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How to Disable/Delete Themes and Plugins in WordPress

This article explains how to deactivate, delete, or change themes and plugins in a WordPress site with or without the dashboard. Disabling plugins outside of the dashboard may be helpful if you have a plugin or theme that has malfunctioned and caused you to lose access to the dashboard.

Note: Some of these steps will require you to know the name of your WordPress database. If you need to know the name of your WordPress database, please see our article on how to find your WordPress database first.



How to Deactivate Themes in WordPress

Remember: When you deactivate themes in WordPress, it doesn't delete them from your site; it simply stops them from being used. If you wish to completely remove a theme from your site, you can use the file manager to delete the theme files from your site's directory.

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. On the main menu to the left, click Appearance.
    wordpress-dashboard

    Note: This will bring you to your Themes page, where you can view all the installed themes. Find the theme that you would like to uninstall.

  3. Hover your mouse over a theme to see the Theme Details option appear. Click Theme Details.
    wordpress-theme-details

    Pro tip: This will give a window with information about the theme. Choose either activate or delete themes In the bottom right corner.

  4. Confirm that you are sure you want to delete the theme. Once you do so, the theme will be removed from your WordPress site.

How to Deactivate Plugins in WordPress

Remember: When you deactivate plugins in WordPress, it doesn't delete them from your site; it simply stops them from being used. If you wish to remove a theme from your site completely, you can use the file manager to delete the plugin files from your site's directory.

  1. On the main menu to the left, click Plugins.
    wordpress-plugins
  2. Now that you're on the Plugins page, you'll view all of the plugins you currently have installed. Locate the plugin that you'd like to uninstall.
  3. If the plugin is active, you'll first need to click Deactivate.
  4. Once the plugin has been deactivated, you can click Delete.
  5. Confirm that you'd like to delete the plugin and any data it contains.

The plugin will now be removed from your WordPress site.

How to Deactivate Plugins in WordPress using phpMyAdmin

These steps explain how to deactivate plugins on a WordPress site without the dashboard.

Note: This will deactivate all plugins but doesn't remove the plugin or its settings.

  1. Log in to your Bluehost Account Manager.
  2. Click the Hosting tab from the side navigation.
  3. Under Quick Links, click on cPanel.
    cpanel-under-quick-links
  4. Under the Database section, select phpMyAdmin.
    php-my-admin-under-database
  5. In phpMyAdmin, find your WordPress database in the list of databases. In this case, our example database is examplec_wo5647.
    php-my-admin-example-database
  6. In the list of tables, click on the table name that ends with "options."
    php-myadmin-options-table
  7. In the options table, click on the column heading "option_name" to sort the table rows by name. This should make active_plugins the first table row.
  8. Click the Edit link on the active_plugins row.
  9. Clear out all text in the option_value box.
  10. Click the Go button at the bottom.
    php-option-value

You should get a page indicating that the query was executed. All plugins should now be disabled in WordPress.

How to Remove Themes in WordPress

Note: This method removes the theme from your WordPress website using the file manager. You'll have to reinstall it before you can use the theme again.

  1. Log in to your Bluehost Account Manager.
  2. Click the Hosting tab from the side navigation.
  3. Under Quick Links, click on File Manager.
    am-file-manager
  4. Ensure that you're positioned in the directory of your WordPress site, then proceed to the wp-content folder.
  5. Open the themes folder.
  6. Locate the theme folder you intend to delete, then right-click on it and choose Delete.

The theme should now be removed from your WordPress website.

How to Remove Plugins in WordPress

Note: This method removes the plugin from your WordPress website using the File Manager. You will have to reinstall it before you can use the plugin again.

  1. Log in to your Bluehost Account Manager.
  2. Click the Hosting tab from the side navigation.
  3. Under Quick Links, click on File Manager.
    file-manager-under-quick-links
  4. Ensure you're in your WordPress site's directory, then navigate to the wp-content folder.
  5. Open the plugins folder.
  6. Locate the plugin folder you want to eliminate, then right-click it and choose Delete.

The plugin is now removed from your WordPress installation.

How to Change Themes in WordPress

Note: These instructions will explain how to change the theme settings in WordPress without the WordPress dashboard.

  1. Log in to your Bluehost Account Manager.
  2. Click the Hosting tab from the side navigation.
  3. Under Quick Links, click on cPanel.
    cpanel-under-quick-links
  4. Under the Database section, select phpMyAdmin.
    php-my-admin-under-databases
  5. In phpMyAdmin, find your WordPress database in the list of databases. In this case, our example database is examplec_wo5647.
    php-my-admin-example-database
  6. In the list of tables, click on the table name that ends with options.
    php-myadmin-options-table
  7. In the options table, locate the rows for the template and stylesheet. They're usually on the second page, and their option_id will be around 40.
    style-sheet-template-save
  8. Click Edit to change the theme and stylesheet's option_value to the theme you wish to use. This should be the exact, case-sensitive name of the folder inside wp-content/themes that contains the theme you want to use.
  9. Click the Go button.
    theme-update

The theme should now be set to your chosen theme.

Summary

Managing plugins and themes on a WordPress site can be essential for maintaining site performance, security, and appearance. You can access the Plugins or Appearance tab in the WordPress dashboard to deactivate, change, or delete a theme or plugin. From there, you can select the theme or plugin you want to manage and click on the appropriate action.

It's important to note that deactivating a theme or plugin doesn't delete it from your site. If you want to remove it altogether, you'll need to use the file manager. Additionally, if you're going to change the WordPress theme via file manager, we've included steps to do so.

By managing your WordPress site's themes and plugins, you can help ensure its overall health and effectiveness.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
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You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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