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How to Disable a Plugin Causing Errors

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WordPress is software written by humans, and so it's not perfect. The same goes for the PublishPress plugins. There may sometimes be issues with your site that require you to disable a plugin.

Please note: we always recommend installing new plugins on a test site before installing them on your live site. You will be able to learn the plugins in a safe environment and any changes you make will not impact your live site.

Here are ways you can disable a plugin:


Option #1. Deactivate via the WordPress Admin

The simplest option is always to access your WordPress admin dashboard and go to the “Plugins” area.

Here you can click “Deactivate” for the plugin:


Option #2: Rename the Plugin Files

The easier of the two options is to disable the plugin's files.

  • Login to your site's files using the file manager provided by your webhosting company or using an FTP program such as Filezilla.
  • Browse to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder.
  • Find the folder of the plugin you wish to disable.
  • Rename that folder as in the image below. This approach is safer than simply deleting the files:

Try to login to your WordPress site. You should get a message telling you that the plugin has been disabled.


Option #3: Disable via the Database

The second option is more complicated and that is to disable the plugin via the database. First, you'll need to access the database for your WordPress site. phpMyAdmin is a popular tool for this that's provided by many hosts and it's the one we'll use in this tutorial.

  • Log in to the database.
  • Look for the wp_options table:
  • You're looking for a row called active_plugins:

My advice here is to turn off all the plugins on your site. WordPress doesn't offer any easy way to disable a single plugin via the database. This sounds like a serious action, but isn't bad and won't cause any lasting harm. Yes, all your plugins will be disabled, but you can quickly login to WordPress and re-enable them. You won't lose any data.

To disable your plugins, remove all the text in the option_value field.

Save your database row in this state, and you will then be able to login to your site again:

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