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How to Disable/Delete Themes and Plugins in WordPress

Summary


This article explains how to deactivate, change or delete themes and plugins on a WordPress site with or without the dashboard. Being able to disable 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 do not know the name of your WordPress database please see How to Find your WordPress Database first.


Deactivating or Deleting Plugins from the Dashboard

Before you begin, please log in to your WordPress dashboard.
 

Themes

  1. On the main menu to the left, click Appearance.
  2. This will bring you to your Themes page where you can view all of the themes that you have installed. 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.
  4. This will bring up a window with information about the theme. Choose or delete themes In the bottom right corner, click Delete.
  5. Confirm that you are sure you want to delete the theme. Once you do so, the theme will be removed from your WordPress site.

Plugins

  1. From your dashboard, click Plugins.
  2. Now that you're on the Plugins page, you will be able to view all of the plugins that you currently have installed. Locate the plugin that you would like to uninstall.
  3. If the plugin is active, you will first need to click Deactivate.
  4. Once the plugin has been deactivated, you can click Delete.
  5. You will need to confirm that you would like to delete the plugin and any data it contains.

The plugin will now be removed from your WordPress site.
 

Deactivating a Plugin 

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

Note: This will deactivate all plugins; however, it does not remove the plugin or its settings.
 

Accessing phpMyAdmin

  1. Log in to your Bluehost cPanel account.
  2. Click on the Hosting tab near the top and then cPanel.
  3. On the cPanel find the group of icons labeled Database Tools and click on phpMyAdmin.
  4. Enter your hosting account username and password, then press go to login to phpMyAdmin.
 

Clearing Active Plugins

  1. In phpMyAdmin find your WordPress database in the list of databases. In this case, our example database is examplec_wo5647.
  2. In the list of tables click on the table name that ends with "options".
  3. 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.
  4. Click the edit link on the active_plugins row.
  5. Clear out all text in the option_value box.
  6. Click the Go button at the bottom.

You should get a page indicating that the query was executed. You are finished, all plugins should now be disabled in WordPress.
 

Removing a Plugin Using the File Manager

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

  1. Login to your Bluehost account.
  2. Click on the hosting tab near the top.
  3. Click cPanel.
  4. On the cPanel find the group of icons labeled File Management and click on File Manager.
  5. You may get a popup asking you to select the directory you want to start in. Choose the "Document Root for:" option and select the website you want to remove a plugin from.
  6. Make sure you are in the directory for your WordPress site, then go to the wp-content folder.
  7. Open the plugins folder.
  8. Find the plugin folder you wish to remove then right click on it and select delete.

The plugin is now removed from your WordPress installation.
 

Changing the WordPress Theme

These instructions will explain how to change the theme setting in WordPress without the WordPress dashboard.
 

Accessing phpMyAdmin

  1. Login to your Bluehost account.
  2. Click on the hosting tab near the top.
  3. Click cPanel.
  4. On the cPanel find the group of icons labeled Database Tools and click on phpMyAdmin.
  5. Enter your hosting account username and password then press go to login to phpMyAdmin.
 

Change the Theme Setting in phpMyAdmin

  1. In phpMyAdmin find your WordPress database in the list of databases. In this case, our example database is examplec_wo5647.
  2. In the list of tables click on the table name that ends with "options".
  3. In the options table, locate the rows for template and stylesheet. They are usually on the second page and their option_id will be around 40.
  4. Click edit to change both 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.
  5. Click the Go button.

The theme should now be set to your chosen theme.
 

Removing a WordPress Theme

Note: This method removes the theme from your website. You will have to reinstall it before you can use the theme again.

  1. Login to your Bluehost account.
  2. Click on the hosting tab near the top.
  3. Click cPanel.
  4. On the cPanel find the group of icons labled File Management and click on File Manager.
  5. You may get a popup asking you to select the directory you want to start in. Choose the "Document Root for:" option and select the website you want to disable plugins for.
  6. Make sure you are in the directory for your WordPress site, then go to the wp-content folder.
  7. Open the themes folder.
  8. Find the folder theme you wish to remove then right click on it and select delete.

The theme should now be removed from your WordPress website.