Function and usage of check_password_reset_key() in wordpress


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    The check_password_reset_key() function in WordPress is used for verifying the validity of a password reset request. Here's a detailed explanation and sample usage:

    Function: check_password_reset_key()


    This function is designed to retrieve a user's data based on a password reset key and their login information. It plays a crucial role in the password reset process, ensuring that the request is legitimate and secure.

    How It Works

    • Key Expiration Check: The function determines if the provided key is 'expired'. A key is deemed expired if it matches exactly with the value in the user_activation_key field in the user's data. This field is hashed for security reasons.
    • Old Values: Previously, non-hashed values were used. While these old values are no longer accepted, the function provides a different WP_Error code for them. This allows for better user feedback, as it distinguishes between invalid or expired keys and keys that are simply outdated due to changes in the system.


    1. $key (string, required): This is the hash that needs to be validated. It's a unique identifier for the password reset request and is typically sent to the user's email.
    2. $login (string, required): The user's login name. This is used to identify which user account the reset request is for.


    • WP_User | WP_Error: On successful validation of the key, it returns a WP_User object, containing the user's data. If the key is invalid, expired, or outdated, it returns a WP_Error object. The WP_Error object can contain specific error messages, which can be helpful for providing feedback to the user.

    Sample Usage

    Here's an example of how you might use check_password_reset_key() in a password reset process:

    // Assume $key and $login are obtained from the password reset request
    $key = $_GET['key'];
    $login = $_GET['login'];
    // Verify the password reset key
    $user = check_password_reset_key($key, $login);
    if ( is_wp_error($user) ) {
        // Handle errors (invalid, expired key, etc.)
        echo 'Error: ' . $user->get_error_message();
    } else {
        // Proceed with password reset
        // $user is a WP_User object
        // Reset password or show password reset form

    In this example, you're retrieving the key and login from the password reset request (likely from a link sent to the user's email). The check_password_reset_key() function is then used to verify these credentials. Depending on the result, you either handle the error (e.g., by displaying an error message to the user) or proceed with the password reset process for the verified user.

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