Not sure how it happened, but somehow my SYS user in my local Oracle 19c database got locked.

When I try to log in, I get a "ORA-28000: The account is locked." error. I tried querying dba_users (as one of my other users), and it shows that the account status is "LOCKED(TIMED)". Unfortunately, as far as I'm aware, I don't have any other users that have the permissions to be able to unlock the SYS account.

I've scoured the internet for answers about this, but all I can find is people saying that the SYS user actually can't be locked, so I'm not sure how mine got into this state.

Does anyone have any ideas about how to fix this?

  • Any other user - like SYSTEM - with the DBA role or the ALTER USER privilege should be able to unlock the account. If that doesn't work, contact Oracle Support.
    – pmdba
    Jul 14 at 10:34

2 Answers 2


if you cannot connnect as sysdba, but can connect locally (RDP or SSH) as oracle user you can use orapwd utility to regenerate password file



Here are some situations that might cause the SYS user to appear locked:

Misconfiguration: If there's a misconfiguration in the Oracle database, it may cause errors that mimic a locked account for SYS. For example, if the password file (orapwSID) used by the database becomes corrupt or inaccessible, it could prevent proper authentication for SYS, leading to errors that seem like the account is locked.

Patching or Upgrade Issues: During patching or database upgrades, there might be issues that temporarily prevent the SYS user from connecting. These problems are usually resolved after the upgrade or patching process completes.

Resource Limitation: In rare cases, the SYS user may experience issues connecting to the database due to resource limitations or contention issues. This can be caused by factors like insufficient memory, CPU overload, or excessive database connections.

Password File Issues: If the password file used for authentication is not properly managed or has incorrect permissions, it could cause authentication problems for the SYS user.

Account Lock Bug: In very rare cases, there could be Oracle bugs or issues specific to certain versions that cause the SYS account to behave unexpectedly.

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