I want to reset my account like the one it was purchased. Can you reset my WHM to default? I’m new to this!!
That was a recent support ticket we received at our Outsourced Technical Department where we resolve support queries for web hosts.
We’ve seen website owners often request to reset their cPanel account and WHM settings to default.
But, why do they need a WHM reset all of a sudden?
This can be due to compromised system, messed up website, bad configuration, wrong DNS entries and so on.
Today, let’s discuss the steps that our Dedicated Support Engineers take to reset a cPanel account and WHM to default.
Reset WHM to default – Important steps to follow
Now, let’s see how can we reset WHM or a cPanel account to its default configuration.
1) Reset WHM initial configuration
We often receive requests from website owners to reset WHM configuration to default, so that they can start again with the Wizard to set the hostname, IP address, nameservers, contact email, etc.
WHM uses a touch file (/etc/.whostmgrft), to determine whether the Getting Started Wizard should run.
So, our Hosting Engineers delete this file “/etc/.whostmgrft” from the server.
For instance, we use the below command to remove the file .whostmgrft from the server.
rm -rf /etc/.whostmgrft
When WHM checks this file, and if it isn’t there, it creates the .whostmgrft file once again.
Therefore, users will see the Initial setup wizard in the browser and can complete the initial configuration.
2) Remove accounts and reset WHM
Sometimes, we receive queries from customers to remove their entire cPanel accounts, to restore WHM to the original one.
In such cases, we take the complete server backup and terminate the entire accounts.
If the number of accounts is limited, we take the backup individually and terminate them from WHM > Account Functions > Terminate Account
But, if there are large number of accounts, our Support Engineers write custom scripts to backup the accounts, server configuration files, etc. and terminate them.
3) Reset individual cPanel accounts
Similarly, you may sometimes need to reset individual cPanel accounts keeping the DNS intact.
In such cases, we follow the below steps to make it an easy process.
a) Create a complete backup of the account
Backing up the cPanel account is most important for all the website owners.
Because an unnecessary file can at some point become the most important one.
So, backup of an account is the safest way to ensure that all website files, databases, emails, etc. are safe.
At Bobcares, our Hosting Engineers always take a complete backup of the account before making any changes.
b) Delete the application in Softaculous
Secondly, we delete all installed applications via Softaculous.
It deletes the installation directory, the associated database, and database user automatically.
In other words, once the application is deleted via Softaculous, there is no need to manually remove the website contents or database.
We usually delete a Softaculous application from cPanel > Software > Softaculous Apps Installer
c) Delete databases and database users
On the other hand, for manually installed applications, our Support Engineers remove the database and associated database users from cPanel.
We’ll follow the steps below to delete the database and related users.
- Go to cPanel > Databases > Mysql databases
- Then, Go to “Current Databases“.
- Click on Delete button.
- After that, move to “Current users“.
- Click on Delete button.
d) Delete sub-domains/parked/addon domains
Further, we delete the account’s sub-domains, parked domains and addon domains.
We follow the below steps to remove them from the account.
- Go to cPanel > Domains.
- Click on Addon domains/sub-domains/Aliases.
- Hit the Remove button next to the domain name.
This will remove all the additional domain references in the server.
e) Delete files under the cPanel account
The most important step is to delete the cPanel account website files or folders.
In other words, we delete the contents from the directory “/home/username/public_html” .
Here, username represents the cPanel username.
Our Hosting Engineers easily remove the contents with the “rm -r” command via back end.
However, customers can delete from cPanel using the File Manager option.
But, always be careful while removing files. If you aren’t confident, don’t go for it.
f) Delete FTP accounts
Next step is to delete the associated FTP accounts of the domain.
We usually delete the FTP accounts via cPanel > Files > FTP Accounts.
g) Delete cron jobs
Sometimes, there can be custom cron jobs set for the cPanel account.
So, our Hosting Engineers always ensure that the cron jobs associated with the account are removed.
And, we remove it from cPanel > Advanced > Cron jobs
h) Delete email accounts
Based on our experience in managing customer accounts, we’ve seen customers requesting cPanel reset when they mess up with their website.
In such cases, there is no impact on their email accounts, so there is no need to remove them.
But, sometimes customers request to remove the email accounts as well.
We follow the below steps to remove them.
- Go to cPanel > Email > Email accounts.
- Click on Delete next to the email account
That’s it. The cPanel account is back to the default state, so you could start all over again.
In short, website owners often request to reset their cPanel account and WHM settings to default. This can be due to messed up website, compromised system, etc. Today, we’ve seen the different steps to reset WHM to default and how our Dedicated Support Engineers implement it.