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Manually Disabling a WordPress Plugin When Dealing With a Malfunction

July 22, 2015 — by Andreas0


There are a few reasons you may want to disable a WordPress plugin. Usually, getting this done is as easy as logging into your WordPress dashboard, selecting Plugins, and clicking Deactivate. This, of course, is the way to do things when all aspects of your system are working properly. However, sometimes a malfunctioning plugin may prevent you from disabling an unwanted plugin this way or even logging into the dashboard.

To deal with this problem you will have to manually disable the problematic plugin. It may sound complicated, but with a bit of work it’s easy to manually disable the plugin and get back to using your WordPress site the way you want, free of any malfunctions.

There are two ways to do this. First, you can disable the files, or you have the option of disabling the database entries.

To disable the files, access your filesystem through the control panel’s file manager, FTP, or direct shell access with SSH. Navigate to /wp-content/plugins, then find the directory or folder of the plugin you wish to delete. Rename it to something different.

Once you’ve done this you should be able to log in to WordPress.

If you want to disable the database entry, access the databse through the command line via SSH, or through an interface like phpMyAdmin.

Find the database table labeled wp_options, then the row labeled active_plugins.You will see the data as a string like a:1:{i:0;s:19:”badplugin/badplugin.php”;}. Change the a:1 to a:0, thus deactivating the plugin, then save your changes.

Whatever method you choose, once the plugin is disabled you can log in, and try to fix it, or delete it and find a new one!