How to Uninstall a Plugin in WordPress

by | November 29, 2018

In this tutorial, we will explore the possibilities to properly uninstall a plugin in a WordPress website.

The reasons for removing a plugin in a WordPress CMS can vary. One reason might be to install a different version of the add-on that is more secure and updated on a regular basis. Another could be to keep the WordPress environment clean and running smoothly – having multiple plugins can cause a signifficant load and can also decrease your website’s performance.

AwardSpace offers its WordPress Hosting users various options for deactivating a plugin in their content management system. Below we’ve summarized the most commonly used ones:

If you are unsure which method for uninstalling an add-on to use, please continue reading this article until you find the option that best suits your needs.

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Option #1: Uninstalling a plugin via WordPress Admin Panel

One of the most convenient and easiest methods to disable a plugin in WordPress is through the dashboard. The uninstall process is extremely easy and takes only a few clicks. You do not need any coding skills to disable a WordPress plugin.

To deactivate a plugin, please kindly follow the steps outlined hereunder:

    1. Enter WordPress admin panel.
    2. After a successful login, navigate to the Plugins menu and click Installed Plugins.
    3. WordPress will display a list of added plugins. Look through the plugins list and find the one that is no longer needed.
    4. Click the Deactivate button next to the plugin that you would wish to disable.

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    1. Once the request has been submitted, please allow WordPress some time to process it.

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If the uninstall process is successful, you will get a Plugin deactivated response from the server.

Option #2: Deactivating a plugin through FTP

Another way to disable a WordPress plugin is with the use of an FTP client program our through our built-in File Manager utitility. If you prefer to use your FTP program, please see our complete guide on how to establish an FTP connection to the FTP server.

After you establish a successful connection, navigate to the /wp-content/plugins directory on your server. Right-click on the plugin that you would like to be disabled and press Rename.

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Enter a new name for your plugin’s directory (e.g. wp-mail-smtp-disabled) and click the green checkmark button right next to your add-on.

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At this point, the selected plugin should no longer be functioning and should appear as inactive in your dashboard. To see if this is the case, log back into the admin area of your WordPress blog and check the status of the add-on in the Installed Plugins section.

Option #3: Disabling a plugin via phpMyAdmin

The third possible solution to deactivate an extension in a WordPress CMS is through phpMyAdmin.

Log into phpMyAdmin using WordPress’s MySQL username and password. Information on how to access a database is available in our Database Manager article.

Once connected to the MySQL server, phpMyAdmin will populate a list of database tables. Click on the one named wp-options (it would normally appear under the wp-links table).

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Find the row labeled active_plugins and click on the Edit button next to it to enter the editor.

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Once inside the editor, look at the option_value to identify the add-on name. Select all of the content related to the plugin (for example, i:1;s:29:”plugin-name/plugin-name.php”;) and remove it. Additionally, you will need to lower the value of a:X by one. Finally, press Go.

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