Disable WordPress Plugins

All too often, I see a WordPress plugin misbehaving or causing a lot of grief – often locking the user out from wp-admin, which prevents them from disabling the dodgy plugin in the first place.

There are a number of ways that you can disable the plugins, and a quick Google recommends that you go into the database (most people would access a MySQL Database from PHPMyAdmin) and make changes.

The simplest way, that does not involve messing with the database is:

Rename the plugins folder

  1. Fire up your FTP program (I use FileZilla) and rename the plugins folder in wp-content to, say, plugins-broken.
  2. Try accessing wp-admin again, with any luck it will load.
  3. To revert, simply create a plugins folder in wp-content and move each plugin, one by one, into this new folder.

Mess with the database

This method will disable all the plugins, and should leave the settings intact. This is my favorite method. Use this at your own risk.

  1. Go into PHPMyAdmin
  2. Click the database name up the top left
  3. Click the SQL tab
  4. Put the following into the box and click “Go”
UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = 'a:0:{}' WHERE option_name = 'active_plugins';