5 Ways to Disable the Gutenberg Block Editor
The Gutenberg editor provokes a lot of debate in the WordPress world. Some people love Gutenberg – we're in that camp and built the PublishPress Blocks plugin. Some people really don't like Gutenberg and prefer to stick with the editor they've used for years.
However, most WordPress users have more mixed feelings and prefer to switch back-and-forth depending on the project. We've had several questions from PublishPress customers who want to know how to disable Gutenberg in some situations, or for some users.
In this guide, we share several different ways you can disable Gutenberg. Each option has its own methods for switching between Gutenberg and the older, classic editor.
Option #1. Disable Gutenberg everywhere
No Gutenberg is a very simple plugin which disables Gutenberg and has no settings at all. Install the plugin and the setup is complete.
Option #2. Disable Gutenberg when users want
The Classic Editor plugin is the official plugin from the WordPress team. This is the most popular plugin on this list with over 5 million installs, and it will be fully supported and maintained until at least 2022 and probably longer.
The main advantage of this plugin is you can allow users to choose when to disable Gutenberg.
- Install the Classic Editor plugin.
- Go to “Settings” then “Writing” in your WordPress admin area.
- You can choose the default editor and also allow users to switch editors:
- If you set “Allow users to switch editors” to “Yes”, this next screenshot illustrates what they will see on the “Posts” screen. They'll be able to move between the Block Editor and the Classic Editor with one click.
One thing to note is that each post opens in the last editor used regardless of who edited it last. You can see this label in the screenshot above (- Classic editor). This is important for maintaining a consistent experience when editing content.
Option #3. Disable Gutenberg for some roles and post types
The Disable Gutenberg plugin is a good choice for selectivity disabling Gutenberg for roles or post types. It is more flexible than the plugins higher up this list.
- Install the Disable Gutenberg plugin.
- Go to “Tools” then “Disable Gutenberg” in your WordPress admin menu.
- Uncheck the “Complete Disable” box.
- You will now be able to choose to disable Gutenberg for some user roles:
- You will also be able to choose specific post types to disable Gutenberg. You can even disable Gutenberg on specific templates or individual posts.
Option #4. Disable some Gutenberg blocks
If you don't want to disable Gutenberg entirely, there are ways in which you can disable only some features of the block editor.
For example, with the PublishPress Blocks plugin, you can hide blocks so they can't be added by users in some roles.
- Install the PublishPress Blocks plugin.
- Go to the “Blocks” link in your WordPress admin menu.
- This “Block Access” feature will allow you to hide blocks for any role. You can choose the user role from the dropdown menu in the top-left corner.
- In the screenshot below, I've disabled six different blocks for users in the “Subscriber” role. They will not be able to add these blocks to any posts they edit. Here's a detailed guide to the Block Access feature.
Option #5. Disable some Gutenberg features
The previous option in this list focused on disabling blocks. With the PublishPress Capabilities plugin you can disable other features inside the Gutenberg editor.
- Install the PublishPress Capabilities plugin.
- Go to “Capabilities” then “Editor Features” in your WordPress admin area.
- In the top-left corner, choose a user role.
- You can now remove features from Gutenberg for these users. In the screenshot below, I'm removing all of the items in the top menu bar of the editor.
This next image shows how far you can take this approach. You can disable every feature of Gutenberg except for the block editor itself. In this example, the user can do nothing except write the post and click “Update”. The Free version of PublishPress Capabilities allows you to hide any default features in Gutenberg. The Pro version allows you to hide metaboxes from 3rd party plugins.