How to disable WordPress plugins that break your website

How to disable WordPress plugins that break your website

Plugins are Addons that extend the functionality of a WordPress website. To use custom features, many website owners install a lot of WordPress plugins.

It is easy to install Plugins from the WordPress Admin Dashboard. There are plugins for a range of purposes – from SEO to security features.

But not all plugins may be suited for all sites. Some plugins pose certain problems to the WordPress sites:

  1. Certain plugins can break during WordPress updates, causing errors or blank pages in the websites.
  2. Some of the plugins may not be compatible with the customized code in the WordPress websites and can break the site.
  3. Resource usage may be high for some plugins, which can lead to high server load and website slowness.

In many scenarios, it would be only after installing/activating these plugins that you would start noticing the issues.

During those situations, the only way out would be to disable those plugins, for the website to load fine. Today, we’ll see how to do that.

Disable WordPress plugins from the Admin Area

It is easy to disable plugins from the WordPress admin area. Click on the ‘Plugins’ option in the Dashboard and click ‘Deactivate’ next to the plugin.


Deactivate WordPress plugin from Admin area

Deactivate WordPress plugin from Admin area


You will now see the message “Plugin deactivated” and your plugin is now disabled from the website.

Disable WordPress plugins from the backend

Disabling the plugin from Admin area may not work at times when the plugin malfunctions and prevent access to the Admin Dashboard itself.

Certain plugins can end up showing error page instead of the Admin page. In such scenarios, you will have to deactivate the plugin manually from the backend.

There are three ways to manually disable a plugin: 1) Disabling the plugin files 2) Editing the database via PhpMyAdmin 3) Editing database via MySQL.

Disabling WordPress plugin files

First option is to disable the plugin folders, where the files corresponding to each plugin in stored, in the WordPress backend directory.

Using an FTP client, SSH or File Manager, access your WordPress folder in the website’s document root ‘public_html’.

  1. Go to the folder ‘/wp-content/plugins’, where the plugins are stored.
  2. Select the folder of the plugin and rename it. The plugin would now be disabled and site would load fine.
  3. To deactivate all plugins, rename the ‘plugins’ folder itself. This is useful in cases where you are not sure about the plugin that blocked access to Admin area.
  4. Once you get access to the Admin Dashboard, activate the plugins one by one to identify the problematic plugin.


Disable WordPress plugin folders

Disable WordPress plugin folders

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