Now I have LastPass and this backs up my TFA for me. I would like to enable Google TFA within Joomla. It seems that I can no longer do that, but I can lock myself out! If I click "Enable Two Factor Authentication" as per all the guides, nothing happens, the button is a dud. All I can enabled is a "Yubi Key" but I need Google version instead.

I'm a simple one man band providing a free service for people that cannot afford it. I'm not computer literate at all. According to CPanel I had 300 visits to my /administrator page yesterday. None were me. I just want to secure my site so people can continue to find me. I don't want to be a source of hassle for others due to being hacked.

Could anyone help me check what I need to enable and ensure folders are named so I can reset my TFA to stop myself from being hacked? I use Joomla 3.7.2 within CPanel.

  • A bit off topic, but you might want to look at a security extension such as Admin tools. It masks the administrator url and redirects unwanted visitors away. There are other extensions that do much the same thing, sift through extensions.joomla.org/category/access-a-security for more examples.
    – TryHarder
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 4:35
  • Unfortunately, I can't install Plugins due to a separate issue. I have "Warning: No installation plugin has been enabled. At least one must be enabled to be able to use the installer. Go to the Plugin Manager to enable the plugins." Yet the plugin in "Installer - Install from Web" is enabled. I tried disable and reenable as per various guides but it doesn't change. Commented May 27, 2017 at 7:39

1 Answer 1


You have cPanel/FTP access, then:

  1. Go to /plugins
  2. Rename twofactorauth directory.

Now, try to access Joomla Administrator – you will no longer have a secret key field to enter. This is one of the easiest ways to recover Joomla Administrator when Google Authentication is uninstalled or lost the device.

  • After I do this, the 2FA field is gone from the login page, but after I log in I am returned to the login screen.
    – Steve
    Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 4:00

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