Ok I did search and I do recall fussing with this a bunch when setting up cron jobs, but here is the situation.

I accidentally deleted my civicrm-settings.php file the other day. Really it was no big deal, restored within 5 minutes from a backup only a few hours old. HOWEVER, since then cron has not been running.

Trying to pull it via: wget -O - -q -t 1 'http://www.SITE.com/wp-content/plugins/civicrm/civicrm/bin/cron.php?name=cronjobs&pass=#####&key=####'

I have been getting:

ERROR: Invalid key value sent. More info at:http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/Managing+Scheduled+Jobs

  • Absolutely nothing has changed
  • Verified Site Key
  • Verified administrator un/pw

Tried running it with cli.php and it is still not running (despite setting permissions on that file)

Any incite?

  • Still having issues with this. Having to run scheduled jobs manually daily Apr 5, 2017 at 5:47
  • STILL AN ISSUE. Upgraded to 4.7.19 May 10, 2017 at 3:16

2 Answers 2


Looks like your user name for this is 'cronjobs'. try creating a new user without the word 'cron' in it. I had a similar issue with a new site recently and removing 'cron' from the user name did the trick.

Hope this helps.

  • Let me try that Mar 28, 2017 at 17:49
  • same thing with me admin login that I typically use to login. Mar 28, 2017 at 17:53

I was able to add the following line to my System.php file and run the cron from my Chrome browser one time to see what was actually being passed.

At Line 570 I went from:

    if ($key !== $siteKey) {
  return self::authenticateAbort(
    "ERROR: Invalid key value sent. " . $docAdd . "\n",


`return self::authenticateAbort(
        "ERROR: Invalid key value sent. " . $docAdd . $key . $siteKey ."\n",

So the cron is running, but I am getting header errors now. Hey at least this one is solved.

Found most of the answer here: Cron - Invalid key value sent

Though the log wasn't generating the lines I needed, so I just ran with it. My solution isn't the most secure, but it got the job done after a month of manually running jobs.

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