How To Disable WordPress plugins – While no access to wp-admin

You might be locked down from your WordPress admin area? And eventually suspected the culprit is some newly installed plugin. You can deactivate the WordPress plugin even if you don’t have access to the admin area?

If the answer is yes for the above questions, then this tutorial is for you.

Due to some errors or some faulty plugins or themes installed. It’s quite often a WordPress user could not access their WP-Admin area. And that could be really frustrating, as the culprit plugin or theme needs to be deactivated, to get things normal.

But, sadly you don’t have access to the Admin area at all. I am sure you have faced such an issue at least once.

How to Disable WordPress plugins 🤔

Fortunately, there are always some workarounds or alternates. The relief part is we can deactivate the plugins from the WordPress database or even from FTP servers as well.

Deactivate WordPress Plugins from File Manager

Here we are about to disable the plugins through Cpanel. The process would be the same if you want to use any third-party FTP servers like Filezilla, WS_FTP server, or others as well.

And in case if you don’t want to install any third-party FTP servers, we can access the proceed from Cpanel as well. Which is the easiest way for any beginner.

  • Step 1. Login to your Cpanel
  • Step 2. Find File Manager and Click on it, Generally, it will be on the top section. Can vary according to the Hosting Provider.
cpanel file manager

Step 3. Now, look for public_html on the particular domain, from which you want to deactivate the plugin, and click on it to Open.

Step 4. Navigate wp_content Plugins, you will be able to see all the installed plugins here.

Select the plugin which you would like to disable, and right-click on it.

Tip: You can rename even the plugins folder if you would like to deactivate all plugins. Something plugins_deactivated. Consider it, when you don’t know which plugin has caused the issue.

rename plugin folder

Step 6. Now Rename the plugin, that could be anything, even adding an underscore is also enough to disable the plugin.

If that is the plugin because of which you were not able to log-in to your Wordpress Amin area. Then you might be able to do it now.

Let’s see one more alternate, deactivating plugins from the WordPress database phpMyAdmin way as well.

Deactivate WordPress Plugins from the Database using phpMyAdmin

Probably you might feel the above FTP version simple. Even this is not a rocket science. The only thing is we have to be careful while editing the WordPress database.

So, let’s see how could you deactivate plugins from phpMyAdmin, Step-by-Step.

Step 1. Same process as above, firstly login to your cpanel


Step 2. Find phpMyAdmin from the Database section and Click on it.

You will find a huge list containing all the tables in the database starts with wp_

Step 3. Now, from your WordPress Database, Click on the wp-options table.

active plugins

Step 4. Find active_plugins, which is an option_name.

Step 5. Now Click on the Edit button next to it, as shown in the above image.

This will be redirected to the next screen where you would be able to see all the installed plugins names in the box. Below option value section.

wpoptions table

Step 6. Replace those values with a:0:{} and hit that small Go button at the bottom.

There you go, you have deactivated all the plugins from the database.

Both above are the simplest ways to deactivate the plugins and themes when you are locked down from your WordPress Admin area.

There is one more way to know active WordPress deactivate plugin programmatically but could be a little tedious. So, let’s cover it in another article, don’t want to complicate this.

Both the ways work well, but the first one is much simpler. But, it’s good to know some alternates as well. If due to the plugins you were locked down and not able to access the WordPress Admin area. Then you must be able to do it now.

plugin deactivated

Once you are back to the sweet WordPress Dashboard back again, you might find notifications. The plugin has been deactivated, as we can see in above image.

WordPress Errors are quite common, like WordPress white screen of death is quite famous, which turns the screen into white completely. We need to deal with those. 🙂

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Authored by Navin Rao

A blogger and with a go-getter attitude Navin is a web geek and loves to write about WordPress. Able to guide even a non-techie to maintain a WordPress website through his walkthrough tutorials on WordPress.

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2 thoughts on “How To Disable WordPress plugins – While no access to wp-admin”

  1. I loved it, worked great for me. tried deactivating from from WordPress database. Now I am able to access my WordPress Dashboard. Yipee!


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